How To Manage Stress In Uncertain Times
We live in a country where over 75% of our population experiences daily stress. That statistic only goes up when we go through times of worry and uncertainty such as now. Because of this, I want to share with you some stress management tips and routines that can help you think more clearly and respond to stress in a productive way.
Your perception of stress is your reality:
A recent study found that the way we think about stress changes the way our body perceives and deals with stress. People with negative perceptions of stress are more likely to experience commonly feared responses such as feeling panicked and an inability to focus. On the other hand, people who embraced stress and had a positive perception of stress felt a strong positive desire to better themselves. These responses could include a heightened sense of focus, having energy when under pressure, and the desire to prove themselves.
Being positive during stress is difficult. But if we can change how we perceive stress and use it to our advantage, we can mitigate the negatives of stress and feel more relaxed and empowered.
Changing your perception around stress is a great way to reduce your stress responses long term. But what about now? Eliminating stressors can be a good way to take a breath from things that are moving too fast. It is not always possible to escape a situation or change the way something is happening but evaluating a situation that is causing stress and dropping some responsibility from yourself can create relief and relaxation.
The next time you feel a stressful situation hitting you suddenly, breathe, compose yourself, and see about reducing the amount of responsibility you have in the game. This may mean asking friends or family to do an errand, or politely asking your superiors for an extension or to move a task to someone else.
Cultivate Social Support:
Speaking of friendships, reaching out to family and friends is a great way to reduce stress and work on long term relationships with people you care about. Think about it strategically – some friends and family might be good at listening and empathetic to your situation. Others may be of help with the actions that they take, whether bringing you a meal or helping you run errands. Giving support is also another way of boosting your positive emotions and reducing negative ones. Just make sure that you balance your relationships in a healthy way!
Seek good nutrition:
- Stress is caused by many things, but a healthy diet can mitigate some of the physical responses that come with stress and help you feel more relaxed
Replace Soda with Water:
- Sugary drinks are not just bad for our health, but they increase our energy in unnatural ways. Instead of something sweet, substitute it for naturally flavored water or soda water to give your mood, and taste buds, a boost!
- Daily exercise is proven to reduce stress levels and bring you to a more positive state of mind. If staying home, do some home workouts and try to get active anywhere you can. When at work, take a break and walk for a short ten minutes to boost your mood and get in some good cardio.
- Protecting your sleep and getting to bed on time is another proven method to reduce stress levels and feel refreshed. Among all the stress that you may have, remember to take care of yourself and rest well every night.
Anti-Stress Body Language:
- Taking a couple of minutes each day to stretch is a good way to reinvigorate yourself when you feel stressed or just generally tired. Having positive body language, like standing up straight, feet shoulders width apart, and looking up, is a mood booster that can alleviate pain and stress.