Everyone experiences stress, and it can really affect your life if you don’t do something about it. It’s easy to become stressed out, especially over little things, and when life becomes overwhelming, it leaves you vulnerable to more serious health issues. The best approach is to learn how to stop stress before it gets the best of you.
Learning how to stop stress starts with being able to recognize it. If you do, you’ll be able to interfere with it before it does what it does best — take over your life. It may sound melodramatic, but stress can easily do this if you let it. It can control your decisions, feelings and thoughts — a dangerous thing. Don’t let stress compromise your personal or professional life. Take charge of it.
There are many techniques you can begin using today to help you gain control of your stress. Read on for seven tips you can apply to your life today. Not only will these teach you how to stop stress, but they will alleviate the negative effects it can have on your life.
Define Your Stress
If you begin to feel uneasy about certain aspects of your life, like your career or your relationships, it’s probably because something specific is causing you stress. Whether it’s your demanding workload or your needy spouse, it’s important you identify and take accountability for your stress. Understand the different stressors so you can learn what your triggers are. Once you do, look your stress straight in the face, and take action.
Avoid Negative Self-Talk
Stop beating yourself up — period. You’ll undoubtedly have negative thoughts during stressful times, but don’t feed into them. If you hear them sneaking up on you, stop them in their tracks. This hurtful mind chatter has no place in your life, and will only drag you down.
Focus Your Energy on the Positive
No matter how much negativity you feel around you, always focus your energy on positive things. It may take some time for you to dig out the positive among the negative, but it’s there. It can be something simple, like a morning conversation with a co-worker or positive feedback on a project at work. It could be a smile from a stranger in the elevator or a hug from your best friend.
No matter how big or small, keep the positive things in your life close to you.
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Ask for Help
There’s never anything wrong with asking for help. In fact, everyone needs help sometimes, so there’s no reason to feel shame if you do. Whether this assistance comes from a friend, family member or a professional, seek out help and support — something that can completely change your entire point of view. Without support, it’s hard to see clearly and face hardships head-on.
Work in a Workout
Sounds simple, right? A good workout can not only alleviate stress, but it can make you feel really good about yourself. Plus, you’re being healthy. It’s a win-win. Push yourself to work out whenever you feel stressed so you can trigger a flood of your body’s natural feel-good chemicals. If you allow yourself to give into a stress reaction, your appetite will increase because of your body’s extra need for energy. So don’t let yourself lose control. Work out instead.
Get More Sleep
Sleep is important, even if you think you can function without it. After all, there’s a reason you feel so grouchy the morning after a bad night’s sleep. Make sleep a priority, and know when it’s time to shut down for the day. Since stress and poor sleep are closely related, it’s an excellent place to start if you’re feeling overly stressed lately. Stick to a regular sleep schedule, avoid naps during the day and practice a bedtime ritual that gets you in the mood mentally and physically for sleep.
Whether it’s in the morning when you first wake up or at night before you get in bed, mediation is a positive practice that will get you in the right mindset for the day ahead. Even if it’s five minutes out of your day, do what you can to rewire your brain and reverse stress response. If you can fit meditation into your schedule when you wake up and before you go to sleep, even better. Your soul and your mind will reap the benefits.
Even though you live in a world with nonstop stress, you don’t have to fall victim to it. Learn how to refocus your energy into positivity so you don’t let negativity affect your life, and if you’re someone who becomes stressed easily and often, don’t lose hope. Learn how to detect your stress before it even hits — that way, you can get it under control, and hopefully avoid the overwhelming feelings that come with it.
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