Stress can affect us in a negative way and most of us will eventually start to function less well.
Here are a few tips that could help you manage or lower your stress levels.
Eat a well-balanced diet
Well-nourished bodies always tend to cope better. So consume a good diet which includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
An ideal diet should have moderate amounts of protein and complex carbohydrates while remaining low in fat.
Avoid processed foods and sugars since they can make you lazy and drowsy, thus keeping you low on energy.
Limit alcohol and stimulants
Excessive amounts of caffeine (coffee, black/red tea, soft drinks with caffeine, etc.) could increase your anxiety and even cause palpitations.
Understand that alcohol and nicotine may temporarily relieve stress, but have negative health impacts and can make stress worse in the long run.
Drink plenty of water
Dehydration is the number one cause of stress in your body. Drinking sufficient water can help reduce the negative psychological and physiological impacts of stress.
Water has been shown to have natural calming properties, likely as a result of addressing dehydration’s effects on the body and brain. Hence, it is highly advisable to drink enough water throughout the course of a day.
Get enough sleep
Apart from maintaining good overall health, sleep is another great way to help alleviate stress.
Our mind and body needs 7 hours of sleep at the very least. If you get less than seven to eight hours of sleep, your body won’t tolerate stress as well as it could.
So make sure you go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day.
Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress and improve your overall quality of life. Be sure to exercise regularly in order to maintain good health and manage stress.
Moving your body on a regular basis balances the nervous system and increases blood circulation, helping to flush out stress hormones. A 20-minute walk or a 2 hour strength training session is enough, depending on your capacity.
Go outdoors whenever possible
Get outside of the four walls you usually are surrounded with. Getting a daily dose of sunlight (aka Vitamin D) can do wonders for your mental health.
An outdoor activity, such as an outdoor game, sport, etc., can also help you in dealing with your stress. It can freshen your mind and brighten your mood.
Make time for yourself
It is extremely important that you take out time for yourself, every day. Don’t submerge yourself in tasks, activities, and errands. Do what makes you happy and brings you peace.
Let yourself recharge this way, thus making room for a healthier head space.
You could do anything you’d like. It could be pampering yourself by indulging in a spa treatment, gardening, dancing, or even doing nothing at all!
The goal is to just relax and live in the moment while trying to catch up with life.
Try mindful meditation
Meditation has been practiced by many people to help, not just relax their mind but most importantly, centre and ground them. It was designed in a way to help you relax and stay calm.
Mindful meditation and deep breathing exercises can really help in reducing ones stress levels.
Connect with supportive people
In times of stress, it is extremely important to surround yourself with people who are good for your mental health.
Talking face to face with another person releases hormones that reduce stress. Hence, make it a point to spend time with friends, family, and people you love. This can help improve your mood and manage stress.
Maintain a positive attitude
It’s surprising just how powerful a positive attitude can be. Striving to be happy and positive can help you stay in a good mood, which in turn can help you reduce stress.
For each negative thought you have, try to counter it with something positive. Always look for that silver lining.
See a counsellor, coach or therapist
It’s okay if you may need help managing stress. If negative thoughts overwhelm your ability to make positive changes, it’s time to seek professional help.
Remember, your health and life are worth it.