Stress can wreak havoc on your body and mind. It can cause headaches, muscle pain, fatigue and sleep problems. It can also cause anxiety, lack of focus, irritability and depression. Unfortunately, with so much going on in our lives, stress isn’t always unavoidable.
The best way to fight stress head on is to practice some sort of stress management each day. Here are 11 easy and inexpensive ways that you can do to help manage your stress.
Take a Break
Just taking a short break from what causes you stress can immensely help lower your stress level. If its work that stresses you out, go outside to get some fresh air and take a brief walk. If it’s your kids, take a little time to yourself or call up a friend for a short chat to take your mind off of things.
We all have our many devices: the smart phone, tablet, computer, television. They keep us connected to friends, family and business colleagues, and also to what is going on in the rest of the world. They also can help add to your stress. Take a moment a few times a day to completely disconnect yourself. Get off social media, turn off the TV, power down your iPhone. It can give you a much need sense of calm in a busy fast paced world.
Figure Out What You Can Control
Instead of stressing out about what you cannot control, such as what your boss thinks about you or what your parents think about your life, focus on aspects that you can control and work on those. Think about how you can react positively or how you can work on yourself. Over-analyzing things that cannot be controlled is one of the worst ways to add to your stress because no matter what you do, you simply cannot change them.
Mange Your Time
Feeling like there is never enough time is one of the biggest causes of stress for many people. It seems as though to-do lists get longer and time gets shorter. To help alleviate stress due to time constraints, keep track of your time. Log everything from sleep and work to chores and play time. You will see that you have much more time that you originally thought.
Do Something You Love
It’s easier to forget about what gives you stress what you have something you really love to do. Find an activity or hobby that you really enjoy doing. It can be anything, just as long as it helps to keep the focus off of the thing or things that stress you out. Don’t know what you love to do? Take a few classes and try different things out until you find something that you really enjoy doing.
It can be hard to say no to people, especially people you love or work for. But if you are under any stress, feeling like you need to please everyone will only cause you even more stress. Come up with your own boundaries and stick to them. Be direct and say no if that is your true answer. Try to focus more on your own needs than on others, and you will find that people really won’t be as mad or disappointed as you think they will be.
Taking time for yourself doesn’t have to mean going to an expensive spa. You can draw yourself a relaxing bath right in your own home. Don’t have time for a bath? Take a shower, but make sure that you have no distractions. Ask your significant other to mind the kids for 15 minutes so you can take a completely uninterrupted shower.
Exercise releases endorphins, which are the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. Go for a mid-day walk. Stretch or do some yoga. Take a class at your local gym. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do, as long as you enjoy it and it gets your blood pumping.
Laughter is an easy way to relieve stress and can help distract you from what is causing you stress. Browse the Internet for funny stories, or watch funny clips on YouTube. If you are a movie buff, put on a comedy to help uplift your mood.
Drink More Water
It may sound like a strange tip for stress, but your body is made up of about 60% water. If you haven’t had enough to drink, your vital organs just can’t function properly. Chugging some much needed water can help keep your mind and body in the right place, and therefore help you deal with things that cause stress a little better. Another benefit of drinking more water? It makes you have to go to bathroom more, which can give you a much needed break from whatever it is you are doing.
Take a Nap
A quick nap is a way of recharging and re-energizing your body and mind. If you are tired, little things that would not normally bother you may seem magnified and can put added pressure on you. While a cat nap may not be possible every day, but when you have the chance, take a 10-30 minute snooze to help reset your day.
Too much stress can negatively affect your mind and body. It can distract you from your work and your family, and can cause you to be irritable and depressed. To help manage your stress without spending a ton of money (which would most likely cause you to stress even more) pick any of these 11 ideas. Each of them are easy to do and easy to incorporate into your day to day life; and can help you keep your stress level down.