Few things can adversely affect your life more than stress, and that’s a bad thing because stress is everywhere. Stress can come from both good and bad events in life. There’s the obvious stress of losing a job or having a very tight personal budget, but good events can be just as stressful. When someone brings home a new baby or finally gets that promotion at work, brand new expectations and demands bring with them a great deal of stress. Consequences of prolonged periods of stress can be headaches, stomach issues, and physical fatigue just to mention of a few. If stress is not dealt with properly it can also lead to burnout or long-term physical impairment. On top of all of that, handling stress well is one of the primary keys to increasing your quality of life. So, with that in mind, here are three things that will help you begin managing your stress more effectively today:
Lots of stress comes from thinking, re-thinking, and thinking again about the problem at hand. It can feel like a Category 5 hurricane is churning around inside of you. Exerting physical energy can begin to unlock some of the knots that are forming in your stomach. Head to the gym, go for a walk or a swim, or see how far you can throw your neighbor’s cat and still have it land on its feet (word of caution: this sort of exercise is best attempted when your neighbor is not at home). Anything that expends energy and possibly creates a bit of sweat will help!
Get Lost in Something You Love
I know your day is extremely busy, and I know that you have 73 more things to check off of your to-do list before bed, but making time for things you enjoy is crucial. In fact, cutting out at least 30 minutes a day to do something you love will make you more productive when you go back to the 73 things on your to-do list. Read a book, listen to music, head to the museum, or catch up on your favorite tv show. Your mind and body respond better when you can turn your internal motor on and off during the day, rather than turning it up to level 10 when you wake up and grinding it out until you fall into bed exhausted at midnight. Also, it’s easier to attack a difficult task when you know that later in the day you are going to get some time off to enjoy yourself.
Change Your Environment
When you have found that stress has driven you into a rut and you can’t think clearly, sometimes the best option is a change of scenery. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic change, sometimes 20 minutes in your favorite coffee shop or a quick walk around the block will do the trick. You need new sights, sounds, and smells to snap out you of your rut. Everybody is different, so play around with different options to see what works best for you!
Stress is an inevitable part of life, but it doesn’t have to destroy your quality of life. Employing the tips listed above can go a long way into making the stress in your life manageable, so that you can enjoy this journey for all it’s worth!
Photo Courtesy of Death To Stock Photo