With the everyday stresses you encounter daily, it’s no surprise you may feel stressed and overwhelmed at times. Whether it’s a big project due at work, an unexpected car repair, or a sick relative, life can cause a great deal of stress. Unfortunately, while stress is a normal part of life, it can take its toll on your health.
Adverse Health Effects of Stress
Those who often experience high levels of stress tend to have higher blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease or stroke. In addition, stressed-out people are more likely to experience fatigue, headaches, and more frequent illnesses. For these reasons, it’s essential to keep stress at a manageable level. There are several ways you can do this.
Spend Some Time Outside
Spending time in nature can be a great way to ground yourself and help you relieve stress. This is especially true if you can find a nature trail or scenic park near you. If not, even eating your lunch outside on a bench can lift your mood and reduce stress. The fresh air and sunshine can rejuvenate you and give you the energy you need to get through the rest of your day.
Take a Vacation
Sometimes, you just need to get away. Consider taking a vacation. You could decide on an exciting Alaska cruise or want something closer to home. No matter which vacation destination you choose, make sure it is one you will enjoy and have the opportunity to truly relax.
Cuddle With Your Pet
Spending time with animals can be a great way to lift your spirits and feel your stress melt away. If you do not have a pet, see if you can visit with a friend or family member who has one. This offers the extra benefit of getting some social time in and catching up with your friend.
Find an Outlet
Do you have a hobby? Hobbies are a great way to relax. For example, you might find that painting or drawing relaxes you, or perhaps you are more of a sports person. No matter the hobby, try to spend time each week engaging in it, as it can be an excellent outlet for you.
Practice Meditation and Deep Breathing
Many people find that meditation, yoga, and mindfulness can be great ways to lower your heart rate, practice deep breathing, and relieve stress. You can do it on your own at home with an online video, or you may consider joining a gym or club that offers yoga classes or something similar.
Take a Break From Screens
These days, people are constantly receiving a stream of information from their phones, televisions, and computers. This can be overstimulating, even when you don’t realize it. Unplugging for a while can help you focus more on the moment, enjoy the simpler things, and give your mind a break from the constant stimulation screens can cause. Even a one-hour break can make all the difference.
Journal Your Thoughts
Have you ever kept a diary or a journal? Doing so can help with managing your feelings and stress. Writing the way you feel or what is going on in your life on paper can be a great outlet. For example, if your anxiety is causing insomnia, consider keeping a journal and pen near your bedside so that you can write down your thoughts. This may help your brain settle down so you can fall asleep.
Focus on Relaxing Your Muscles
It may come as no surprise that stress leads to muscle tension. This, in turn, can lead to headaches and neck aches. However, you might not realize that you are likely tensing up your muscles more often than you realize. Try taking a couple of minutes during your day to consciously relax the muscles in the back of your head and neck. You may find it makes all the difference.
These are all great ways to manage your stress. Give some of them a try next time you feel overwhelmed or go through a stressful period in your life.