The causes of stress are different for every individual, and stress affects people in various ways. But ultimately their quality of life changes with the symptoms often apparent in their physical, mental, and emotional state.
Furthermore, too much stress can sometimes lead to illnesses due to a weak immune system, anxiety and depression, poor sleep and insomnia, or higher risks of high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity.
Each person naturally deals with stress with in their own way. However, most people find that doing the things listed below has helped them manage and reduce their stress.
1. Breathing exercises
Breathing exercises can effectively calm your nervous system and help bring clarity to your mind. One of the most recommended breathing techniques is Dr. Andrew Weil's 4-7-8 breathing exercises. Check out this video for a demonstration:
2. Progressive muscular relaxation
Often done lying down, this technique is known to ease physical and mental tensions. The idea is to focus on one muscle group at a time beginning at your head. Contract each muscle group for two to four seconds and then release. Do this all the way down your body; then, finish with a couple of long, deep breaths. This will surely help your mind and body relax, as it promotes better sleep too.
3. Balanced diet
Make sure to nourish your body with nutrient-dense foods so as to balance your blood sugar, boost your immune health, and fill you with physical and mental energy to accomplish your tasks. Limit your intake of caffeine, sugar, and processed foods as these will only contribute in making you feel more fatigued.
4. Take a break from electronics
"Unplug" every once in a while. Being exposed to different kinds of news can be overwhelming. So instead of watching TV or staying on social media, pick up a book or try creative activities. It will help you feel better as you find other means of expressing yourself.
5. Connect with the people who matter
Don't be afraid to seek help or guidance when the going gets tough. Reach out to your friends or family when you need support. You don't have to suffer or struggle alone when there are people who are willing to help make things lighter for you.
6. Keep a gratitude journal
Doing this can foster positivity in your life and ease negative emotions caused by stress. Sometimes it really helps a lot when you try to focus on the good things in your life or when you look at the brighter side. An exercise that you can do is writing down three things you are grateful for. Just take a few minutes to write them down and express your gratitude for them. Do this every day and it will certainly change the way you deal with stress, and life in general.
7. Be kind to others and to yourself
Always choose to be kind to other people and help whenever you can. Doing random acts of kindness or taking some time to volunteer for charity can do so much for your soul. At the same time, learn to be kind to yourself as well. Forgive yourself for mistakes you've done and treat yourself when you feel that you've done a good job.
Reducing stress may feel like it's easier said than done, but the important thing is to try and do your best to improve your life. Some of the tips mentioned above may not really apply to you or suit your personality or needs, but don't hesitate to try something new and discover yourself more in the process.