Writing about the things that you are worried about helps clear your mind and decreases your stress and anxiety. Learning about what causes or triggers stress and which coping techniques work well for you can help to decrease your anxiety and improve how you live each day. Developing coping strategies before stress becomes chronic or intense can help a person handle new situations and maintain physical and mental health.
In those situations, using additional strategies may help to make yourself more resilient and more adept at dealing with your anxiety. Whether you had a difficult day at work, or are feeling overwhelmed by how much you have to do, these strategies can provide some immediate relief from your stress. In the privacy of your own home, there are a number of stress-relieving strategies that can help you to quickly unwind. There is not much that you can do to prevent stress, but there are plenty of things that you can do to handle it more effectively, like learning to relax, getting regular exercise, and implementing good time-management techniques.
Being more aware of stresss effects may help an individual handle stress more effectively and better deal with it. When stress is not managed effectively, or it becomes too much, our ability to cope with situations may decrease. When stress is frequent and intense, it puts strain on the body, making functioning impossible.
Stress may make you more alert and can help you do better in some situations.2 However, stress has only been found beneficial if it is brief. We mentioned before that moderate amounts of stress help us perform better in difficult situations,34 but excessive or long-term stress may cause physical problems. While stress might not feel good, some amount can actually motivate us to perform harder and perform better in the given situation. It might sound paradoxical, but physically stressing our bodies by exercising relieves psychological stress.
Exercise also allows your mind to be refocused on your bodys movements, which may boost your mood and help your daily irritants melt away. These exercises can be done anywhere, and are designed to help you feel more relaxed overall, and also help you feel more at peace when you are feeling stressed. Many people find exercises that focus on breathing and relaxing the muscles helpful for relieving stress.
Activities–such as walking or jogging–that include repeated movements in larger muscle groups may be especially stress-relieving. Getting out for a quick stretch relieves tension in your muscles and helps you unwind from your busy workday.
Exercise is not going to make your stress go away, but it can decrease some of the emotional intensity that you are feeling, clearing up your thoughts, and allowing you to tackle problems in a calmer way. Listening or playing music is a great stress reliever, as it provides mental distraction, decreases muscle tension, and reduces stress hormones. Slow-paced instrumental music may trigger the relaxation response, helping lower blood pressure and heart rate, and reduce stress hormones. That is why it is important to have effective stress relievers to help you relax both mentally and physically.
Increased levels of stress can, if not addressed soon enough, cause burnout or worse mental health problems. Mental health conditions, like depression, or an increasing sense of frustration, unfairness, and anxiety, may cause some people to experience stress more easily than others. Because people react to stressful circumstances in different ways, a situation one person may find bearable may be a chronic source of stress for another.
What is stressful to one person might be less so to another, and virtually any event could potentially trigger stress. Life can be stressful: You might feel pressured by performance in school, by a traumatic event such as a pandemic, a disaster, or a violent incident, or by changes in your life. Even intense stress caused by serious illness, losing your job, death in your family, or painful life events may be a natural part of life. Feeling dissatisfied with how much time you are spending on work, and ignoring other aspects of life due to work, may increase your vulnerability to stress.
Some experiences people usually think of as positive may cause stress, like having a child, going on vacation, moving into a nicer house, and getting a promotion at work. Some people can manage stress by drinking too much caffeine or alcohol, smoking, eating too much, or using illicit substances. Antidepressants may have negative effects, as well, and can make certain complications of stress worse, such as lower sexual desire. Using stimulants may make anxiety symptoms worse, so cutting them may help you cope with your anxiety.
If you have anxiety on a more regular basis, or have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, then coping techniques that are fast may still be helpful for when you are stuck, but should not be the only things you use. These techniques may really be useful if you are experiencing anxiety once in a while, or feel anxious out of the blue.
It is not always possible to avoid a stressful situation or escape the issue, but you can work on decreasing the amount of stress you are feeling. Once you understand the source of your stress–relationship, kids, work load, health issues–you can sometimes lessen or avoid stress. When left unchecked, stress and anxiety take a significant toll on your physical and emotional wellbeing, as well as impacting other areas of functioning, like academics and social relationships.
Taking care of your mental and physical long-term health is a crucial component to managing stress. Nutrition is important because stress depletes some vitamins, like vitamins A, B-complex, C, and E. Maintaining good nutrition helps your body feel better, as does your mind, allowing you to better fight off stress.
Emotional eating and reaching for high-fat, high-sugar foods may offer temporary feelings of relief, but they increase your long-term stress. Deep breathing, taken in to the outside of your body for five seconds, held for two seconds, and released to the outside of your body for another five seconds, may help to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, helping to decrease overall stress and anxiety that you might feel.