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Effective stress management can lead to a better life

But you have a lot more control than you might think.

effective stress management can lead to a better life Stress management is all about taking charge: No matter how stressful your life seems, there are steps you can take to relieve the pressure and regain control. Why is it so important to manage stress? Stress wreaks havoc on your emotional equilibrium, as well as your physical health. It narrows your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life. Effective stress management, on the other hand, helps you break the hold stress has on your life, so you can be happier, healthier, and more productive.

The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun—and the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on. But stress management is not one-size-fits-all. The following stress management tips can help you do that.

Identify the sources of stress in your life Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses: Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?

Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control. Start a stress journal A stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them.

Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal. As you keep a daily log, you will begin to see patterns and common themes. Practice the 4 A's of stress management While stress is an automatic response from your nervous system, some stressors arise at predictable times—your commute to work, a meeting with your boss, or family gatherings, for example.

When handling such predictable stressors, you can either change the situation or change your reaction. Learn how to say "no. Whether in your personal or professional life, taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress. Distinguish between the "shoulds" and the "musts" and, when possible, say "no" to taking on too much.

Avoid people who stress you out. If someone consistently causes stress in your life, limit the amount of time you spend with that person, or end the relationship. Take control of your environment. If the evening news makes you anxious, turn off the TV. If traffic makes you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route. If going to the market is an unpleasant chore do your grocery shopping online.

Pare down your to-do list. Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. Alter the situation If you can't avoid a stressful situation, try to alter it.

Why is it so important to manage stress?

Often, this involves changing the way you communicate and operate in your daily life. Express your feelings instead of bottling them up. If something or someone is bothering you, be more assertive and communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way. If you've got an exam to study for and your chatty roommate just got home, say up front that you only have five minutes to talk. If you don't voice your feelings, resentment will build and the stress will increase. Be willing to compromise.

When you ask someone to change their behavior, be willing to do the same. If you both are willing to bend at least a little, you'll have a good chance of finding a happy middle ground.

Create a balanced schedule.

  • Greater resistance to the common cold Better psychological and physical well-being Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress It's unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits;
  • Also, essential aromatic oils are functional in relaxing;
  • Avoid scheduling things back-to-back or trying to fit too much into one day;
  • If you both are willing to bend at least a little, you'll have a good chance of finding a happy middle ground.

All work and no play is a recipe for burnout. Try to find a balance between work and family life, social activities and solitary pursuits, daily responsibilities and downtime. Adapt to the stressor If you can't change the stressor, change yourself. You can adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude.

Stress Management

Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. Rather than fuming about a traffic jam, look at it as an opportunity to pause and regroup, listen to your favorite radio station, or enjoy some alone time. Look at the big picture. Take perspective of the stressful situation. Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress.

Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection. When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your effective stress management can lead to a better life positive qualities and gifts. This simple strategy can help you keep things in perspective.

Accept the things you can't change Some sources of stress are unavoidable. In such cases, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things as they are. Don't try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control—particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.

Look for the upside. When facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth. If your own poor choices contributed to a stressful situation, reflect on them and learn from your mistakes.

Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes. Let go of anger and resentments. Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on. Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good, and it can also serve as a valuable distraction from your daily worries.

Even very small activities can add up over the course of a day. The first step is to get yourself up and moving.

  • And try not to let worries about looking weak or being a burden keep you from opening up;
  • Reduce caffeine and sugar;
  • Stress and Your Health;
  • You completed your tasks ahead of time and were complimented for doing a speedy and thorough job;
  • Adapt to the stressor If you can't change the stressor, change yourself;
  • Working under too much stress, having a fast-paced lifestyle and being nervous all the time can have negative effects on the body's immune system, resulting in chronic colds or recurring illness.

Here are some easy ways to incorporate exercise into your daily schedule: Put on some music and dance around Take your dog for a walk Walk or cycle to the grocery store Use the stairs at home or work rather than an elevator Park your car in the farthest spot in the lot and walk the rest of the way Pair up with an exercise partner and encourage each other as you work out Play ping-pong or an activity-based video game with your kids The stress-busting magic of mindful rhythmic exercise While just about any form of physical activity can help burn away tension and stress, rhythmic activities are especially effective.

Focus on coordinating your breathing with your movements, for example, or notice how the air or sunlight feels on your skin. Adding this mindfulness element will help you break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that often accompanies overwhelming stress.

Connect to others There is nothing more calming than spending quality time with another human being who makes you feel safe and understood. So make it a point to connect regularly—and in person—with family and friends. They simply need to be good listeners. And try not to let worries about looking weak or being a burden keep you from opening up.

Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress

The people who care about you will be flattered by your trust. It will only strengthen your bond. Tips for building relationships Reach out to a colleague at work Help someone else by volunteering Have lunch or coffee with a friend Ask a loved one to check in with you regularly Accompany someone to the movies or a concert Call or email an old friend Go for a walk with a workout buddy Schedule a weekly dinner date Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club Confide in a clergy member, teacher, or sports coach Tip 5: Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury.

Set aside leisure time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries. Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be stargazing, playing the piano, or working on your bike. Keep your sense of humor.

This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways. Ways to Relieve Stress Take up a relaxation practice. Manage your time better Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. Stress and Your Health: Avoid scheduling things back-to-back or trying to fit too much into one day.

All too often, we underestimate how long things will take. Make a list of tasks you have to do, and tackle them in order of importance.

Do the high-priority items first. If you have something particularly unpleasant or stressful to do, get it over with early.

Effective stress management for a healthier life