How to Overcome Stress. Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people, especially professionals. In fact, according to research, about one-third of people around the world reported feeling stressed, worried, and angry. With issues about work, family, health concerns, and financial obligations, people tend to heighten their stress levels.
Despite your best efforts, stress is often a part of life, something that some people have simply learned to handle. You might not be able to control your situation and circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them.
What is stress?
The World Health Organization defined stress as the state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation. It’s one of your body’s responses to an external stressor. These stressors are subjective but some of the common ones are a big move, unexpected change, a tense conversation, or an aggressive boss.
When your body encounters a perceived threat, your stress level increases and makes your muscles tense. You’ll know you are feeling stressed if you are experiencing headaches, having a hard time sleeping, indigestion, muscle tension, and other symptoms.
10 Ways on How to Overcome Stress
Stress is a significant factor, especially when you are a working professional. You usually spend a lot of time interacting with people, doing paperwork, and attending meetings. It is easy to get busy and forget to take care of yourself. So, we gathered 10 simple but helpful tips to manage stress.
1. Learn to say no
The usual causes of stress are not all the time within your control. But it is up to you how you will control it. Having so much on your plate can easily stress you out. That’s why it is important to have boundaries and limit the amount of time you spend on work.
Taking control over your professional and personal life can greatly reduce your stress. For instance, your supervisor asked you to work on multiple projects within a short period of time. You can professionally ask if it is possible to have someone else assist you since you are having trouble balancing and managing your time.
Moreover, you can also say no. Taking more than what you can handle will cause you a lot of stress because you are juggling a long list of responsibilities. These are healthy ways to protect your well-being.
2. Do more physical activities
According to a study, doing aerobics exercise two days a week can lessen overall perceived stress. Engaging in physical activities can improve your mood and help you sleep better.
Jogging, walking, playing sports, riding a bicycle, and many more can help you stay fit, and at the same time reduce stress. Spend at least 30 minutes in the morning exercising to boost your energy for the whole day. Choose an activity that you enjoy, and you think you can stick to it for the long term.
3. Build meaningful connections
Having a trusted social network can help you to stay motivated and combat stress. Try to join clubs with the same interests as you. For example, join a book club if you are a book worm or a basketball league if you are a basketball fan.
Connect with the people that share your interests. In these groups, you can find someone who can guide and mentor you in life and in your career. Reach out to them, have a weekly meeting through a video call, phone call, or hang out personally.
Chatting with your friends and loved ones can help you be reminded of what really matters in life.
4. Have a healthy diet
Your diet can affect your mental health. Some people who get stressed tend to overeat. That’s why it is important to always check your diet. Try to eat healthier foods and drink a lot of water.
Try to avoid eating highly processed foods and beverages with too much sugar. Focus on eating vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, and seeds, to maintain a healthy diet. Ensure that your body is properly nourished.
5. Minimize screen time
If your job requires you to sit in front of the computer for long hours, it is essential to have five-minute breaks every now and then. Yes, computers, tablets, and smartphones are part of our life. But using these devices too often can increase your stress levels.
Technologies have been innovative and have helped us with different tasks. However, it has also been proven that using too much can negatively affect your sleep, leading you to stress.
6. Have a plan
Planning everything makes it better. Be organized and make sure to plan ahead. Prepare for upcoming tasks and events. Make a calendar of all the tasks you need to accomplish and rank them according to importance.
For instance, make a calendar of your projects for the whole month. Check your deadline daily to be reminded of the things you need to do for that particular day. Make sure your plans are realistic and don’t forget to reward yourself every now and then. Remember that procrastination can affect your productivity and leave you scrambling to catch up. Stay on top of your priorities and work on the things that need to get done for the day.
7. Have an alone time
Why not have time for yourself? Step away from anything that demands something from you. Schedule a day where you can have a break from social media, set your phone in airplane mode, and turn off any notification from work.
Spend the whole day doing something that you love. Bring your pets to a park and play with them or have a picnic with friends. You can also stay home and read a book or have a movie marathon. Focus on the things that make you happy instead of worrying about anything stressful.
8. Have a work-life balance
It is always important to know your priorities. Determine what’s the most important thing in your work and life. Then, decide where your time and resources will be spent. Will you be spending 15 hours working and the rest will just be doing house chores? Reassess your priorities and make sure that you are on the right path.
Also, have the right mindset. Once you have listed your priorities. It is time to set some limits and do something to make it happen. Gradually create changes so you won’t get overwhelmed. Eventually, you will see how these small changes greatly impact your life. It will lessen your stress and allow you to enjoy life more.
9. Seek support (How to Overcome Stress)
When you feel like everything is too much and you cannot longer control your feelings or your negative thoughts overwhelm your ability to make changes, it is very important to seek support. Check in with yourself from time to time and acknowledge the signs. Do not hesitate to ask for help because this can really have a huge effect on you.
Counselling services and well-being support are available. Most of them would allow online consultation to make it easier for you. They can help you develop some strategies to manage your stress and also improve your social skills. This is also ideal for you, especially if you do not feel comfortable opening your feelings and emotions to a loved one.
10. Practice meditation and stress reduction
Relaxation techniques help you activate your state of restfulness. One of the most common ways is through yoga. It has become a known method in relieving stress while exercising. It joins your mind and your body by boosting your breath and body awareness.
Like yoga, meditation also helps reduce stress and other symptoms of anxiety while promoting your psychological well-being.
Common Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety
Since stress is common to most professionals, it might be easier for some to tell if they are already experiencing it. But at other times, you might not know that you are stressed until you are at your breaking point. Here are some of the most signs and symptoms that you should look into.
- Having a difficult time relaxing and quieting your mind
- Having low self-esteem and feeling lonely
- Excluding yourself from others
- Tense muscles
- Rapid heartbeat and chest pain
- Inability to focus
- Constant worrying
- Change in appetite
Finding joy, especially if you are a busy person, can be difficult. Stress is a natural response of your body when you are under pressure or feeling threatened. You may want to ignore it, distance yourself from its causes, or even fight it. But the truth is, the best way to relieve it is to change how you relate to your feelings of stress.
Find the best stress relief strategies by experimenting and trying different techniques. Keep looking for tools that can help you manage stress and your life’s challenges. Think of it as a way to build your resiliency and motivate you to become a better person and a professional. Keep in mind that proper stress management can help with your overall well-being. How to Overcome Stress.
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How to Overcome Stress