A curveball will be thrown your way at some point in your life that will cause you stress. Coping with stress is not a skill you’re not born with; it’s something you learn along the way. Not knowing the right stress management techniques will most likely affect your physical, emotional, and mental health. Learn these healthy ways to deal with stress so you can live a more productive, functional, and happier life.
How to Cope with Stress: Stress Management Techniques You Can Follow
1. Try to Confront What Causes Your Stress
Try to confront these issues and try to figure out if there are ways to manage them. In short, try to adapt to the stress. Remember, not all stress can be avoided; sweeping stressors under the rug may worsen the situation you’re in.
For instance, if you get stressed because of work deadlines, maybe you can ask for help from a colleague, try to manage your time properly, or ask for a deadline extension. If overwhelming family responsibilities cause you to stress, talk to your partner about it. Changing a stressful situation is possible; you just need to know how to confront it.
2. Avoid What Causes You Stress
If you can avoid situations or people that cause you to stress, do so. Do you have a toxic friend who treats you badly? Limit your contact with that friend. If the evening news makes you anxious, take control of your environment and read a book instead.
Are you getting worried about your health because your blood pressure increased? Do something about it. Eat healthily, avoid sweets, and exercise regularly. Avoid getting stressed by not getting sick because it’s what’s worrying you in the first place.
3. Avoid Unhealthy Coping Habits
You’re in a tricky situation now, so why add fuel to the fire? Don’t cope with stress with unhealthy coping habits, as this may worsen the situation. What are the unhealthy habits you should avoid when coping with stress?
- Smoking and drinking too much
- Slacking off in front of the TV or playing computer games for long periods
- Binge eating, eating junk food, or not eating properly
- Procrastinating or putting off work
- Withdrawing from the people you love
- Oversleeping or not getting enough sleep
- Using recreational drugs or prescription pills
- Aggressive behaviors or lashing out at the people around you (physical violence, shouting, angry outbursts)
4. Go Outside and Enjoy
Are you getting burned out by the job demands, plenty of household chores, and other everyday stressors? Take a deep breath, take a break, go outside, and enjoy your time-out.
Take time for fun out of your busy schedule. Schedule fun outdoor experiences with your loved ones. Spend time under the sun and get a boost of vitamin D.
Did you know that 10–30 minutes of sun exposure several times a week produces happy hormones? Your goal is to produce the feel-good hormones called serotonin, not allow stress hormones to overstay in your bloodstream.
Go on walks, ride your bike, or swim at the beach. Set your stressors aside and give yourself a break. You deserve it.
5. Exercise Regularly
By exercising regularly, you get to look out for your mental health and emotional and physical well-being. Manage stress with at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week. Aerobic exercises include jogging, cardio exercises, biking, and dancing, to name a few.
When you exercise regularly, your body produces another happy hormone called endorphins, a great stress reliever. As a result, you’ll get a good night’s sleep, reduce the risk of depression, boost energy levels, and enable your mind to come up with better ways to manage stress levels.
6. Learn Relaxation Techniques
The proven stress management techniques you can do at home are relaxation, meditation, and deep breathing. Find a quiet spot at home, sit or lie down, concentrate on your breathing, close your eyes, and clear your mind of what causes stress in your life.
If you want, you can listen to a guided meditation on a podcast or YouTube. Doing this at least 20 minutes a day at home or in your office helps you relax your nervous system and enables your mind and body to respond to stress. Praying is also a great stress reliever because checking in with your spiritual health allows you to have a better sense of control and purpose.
7. Eat Healthy and Get Enough Sleep
Chronic stress causes your body to be in a state of fight or flight response and may cause you to have physical symptoms like increased blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar. To manage your vital signs, eat healthily and get enough sleep. You can handle stress better when you eat nutritious food and get eight hours of sleep a day.
Imagine yourself facing your job demands without enough sleep or having breakfast. You’ll have crappy work performance and a bad mood all day at work. Not sleeping enough and skipping breakfast may lead to chronic stress instead of decreasing your stress levels.
In addition, not getting enough sleep or eating well will harm your physical and mental health. If you have sleep problems or sleep disorders, ask your doctor for natural remedies and what you can do about them.
8. Talk to Someone
We’ve got family and friends in our life for a purpose. They’re around so we can have someone to talk to.
Life is hard as it is, but it gets even worse when you handle your troubles on your own. When you’re going through a stressful situation in life, talk to a person you trust. This will help decrease your emotional distress and ease mental stress.
Talking to someone about your feelings will help you see the situation more clearly and sort out the problem through a different viewpoint. Who knows? Your loved one may be the solution to your problems and help soothe your stress level.
If you want to talk to a professional to help deal with stress, Kentucky Counseling Center is here to help you. Enjoy a stress-free life through psychotherapy sessions with the professional mental health practitioners at Kentucky Counseling Center.