Friday, September 20, 2013

How to Reduce and Manage Stress

Who hasn't been stressed at some point of their lives? Some stress can be good--it can encourage you to meet a deadline or get things done. But long-term stress can increase the risk of diseases like depression, heart disease and a variety of other problems. So how do you manage stress so it doesn't cause you these problems?

The first step is to prevent stress. Many stressful situations are under your control; you can avoid them completely. For example-do large crowds stress you out? Avoid places you'll find them. Graduating college, getting married, buying your 1st home, and having a baby are all exciting life changes. Doing them all at once would be absolutely overwhelming. When facing multiple tasks, don't take to do them all at once. Prioritize and do the most important first. Don't rush yourself.

Some stress is unavoidable. You need to learn how to manage stress. Some tips:
  1.  Have a positive attitude: A person with a negative attitude will often report more stress than would someone with a positive attitude. Ask yourself -in the grand scheme of things, is this really important?
  2. Eat healthy. A poor diet can take a toll on your body. It weakens your immune system, brain function, and places physical stress on your body. When your body is in a weaken state, it cannot handle emotional stress well.
  3. Exercise: Lack of activity can place the body into a stressed state, decreasing your ability to handle stress. Exercise is also a good way to burn off nervous energy. Most experts recommend 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week.
  4. Sleep: Make sure to get enough sleep. Good sleep habits are one of the best ways to manage stress.
  5. Socialize: Meet up with friends and family. Finding healthy, fun ways to cope with stress helps most people. Plan a fun activity like bowling, bike riding, swimming, etc. Or finding a person to talk is often all you need to feel better.
  6. Relaxation: Learn about various relaxation techniques and find one that works for you. For example-take a deep breath in stressful situations, listening to music, or practicing yoga or meditation.
  7. Listen to your body when it tells you to slow down or take a break.
  8. Schedule some leisure time every day. Spend time with people you enjoy, including your family. Take time for personal interests and hobbies.
  9. Be good to yourself . Reward yourself when you accomplish a goal. Give yourself a break when you are unsuccessful. No one is perfect.
  10. Ask for help. Most people want to help once they know you need it.
  11. Seek medical care. Some situations you cannot avoid. Medical professional can help you face your fears.

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