Stress Prevention?

 

Is it really possible to prevent stress? According to the National Health Interview Survey about 75% of the general population experiences “some stress” every two weeks, and half of those say their stress level is moderate or high during the same two week period. Clearly, stress is an issue for a lot of us, and to be realistic, it’s a natural part of life. But how you handle it can make all the difference.

Here are some tips for reducing chronic stress in your life, so that when those stressful events come up, they won’t bring you down as much.

1 ) Get plenty of sleep—It’s easy to put off going to bed when there is a lot on our plates, but a good night sleep might give you just the energy you need to tackle the issue with a lot more clarity and efficiency the next day. Experts at the Mayo Clinic recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep for adults.

2) Exercise frequently—By now you’ve probably heard that exercise can relieve stress by causing your body to release extra endorphins. Even just 20-30 minutes of activity can improve your mood (and your health).

3) Eat healthy foods—This one can be tough sometimes, especially when we’re in a hurry, but eating nutrient rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help your body regulate serotonin levels better. (For more information, click here)

4) Get focused by saying “no”—Being overcommitted is a common source of stress. Figure out what you are passionate about and what your long term goals are. Then, only do things that help you achieve those goals. By saying no to things that aren’t as important to you, you can say yes to the things that are important to you.

5) Write it down or say it out loud—When you do feel stressed, it’s okay to admit it. Everyone goes through stressful periods of life, so when that’s you, remember it’s okay to share with a friend. Or try journaling about what is going on in your life. Writing can help illuminate where the stress is coming from and if there are actions you can take to alleviate the issue. Whether you journal or talk to a friend, sometimes it just helps to express yourself.

6) Do something fun—Whether it’s a trip to the mall by yourself, a massage, a night out with friends or a weekly yoga class, do something that you’re excited to do. Life has a full set of responsibilities, but there is a lot of value to doing an activity you enjoy regularly.

7) Get counsel—If you are experiencing high levels of chronic stress, it may be helpful to seek out professional counseling. A counselor can help give you tools you may not have thought of that can help you being to thrive in life instead of just survive.

What are some things you do to relieve stress? Leave a comment below—we’d love to hear from you!

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