Ask anyone how they are feeling, and you can be pretty sure they have something stressful happening in their lives. Whether it is a demanding boss, a hectic schedule, or a relationship issue, stress affects almost everyone on a regular basis.
Stress is a confusing concept because, on the one hand, some stress in your life is good for you and can actually feel good. If you were competing in the final of a sporting event, you would feel both stressed and excited at the prospect of winning and being awarded first place.
In contrast, if you were being chased by a saber-toothed tiger, your stress response could save your life as it triggers the fight or flight response that is designed to protect you from danger. These are extreme examples of when a bit of stress can be a good thing.
However, the stress most people experience in their daily lives is persistent and can have a negative impact on health and wellness. This is known as chronic stress, and it can have both immediate and long-term effects on your physical and mental health.
Chronic stress can cause feelings of anxiety, trouble sleeping, and restlessness that disrupt your daily life. But, when chronic stress is unresolved, it can lead to more severe issues such as heart attacks and high blood pressure.
Reports show that Americans are some of the world’s most stressed-out people and tend to experience a higher than average level of stress. This demonstrates how crucial it is to take a proactive approach to stress reduction and keep chronic stress and its symptoms at bay.
If you are keen to take control of your stress levels to protect your health and wellbeing, these ideas should help you get started:
4 stress-busting tips to overcome stress
Prioritize your schedule
Having a million things to do and only a limited time to complete them is a common cause of stress. Many people start to feel under pressure when their attention and time are being pulled in multiple directions.
Trying to complete many tasks at once can be a stress trigger, and you may find yourself working hard but not making any progress. In this situation, you may become overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you need to get done, which then makes it hard to focus your attention on anything.
Taking a step back and assessing all the tasks you need to complete is an excellent way to start making progress. Begin by prioritizing which jobs need to be worked on first and focus on these, and you should find it easier to tackle these and feel like you are making progress.
Occupy your mind
If your downtime is dominated by feelings of stress, it can be hard to relax even when you have the opportunity. So, finding ways to occupy your mind and distract yourself from stress is an excellent way to calm your mind and focus on something other than your worries.
You may decide to take up a hobby so you can use your free time doing something you love. Alternatively, you could keep your mind occupied with puzzles such as crosswords. You can learn more here about the options available so that you can find the right choice for you.
As well as occupying your mind with activities to boost relaxation, you may also want to try exercise as a stress-busting method. Being physically active is a great way to relieve feelings of tension.
The exertion of being active can be really effective at clearing your mind and providing you with some breathing space to let off your tension and gain a fresh perspective. Once you have burned off some pressure, you should find that you feel refreshed and in a much calmer frame of mind.
If you struggle to find the motivation to exercise, you could try working out with friends. Exercising with others is a great way to enjoy the stress-busting benefits combined with the feel-good factor that comes from being around people you care about.
Make time for rest
When you are feeling super stressed and really busy, it can be tempting to try and work 24/7 to tackle all the things you need to get done. But, working longer does not necessarily mean that you will be more productive.
Working long hours without breaks can actually harm your productivity as you will be too tired to work efficiently. So, don’t be afraid to take some well-earned rest breaks and enjoy the benefits of increased productivity.