With so many demands on our time, body and mind, we can often feel like we’re under massive amounts of pressure. This stress might be caused by a micromanaging supervisor, a whining kid, overbearing in-laws, that car in front of you that doesn’t seem to know how to use blinkers or you might just be stressed without really knowing why.
Properly dealing with stress is very important for general health
. Your mind and body depend on each other, so dealing with stress is one of the most important things to your health that you can imagine.
With that in mind, here’s ten tips to manage stress:
It’s amazing how often we forget this basic technique for dealing with stress. Before you say that snarky comment, or flip that table in frustration, just take a deep breath. Oxygen will flood into your brain, you’ll think clearer, and that moment’s pause might be all you need to collect your thoughts and put them in order.
You might still feel
like banging your head against a wall, but you won’t need
2) Break it down
Building a skyscraper is a huge job, but it still starts with one person grabbing a shovel. No matter how big the task, once you know how it should end and how it begins, you can fill in the middle bit to create a plan.
Once you’ve broken it down into steps, you’re not trying to put a skyscraper up all at once, you’re just aiming to hit your daily goals, and before you know it, you’re standing on top of your building.
3) Eat right
Some food and drink can add to your stress. for example, if you’re a ten coffee a day person, you might be better off switching to a herbal tea. That way you’ll be less worked up and nervous.
It’s a good idea to make sure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need anyway, but especially when you’re stressed.
If you’re skipping meals, or eating the wrong things, your body and mind won’t work as well as they could. It can make small stresses seem much larger. Make sure you eat good food regularly and make sure you have a good meal replacement product
and you’ll be in top mental condition to handle your daily challenges.
When we’re stressed, we can tense up certain muscles. Some people store their stress in their shoulders, neck, scalp or even thighs. Relaxing those muscles by stretching them out can just ease a little bit of that tension.
You can go for a quick neck stretch or a whole yoga class, but just removing the tension from your muscles can be a big help, as well as being very refreshing.
If your job involves sitting down, whether you’re at a desk or operating a crane, your posture is very important. Making sure you’re not straining your neck, shoulders, joint, or spine can go a long way to relaxing your muscles. The more relaxed your body is, the less tense and stressed you’ll feel.
Touch is often massively underrated as a stress reliever. A family member, partner or even a close friend can take a whole load of your stress from you just by a friendly pat on the shoulder, a slap on the back or one of those big hugs that say more than all the words in the world.
It doesn’t have to be a touchy-feely “feel the voice of the tree spirit” kind of thing, (though that's fine if that works for you) just a little shoulder squeeze and a “If you need anything mate, I’m here” will do the job.
7) Learn to say “no”
Being a “can-do” person means that you get lots of stuff done, but it also means you might over-commit yourself. Saying yes to every task, every charity and every favour will make you everyone’s favourite person, but only if you don’t crumple under the stress of pleasing everyone else. This also includes when it regards to what you eat, so instead of that chocolate bar from the vending machine, go get a protein bar
If something excites you, interests you or adds to your life, go for it. But if your schedule is full of things you’re doing for others, you’re not getting the things done that you
need to, and your needs are important too!
It’s fantastic to help others, go the extra mile and be the person that everyone can rely on, but this is your life. You need to take the time to make sure that you’re building the one you want.
Once you get used to saying no to some things, you can deal with the stresses you have, instead of taking on the stresses of other people too.
8) Keep some perspective
Be honest about how much it matters. There’s a big difference between being stressed because you can’t seem to lose those few stubborn kilos and being stressed because you don’t know how you’re going to pay this month’s bills.
Will this thing matter in a day, a week, a month or a year? How will it affect you in the long run? Things always seem big when you’re up close to them, but take a step back and you might be surprised at how small they really are.
9) Wake up ready to punch the day in the face
Your attitude when you wake up in the morning sets up your whole day. If you hit that alarm and think “Damn. I have to get up” you’ll be dragging your bum around all day. If you just adjust your attitude be a bit to be more like “I’m awake, another day to get closer to where I want to be”, because that’s exactly what it is, the day you just started is an opportunity. It’s a chance to get that little bit closer to your goals, to be the person you want to be, and live the life you want to live.
Own the day, don’t just endure it.
10) Ask for help
Some days, we all just feel broken. All of us. And that’s OK.
If you’re not an electrician, you wouldn’t try to hook up the power around your house, you’d get an expert. Your mental health is much more important than that, so it makes sense to get expert advice if you’re having trouble. There are loads of organisations, such as beyondblue.org.au
Sometimes it’s easier to chat to someone you don’t know. Besides, it can’t hurt, right? Right!
So there are some quick tips on how to manage stress. We all have it, and sometimes it kicks our arse, but confronting it head on, with the proper support, gives you the best chance of giving your stress the ass-whooping it so deserves.
You are unconquerable if you choose to be.