Balancing work, family, recreation, and other socio-cultural functions can be challenging and stressful. There are days where everything just seems to be so overwhelming, and you feel that it’s difficult to cope. The fact is that you actually have the key to control various aspects of your life. You have the ability to choose how to handle your problems, emotions, and thoughts.

Regardless of how stressful your life might seem to be, here are 6 self-help tips for managing stress that you can apply in your daily life:

 

1. Identify the triggers

Managing your stress begins with identifying what causes you to be anxious or overwhelmed. Although it could be as easy as saying it’s your job, marriage or other relationships, working as a new mom, life-changing events or juggling things together, identifying the specific causes of stress could help a lot better.

You can start by keeping a stress diary to pinpoint the particular root of all this anxiety. You can only truly do something when you know what you are dealing with. Here are some things you should know that can help:

 

  • Identify what is primarily stressing you out. While you may be stressed because of juggling things, try to be as specific as you can. For example, your work is too demanding.
  • Observe and take note of how you feel emotionally and physically. For example, you may feel that you aren’t good enough, or you may have anxiety attacks
  • Also write down how you respond to the stressor. Whether it’s multi-tasking or taking pain killers, jot it down.
  • Identify what relieves you from the stress like completing deadlines you have.
  • Reflect on what role you play to trigger the stress. For example, work might not be as demanding but you tend to procrastinate. If for example, the trigger is outside of your control, like a bad boss, observe what provokes his anger.
  • Write down action plans to avoid the same stressor moving forward. For example, it could be better time management, prioritization, or eliminating the triggers that make your boss angry.

2. Talk to someone

People always feel better after being able to vent their frustrations or challenges. Even when it doesn’t solve the problem immediately, there is a certain relief when you talk to someone compared to when you keep your issues to yourselves. You can talk to a family member, a friend, or a colleague about your stresses.

However, if you think that you aren’t comfortable to talk to people close to you for fear of judgment or misunderstanding, you can reach out to a trained professional like those in Psychologist Southern Sydney. Here are some benefits you can get from talking to someone:

  • You get help in coming up with solutions to the issue
  • You can see things in a different perspective
  • You can release the tension that you’re carrying
  • You can see through the situation clearly
  • You will have someone on neutral ground or outside of the problem

 

3. Have enough sleep

Sleep affects every aspect of your life, and lack of sleep can often be an overlooked cause of stress. There are also times where you can’t sleep well or have disturbed sleeping patterns because of the thoughts in your head. Regardless of the situation, it’s vital that you get enough sleep so that your body produces less stress hormones and stabilizes your blood pressure levels. Some tips to help you get enough sleep are:

  • Establish a sleeping and waking time, making sure you get ideally eight hours of sleep.
  • Stop using your phone or computer 30 minutes to an hour before your bedtime. Blue screen emits light that triggers the brain to react like it’s sunlight and therefore works to keep you awake.
  • Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
  • Stop working or doing anything mentally occupying 2-3 hours before your bedtime to give your brain time to relax and calm down.
  • Take a warm bath before bedtime, use aromatherapy in your room, or read an undemanding book.

 

4. Eat good food

You are what you eat is a famous quote for a reason. The food that you eat affects your body in more ways than you might think, and well-nourished bodies cope better with stress. Eat well-balanced meals and don’t skip them. Other tips to help with eating habits against stress are:

 

  • Eat breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day because it has been seen to be linked with better concentration, lower cholesterol levels, and improved memory, among other things.
  • Keep healthy snacks at hand to eat when you get hungry.
  • Reduce refined sugar and empty calories that can have a crashing effect on your mood and energy like junk food and sweets.
  • Drink more water.

 

5. Engage in physical activities

Although you might be dreading the thought of exercising when you already feel drained, exercise actually benefits your body when stressed. Exercise causes your body to release endorphins, neurotransmitters that give your body a positive feeling and lesser pain perception. Find time to incorporate physical activity before, during and after work. Here are some ideas:

 

  • Run or walk for 30 minutes before getting to work.
  • Take your dog for a walk in your neighborhood or to the park.
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator at every opportunity.
  • Park in the farthest area of the lot and walk for the rest of the distance.
  • Find a gym buddy that you can count on to drag you to workouts when you don’t feel motivated.

 

6. Take some time out

Many individuals are stressed because of not knowing how to stop or take a timeout. Modern life can be so fast-paced, but you should never neglect to take a break because it allows you to be more efficient, productive, and focused. Make an effort to give your mind time to rest. Some helpful ways to slow down are:

 

  •  Learn how to say no when you’re hands are already too full.
  • Practice yoga or meditation.
  • Get a massage.
  • Spend time with nature.
  • Take a 5-10 minute break for every hour of hard work. You can stand up and do some stretching, drink water, or do deep breathing exercises.

 

Final Thoughts

There are so many things we need to deal with on a daily basis, but being stressed isn’t a dead end. There are methods for managing stress that you can use to lessen the burden you’re carrying. It could take effort and discipline to practice, but it’s going to make you feel so much better. When you learn how to seek for help and take care of your body, you will be able to cope with stressors more effectively.