Countless things can cause stress in our lives. Perhaps your team didn’t do so well in the final series. Maybe your boss tacked on another project. Events, both small and large, can add a tremendous amount of stress in a short amount of time. Summer fun may help some shake the stress, but for others, the stress stays for the season.
Stress management is great way to keep things under control, and many stress management techniques can be used anywhere and do not cost much at all. While stress can be beneficial for the fight or flight response and competitive sports, too much stress can hinder everyday life. The negative side effects associated with stress include headaches, an upset stomach, back pain, and trouble sleeping. Prolonged stress can even weaken the immune system, which puts hyper-stressed people at a higher risk of getting sick.
Knowing that you are stressed is a good first step toward getting your stress under control. Understanding just how stressed you are is a bit harder. This interactive stress calculator can help by putting your stress into perspective. Sudden changes in lifestyle are common stressors, and being able to identify them can help show where your stress-management energy should be concentrated.
After taking this step to discover the stressors in your life, how should you begin to manage the stress they create? A great way is to actively start thinking in new ways. Letting things go without worrying about them will help to reduce the stress that comes from these sudden changes. This is easier said than done, however, but a painless place to start this new way of thinking is with regular breathing exercises.
There are a few different breathing exercises tailored to specific times of day. For instance, morning breathing helps to clear clogged breathing passages and relieve muscle stiffness upon waking up. This exercise takes little time and exertion, consisting of four steps:
- Starting in a standing position, letting your arms dangle, bend from the waist with your knees slightly bent.
- Roll back up into the standing positing while inhaling slowly and deeply, making sure to lift your head last.
- In the standing position, hold your breath for a few seconds.
- Slowly roll back into the original bent position as you exhale slowly.
Staying physically healthy is also an important factor in maintaining overall health and reducing stress. Eating well, getting exercise, and taking stretching breaks are helpful in reenergizing the mind and body during stressful periods.
There are many myths out there about stress, and one of them is that the most common or popular stress-relief methods are the best ones. Stress is different for everyone. A diverse range of events cause stress for people, and the best ways to relieve stress are just as varied. Regular efforts to identify and reduce stress are a great way to get away and give yourself a vacation from the anxiety.
What works best to relieve your stress? Comment below to share your signature stress-relief techniques.