“We’re all familiar with stress. It can be positive if it’s short-term, but if depression or anxiety starts interfering with your daily life, it’s time to get help.
High levels of stress impact heavily on your emotional equilibrium, as well as your physical health. These compromise your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life. And you feel out of control.
Stress is complex. It could be due to a new job, moving home, infidelity, a divorce, or many other causes. Procrastination rather than your job could be one of the reasons. When you’re pressured and running behind, it’s hard to stay calm and focused.
You’ll also be tempted to avoid or cut back on exercise and a healthy diet that you should be doing. Until you accept responsibility for your stress levels, these will always be a problem.
The reality is that you have more control than you think because a balanced life will give you time to manage work, and relationships, relax, have fun, and meet challenges head-on. But stress management is not a one-size-fits-all. That’s why it’s important to find out what works best for you.
Here are some suggestions to help balance your life.
1. Start a journal
As soon as you feel stress mounting, write down the reasons for being stressed. A pattern will start to emerge which will indicate the frequency and the triggers.
2. Physical activity is an important stress reliever
It releases feel-good endorphins and acts as a distraction from your daily worries. So, get moving, and walk or cycle as much as you can. But it should be something you enjoy so you are more likely to stick with it.
3. Things take longer than anticipated
Don’t cram too much into one day. Tackle each task in order of importance. And rather do the stressful ones first. Learn to delegate to others if you are involved in a big project. You really don’t have to do it all yourself.
4. Have fun with friends and family
Having fun triggers hormones that counteract the body’s defensive “fight-or-flight” response. It’s nature’s natural stress reliever and helps stave off depression and anxiety.
5. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury
If you make time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s challenges. Plan leisure activities that you enjoy. Your daily schedule should include rest and relaxation by taking a break from responsibilities in order to recharge your batteries.
6. Keep your energy up and your mind clear
Prepare nutritious meals throughout the day. This keeps your energy up. Reduce caffeine and sugar and avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs.
7. Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body
Feeling tired will increase your stress because it will cause you to think irrationally. Get in the habit of going to bed at the same time every night and waking at the same time every day as it is vital to overall well-being.
Of course, not everyone responds in the same way. The key to stress relief is to experiment and discover your own sensory experiences that work best for you.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lesley-Ann van Niftrik. You can follow her journey on their website. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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