Stress is a part of life. We all have our own shares of stress and stressors regardless of our occupation, age or gender—stress from deadlines, chores, obligations and many more. Stress affects our entire being, not only physically but also our minds and emotions.  Apart from the fact that being consumed with stress doesn't feel good, stress has also been shown to be a significant contributing factor to the development of different mental and physical illnesses. Hence, to help you better live with stress, I would like to share with you a 5 steps that would take you towards a less stressful life:

Step 1. Recognize that you are actually having problems with stress. This is the very first thing you need to do if you would like to manage your stress levels effectively. If you do not do this, you can never resolve your issues with stress. Along with recognizing that you are stressed, you also need to recognize which things are actually causing you stress. This way, you will be able to find corresponding solutions or antidotes to each stressor.

Step 2. Exercise to divert and release negative emotions. Everyone knows how exercise is important in keeping a person physically healthy. However, only very few people know about the significant role of exercise in a person's mental and emotional health. Exercise is one of the most effective natural stress relievers. If you don't believe me, try exercising when you are stressed and see what it does.

Step 3. Avoid stressing out over irrelevant things. Not all stress should be avoided; as there are things that you really need to overcome and find solutions for. You may be surprised, however, by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate--like the stress that comes from work and being around people you don't like. If someone consistently causes stress in your life and you can’t turn the relationship around, limit the amount of time you spend with that person or end the relationship entirely. In terms of work, know your limits and stick to them. Refuse to accept more tasks than you can handle.

Step 4. Your attitude is a powerful sentiment. It influences every part of your life--self-image, relationships, business, and even your health. So having a negative attitude won't do you any good. You should have a positive outlook towards obstacles and failures. Do your best at all times but know your abilities and limitations. Be aware of your weaknesses and be open to accept help from others. A lot of people are highly stressed because they push themselves too much and look at seeking help from others as a sign of weakness or incapacity.

Step 5. Have enough sleep. You should not take sleep for granted as it powers both your body and mind. Without having enough sleep, you are likely to feel tired very easily and won’t be able to accomplish the things that you need to do. Also, you are likely going to feel fatigued; and your feelings of tiredness will further increase your stress. So give your body the right amount of sleep. In fact, it would be great if you can extend your sleep from time to time.

Stress is not entirely negative, in fact, it can help push you to perform better. Nevertheless, being habitually confronted with stress can have damaging effects to your mind and body. No matter what you do, there is just no way that you can absolutely stay away from stress. But with the help of the right coping strategies, you can lower your stress to healthy levels.

cope with stress