There are many things about modern lifestyles which cause us stress. Busy work and family lives, money worries, illness of loved ones and many other things can all contribute to high stress levels. Learning how to reduce stress and anxiety is invaluable if you want to stay mentally fit and physically well, which is essential for coping with our modern, busy lifestyles in the first place. The strain of long-term stress, however, can cause mental problems and ultimately physical illness.

Try to maintain a positive attitude. It's easy to let things build up and get you down. However, if you accept that there are things that you are not going to be able to change, you will find it easier to go with the flow and become more relaxed. Being a perfectionist is unrealistic and is likely to make you unhappy and more stressed in the long-term.

If you obsess over small issues, it is unlikely to get you anywhere , and will only add to your stress levels. Look at the larger picture. When you think about the problems in developing countries, for instance, or in war-torn parts of the world, your own situation may not seem so bad in comparison.

Learning good time management techniques is essential to keeping your stress levels at a minimum. If you are not making the best use of your time and have lots of commitments, the stress will build until it becomes unmanageable. Too much stress makes us less functional. We don't sleep as well as we should, and the problem snowballs.

We become distracted too and can't concentrate on the things we have to do. If you have taken on too much, learn how to say "no" to people when they ask you to take on extra responsibilities. Go through your list of what you do each day and see which less essential tasks you can cut out. Only do the most essential things if your schedule is causing you stress. Speak to your boss if you have been given too much to do at work, or delegate some of your jobs to those with more time if you can.

Avoid people and situations that make you angry. There's no point causing yourself unnecessary stress. If you get upset when talking about politics with certain people, then avoid the subject. Also, try to be assertive and not aggressive when dealing with other people. Explain your feelings to them. If you bottle them up and let them explode later, it will only lead to more stress.

Exercising frequently will help lower your stress levels. Fit bodies deal with stress better. Exercising also releases stress relieving endorphins in the brain.

Eat well-balanced, nutritional meals regularly throughout the day. Good nutrition is essential for good brain and endocrine system function as well as general, overall health. All of which is essential to help you cope with your busy lifestyle and deal with stress.

Get plenty of rest and enough sleep too. If you are staying up half the night to get things done, you will become drained physically and mentally, and be less able to cope in the long-term. This will only add to your stress levels.

Avoid using drugs or alcohol to cope. While they may seem to help in the short-term, they will only cause you further problems and more stress if you begin to rely on them. 

Learn relaxation techniques instead. Meditation, listening to relaxing music, deep breathing exercises, yoga and soft martial arts, such as Qi Kung and Tai Chi, can all help reduce stress.

Herbal products containing hops and Valerian, for example, can be used to keep you calm in particularly stressful situations. Maintaining a fulfilling social life is also key to keeping your stress levels low. We all need to let off steam from time to time and enjoy ourselves with friends and family. Allowing yourself time to relax is vital to keeping your stress levels low.

Using these stress management techniques should help to lower your anxiety levels. However, if you are under extreme pressure, having panic attacks, finding that you cannot cope or becoming depressed, get support from your doctor, or trained health professionals. Counseling and certain medications can help with serious stress problems.


Learning to Meditate Can Help to Reduce Stress