How Do You Manage Stress?
Stress management tips are a necessary part of good mental and physical health. If you have a stressful environment at work or at home, there are some great stress management techniques for how to manage stress that you can use to help improve your mental well-being. These stress management tips deal with the health trifecta of proper diet, proper exercise, and good sleep hygiene. Use these tips regularly to create a coping system for how to control stress at work and at home.
1. Proper Diet
Make Healthy Diet Choices
Keeping a good diet is a healthy way to manage stress, and a great way to naturally lower stress. Eat the right foods, including a diet that focuses on fresh fruit, vegetables, and sources of lean protein, and you will soon improve your ability to manage stress. The body is frequently under stress because it is missing vital nutrients, so consider boosting your immune system with the necessary supplements of vitamins and minerals that may be deficient in your diet.
Eat to live, don't live to eat! If you avoid emotional eating as a response to stress, you will have a better technique for stress management, and you will also avoid the health problems that come with overeating and binge eating. Not only that, but your blood sugar levels will fluctuate dramatically if you are eating too much (or too little). Stick to a set schedule for meals and snacks, and stay hydrated with lots of water in between to manage your stress more effectively.
2. Proper Exercise
If you are stick inside an office cubicle all day, a lot of your work stress may come from just being unable to move around and get your blood pumping. Taking the time to exercise is a good way to blow off steam and a healthy technique to manage stress. Activities like running or playing sports regularly will help to release "feel-good" neurotransmitters in the body called endorphins. Endorphins help to manage stress by letting you know that you daily worries are not nearly as important as your physical health.
To get the most out of physical activities as techniques to manage stress, focus on doing things you enjoy. This can be anything that involves moving around, whether it's riding a bike, playing racquetball, working in a garden, or even using technology like the Wii Fit to encourage exercise. Get creative, and change up your exercise patterns often so you don't get bored with a set routine.
Even when you're trapped at work, something as simple as practicing meditative breathing techniques can help to relieve stress until you get a chance to engage in more physical activities later.
3. Good Sleep Hygiene
Focus on Quality Sleep
Although some people can get by with less, and some people need more, it's a general rule that you should be getting 8 hours of quality sleep per night. If you are well-rested, your stress levels will diminish considerably, and typical daily stressors won't seem as bad. To help improve your sleep, try to get to bed before midnight, as each hour of sleep before then is twice as effective as one that comes later. Also, avoid caffeine and alcohol right before bed, as these chemicals can disrupt healthy sleep patterns.
The best way to improve your sleep is to start a routine that you follow every night, which will mentally prepare you for falling asleep. Avoid watching TV or using the computer in the hour before bedtime, as electronic devices with bright screens mimic the effect of sunlight, tricking your brain into thinking it's still daylight outside. And if you start to stress out about things you'll have to do tomorrow, a technique to manage stress is by writing down a to-do list that will help to refresh your memory when you wake up.
Stress Management Doesn't Have to Be Stressful
Everyone has stressful moments. Depending on how you respond to stressors in your life, you may work harder to overcome stressful obstacles. However, in the long-term too much stress creates a great many problems in life. Keep these coping skills in place when stressors occur, and you will have a great support system of techniques for dealing with stress at work and at home.