Tired of stressing out all the time? Read this! We have a list of five coping skills for stress that will help you relax. Stop stressing and chill out! When you’re setting goals and pushing towards them, every little step of progression is a victory. Still, these goals and responsibilities in our daily lives can become stressful. It happens to most of us. We pile on too many problems without adequate coping methods. The end result is often burnout and chronic stress.
Stress is a condition that we all deal with at some time in our lives. It doesn’t discriminate against gender, age, or race, and it can affect us physically and mentally. The good news is that while stress is a fact of life for most of us, the consequences of chronic pressure can be avoided. As you integrate new responsibilities into your day, make it a habit to also use these coping strategies to balance peace with your stressors.
1. Choose Your Stressors Wisely
In life, there are two types of stresses: positive and negative. But when we think of stress, we usually only consider the negative side. Positive stress is called eustress, and it’s very healthy in the right doses. How can stress be a positive thing, you ask? Think about the stress of getting a good grade or a promotion. It encourages you to work harder towards your goals. You want to succeed, and you take the steps necessary to do so. Even if you don’t reach your target, you’ve still moved forward, and that’s never a bad thing.
Negative stress, on the other hand, is the type of stress most commonly acknowledged. These stresses will tear you down mentally, mess with your sleeping habits, and weaken your immune system if you don’t handle them quickly. Try to balance out your negative stress by taking on some eustress. A healthy challenge is always a good way to take your mind off your problems!
2. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem
When you want to get a grip on your stress, first ask yourself: Are you a problem-focused or solution-focused person? A problem-focused person will constantly see the obstacles in the way of success. They dwell on why the problem happened in the first place instead of how to move on from it. A solution-focused person knows that to get to the final goal, they’re going to have to tackle some issues. They look at the problem in front of them, analyze potential solutions, and move forward. Problem-focused people end up stuck in their stress. Solution-focused people tend to climb over obstacles, accomplish their goals, and keep going.
When you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed with your current situation, take a step back to regroup. What exactly is the problem that is bothering you? Acknowledge that the issue is real, but then pull up your big-kid pants and focus on finding a resolution. Can you list the steps you need to take to solve the problem? Don’t worry when the obstacles seem insurmountable. Decide how you want the end result to look, then determine the next step that you need to take to get there.
3. Give Yourself a Time-Out
A misbehaving child gets put in time-out to calm down and think about their choices. You may not be causing trouble, but you still need to sit in a corner and let your mind regroup. Give yourself some time between tasks to breathe, even if it’s driving around with no noise. Sleep is another great time-out option. Restful slumber is often enough to make most stresses seem manageable.
If you’re not getting adequate sleep, it can add to your stress load. Do what you need to do to put away your worries and let your body decompress each night. If that means reorganizing your bedroom for better sleep, do it. Meanwhile, take breaks throughout the day. Use that time to go outside and get some fresh air, sit and do mindless activities, and spend time with your loved ones.
4. Try Some Mindfulness
Starting and ending your day with relaxation techniques will give your brain the time it needs to process your stress. Some people call this practice meditation. Others call it mindfulness. Either way, it’s an activity you engage in that promotes peace and restfulness for your body and mind. If you’re unfamiliar with the idea of mindfulness, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. Here are a few examples of activities that have been proven to accomplish the goal of shutting down your thoughts:
- Make art or color in an adult coloring book.
- Take a walk outside without electronics or other distractions.
- Download a yoga app to follow.
- Write and recite positive affirmations.
- Listen to guided meditations or calming music.
Remember, not every method works for everyone. You may have to try a few until you find one that clicks with your unique personality.
5. Take Care of Your Body
What you eat truly makes a difference in how your body handles stress. Healthy meals are for more than just your looks. They determine how equipped your body is to manage pressure. When your body isn’t getting the nutrition it needs, your brain has to focus on adjusting to the deficits. This lowers your immune system and the energy that you have to handle stress. Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals regularly. Look for ways to bring fruits and vegetables into each meal. Avoid dangers like high-sodium meals and processed foods.
Staying hydrated is crucial, too. Your body needs fluids to carry nutrients to every organ. Dehydration takes a toll on each system in your body, including those that manage stress. Take care of your body when you’re well, and it will recover better when you’re ill or stressed.
Trying to ward off stress completely is like trying to tame the ocean. There will be periods where the waves are calm, but you never know when a storm might be coming through to roughen the waters. Stress isn’t always a bad thing, but when it is, you can control how you respond to it. Begin using these coping strategies when you can, and soon enough, they’ll become natural ways that your body responds to pressure!
Angus Flynn is the Business Manager of Arte, a luxury apartment community in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.