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Release Yourself of Stress

  1. Eat and drink to optimize your health. Some people try to reduce stress by drinking alcohol or eating too much. These actions may seem to help in the moment, but actually may add to stress in the long run. Caffeine also can compound the effects of stress. Consuming a healthy, balanced diet can help to combat stress.

  2. Exercise regularly. In addition to having physical health benefits, exercise has been shown to be a powerful stress reliever. Consider non-competitive aerobic exercise, strengthening with weights, or movement activities like yoga or Tai Chi, and set reasonable goals for yourself. Aerobic exercise has been shown to release endorphins—natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude.

  3. Stop using tobacco and nicotine products. People who use nicotine often refer to it as a stress reliever. However, nicotine actually places more stress on the body by increasing physical arousal and reducing blood flow and breathing.

  4. Study and practice relaxation techniques. Taking the time to relax every day helps to manage stress and to protect the body from the effects of stress. You can choose from a variety of techniques, such as deep breathing, imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation. There are many online and smart phone apps that provide guidance on these techniques; although some entail purchase costs, many are available free of charge.

  5. Reduce triggers of stress. If you are like most people, your life may be filled with too many demands and too little time. For the most part, these demands are ones we have chosen. You can free up time by practicing time-management.

  6. Examine your values and live by them. The more your actions reflect your beliefs, the better you will feel, no matter how busy your life is.

  7. Assert yourself. It’s okay to say “No” to demands on your time and energy.

  8. Set realistic goals and expectactions.

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