10 Simple tips to deal with stress
Most people suffer with stress from time to time, and most of us deal with it pretty well, but sometimes, when stressful situations start to get on top of you, it can have a major impact on your health and your ability to deal with the very things that are stressing you out. If you have reached the stage that stress seems to be a constant part of your life, you really need to start to take some steps to alleviate the root causes of the stress and learn how to cope with it better. We all need to deal with stress, but it doesn’t need to ruin your life, so read these ten simple tips that will help you get your stress levels back under control.
1. Identify what is causing your stress and take steps to eliminate it from your life
Whilst it’s not always easy to remove the stressful things from your life, you should at least start by identifying those things that are causing the problem and doing what you can to eliminate them. Write a list of the causes of your stress and then write a list of what can be done about each one of those things and tackle them one at a time. You may have to make some big changes in your life, like changing your job, but if it makes you happy and keeps you healthy, it will be worth it.
2. Avoid stimulants
Artificial stimulants such as alcohol, nicotine and caffeine will only increase the feelings of stress so it is best to cut them down or cut them out completely, if you can. When you get stressed, your heart rate increases and stimulants will only make that worse. You would be better off trying to calm yourself down with drinks like herbal teas and then you will be able to cope with stressful situations much better.
3. Learn to say no
Stress is often caused by people taking on more than they can handle because they just don’t know how to say no. If you have too much on your plate, don’t be afraid that to tell people that you can’t take on any more work. Unfortunately, if you let people take advantage of you, they will, so do yourself a favour and just say no sometimes. Your real friends will understand, so it won’t be a problem saying sorry, no can do.
4. Try to get plenty of sleep
One of the symptoms of stress is a lack of sleep, but the tiredness that causes only adds to your stress during the day. Try to give yourself plenty of time to wind down before bedtime and do something relaxing, like taking a hot bath, or quietly reading a book. If you can take your mind off your troubles for a while, you will sleep better and that will make you feel a lot less stressed the next day.
5. Concentrate on what you can control
Stress is often caused by a feeling of having no control over your own destiny. Accept the fact that you can’t control what other people do and say, and focus all your efforts on the things that you can change. Once you start to regain control over the things that you can influence, you will feel less stressed about things that you can’t.
6. Manage your time better
When we get overwhelmed by our list of tasks, that’s when stress can take over and we become less productive and then the list gets even worse. Rather than trying to tackle everything at once, make a list of what you need to do and prioritise it. Then, work your way down your list, one thing at a time, starting with the most important. If something can wait until next week, then leave it and make sure that you leave some time for rest and relaxation too.
7. Create proper work/play boundaries
However busy you get, you still have some time to yourself to relax and unwind. It’s a proven fact that, if we don’t take breaks and we get some rest, we gradually become more and more unproductive and that will just add to your stress. Set aside times for your lunch breaks and for when you will stop working at night and stick to them. Don’t let other people impede on those rest periods because everyone needs some me time in their day.
8. Simplify your life
If there isn’t enough time in the day to meet all your commitments, then cut down on some of your commitments! Take a good long hard look at your diary and see what is really essential and what is not. Trying to cram too much into a day is bound to cause stress, so cut out the things that aren’t really going to achieve anything for you and carve out some free time for yourself.
9. Drop everything and go for a walk
When things do start to get on top of you, just take a break and go for a walk. No one is going to miss for you for half an hour and nothing will get any better, or worse. A brisk walk and a bit of fresh air will calm you down and let you get thoughts straight. When you get back again from your walk, you will find that are far better able to deal with things.
10. Try meditation
Many people have found that meditation is a good easy to deal with stress and the usefulness of meditation has also been proven in many studies too. All you need to do is find a few minutes each day to practice meditation and it could be just what you need to calm you down make you happier.