Stress has become an all-too-common part of our lives, and most of us get stressed on a daily basis. It has become so ‘normal’ in fact that most of us believe that it’s just part and parcel of what we all have to deal with every day. But too much stress in our lives can lead to more serious physical conditions, such as heart disease and high blood pressure, and we, therefore, need to learn how to manage and deal with stress before it becomes infinitely worse. If you are regularly stressed, you can learn how to avoid it, however. Below are tips on how you can properly manage and deal with stress.
Know what to avoid
Sometimes, there are stress triggers – things or habits which can enhance our risk of being stressed. We may not even know it or be aware of it, but things such as caffeine or alcohol can result in more stress because they are stimulants. Alcohol is also a depressant, especially when you take it in large quantities, and if you find yourself taking too much alcohol to ‘alleviate’ stress, you may be doing precisely the opposite. You should also try to avoid foods which contain refined sugar, which is often found in bread, salad dressings, and other processed foods. If you eat too much refined sugar, you can feel a momentary high or a burst of energy, but once your body processes the sugar, you can feel a crash in energy, which may leave you feeling irritable or tired.
If you are regularly exposed to stressful situations, the stress hormones in your body, such as cortisol and adrenaline, can increase. But if you want to metabolize the effects of these hormones, what you can do is exercise. Even just a little physical activity, such as taking a walk, can clear your head and make you feel calmer. If you have trouble sleeping, exercise can also help enhance the depth and length of your sleep.
Get as much sleep as you can
Speaking of sleep, try to get as much sleep and rest as you can. Those who lack sleep will undoubtedly feel more stressed during the day. Aside from physical exercise, you can enhance your sleep by transforming your bedroom into an oasis of relaxation. Invest in a good blackout or heavy blinds or drapes to reduce noise from outside, and invest in comfortable, luxurious bed linen as well. If you have a television in your bedroom, remove it, as it can also disrupt your sleep patterns. Before you sleep, try taking a warm bath, or read a book so you can relax your body and tire your eyes.
Learn some techniques for relaxation
There are also some techniques you can learn so you can relax more. For instance, you can learn how to self-hypnotize, which is easy and which you can do anywhere. To begin with, you can focus on a specific phrase or word which has a positive effect or meaning for you, such as ‘love’, ‘peace’, or ‘calm’.You can also think of a specific mantra, such as ‘I am at peace’ or ‘I am serene’. Focus on the phrase or word until you start feeling more relaxed.
If you think you need help with managing stress in your life, you can seek guidance from professionals as well. Professional counselors and therapists such as the experts in counseling McHenry offers from The Lodestone Center for Behavioral Health can help you work your way through stress with various techniques and strategies, and oftentimes, just being able to speak to someone else about your worries can do wonders as well.
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