While sometimes it may seem like there isn’t much you can do to help control your stress, there are many techniques and lifestyle choices that help contribute to stress management. It is crucial to deal with stress as it affects both your emotional and physical health.
One great way to help reduce stress is to get moving. Physical activity releases endorphins that make you feel good and in turn reduce stress. While a huge cause of stress is not having enough time to get things done and adding exercise to the daily To-Do list can seem overwhelming, exercise comes in many forms. You don’t have to go to the gym for an hour every day, you can simply take a walk around the block, a trip or two up and down the stairs, or even dance to your favorite music!
Another great stress-reliever is meditation. Meditation is awesome because it is simple and free! Meditation works best if you incorporate it into your daily routine. Even just 5 minutes of meditation a day can help you relax and have a tranquil mind. Although there is no wrong way to meditate, it is best to sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and try to eliminate your many thoughts and worries. If you cannot seem to eliminate your thoughts and worries you can simply acknowledge them instead of obsessing over each thought. Additionally, it is best to meditate in the morning because it helps you be more calm throughout the day. If you find it difficult to meditate yourself you can always look up a short guided meditation video on youtube or use the application HeadSpace or Calm.
Getting a good night’s sleep can also be crucial in order to be able to maintain a healthy, stress free mindset. While some nights you may need to stay up late to finish a project or work, it is important to try to get as much sleep as possible. Time Management can also help reduce stress. By creating deadlines for yourself and making sure your work is done ahead of time instead of at the last minute, you can reduce stress and ensure that you don’t have to stay up late at night to finish a last minute assignment.
Your diet can also affect your stress levels. It is important to avoid excessive caffeine, excessive sugar, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods. Foods that help with stress management include teas (non-caffeinated), dark chocolate, whole grains, avocados, fish, nuts, citrus fruits, and in general high fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and beans.
Talk Yourself Through it/Make Lists
Sometimes all you need to reduce stress is to talk yourself through it and realize the situation itself is not worth your energy. Often, we spend more time worrying about an assignment than it takes us to actually complete the assignment. By talking yourself through it (aloud, in your head, or in a journal) you are acknowledging exactly what it is you need to get done and not making a bigger deal out of the assignment than you need to. It can also be helpful to write a list of what needs to be done in order for you to finish the assignment and keep it next to you as you work. This technique can make the work seem less intimidating!
Overall, reducing stress can significantly improve the quality of your life! While you do not need to follow every above listed step in order to reduce stress, it is important to test each out and learn which technique(s) work best for you.