Stress is not always a bad thing. An appropriate amount of stress helps to drive us to meet our goals, pushes us to achieve more and stay alert during tasks that require our concentration. But with the fast pace and huge pressure of life these days, our stress levels can quickly become out of hand, and reach a level that’s detrimental to our health, work and quality of life. It’s important to learn to manage stress to keep it at an acceptable level no matter what you’re going through. Take a look at these 5 tips to help you reduce stress quickly and keep it managed in the long term too.
Do Something Nice for Yourself Each Day
Most of us try to squeeze too much into each day, and then feel guilty and angry at ourselves when we are unable to complete it. In short, we are just simply too hard on ourselves. This can lead to an increase in stress, low self esteem, feelings of hopelessness and depression. Learn to reverse this trend by focusing on the positives of what you achieve and taking time out for yourself each day to do something nice for yourself, whether that’s to meditate, read your favourite book, watch a little TV or pamper yourself with a home manicure or bubble bath. It’s doesn’t have to even take that long – just looking in the mirror and smiling at yourself can make all the difference. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but don’t knock it ’til you try it!
Meditation is a fantastic exercise and skill that helps you both to relax and be more calm and focused during your daily tasks so you get more work done. Not only does it reduce stress it also increase productivity, so it’s a win win. It’s also very simple and easy to fit into your day, just 5 or 10 minutes in the beginning can start to make a difference, and you can increase the length or number of sessions each day as you like. Meditation is as simple as just focusing on the breath and freeing your mind from other thoughts, but if you struggle to do that at first (and we all usually do) try a recording of a guided meditation or a meditation app. Practise everyday and it won’t take long for you to see the incredible benefits in your life.
There’s no doubt that exercise seriously improves your overall health – keeping weight controlled, your muscles strong, helping you to sleep better and improving your mood. Exercise also helps to relieve stress, by giving you a way to relieve pent up tension and release endorphins into the body that help you to feel more positive and happy. Focusing on your movement helps your mind zone in to your body actions, so that the exercise serves as a sort of meditation in motion as well, and gives you a break from the day to day problems and stressors you may be facing. The good news is that you don’t have to go hardcore or be an athlete to get the benefits from exercise. Even 10 minutes a day to start out with can be beneficial, with walking, yoga, swimming or any other activity you might like being suitable. Try to exercise everyday or as often as you can to form the habit, even if it’s just for a short time.
Manage your Tasks
Time management is a very important part of keeping stress in control and making sure you take care of all your work. Being disorganised, completing assignments late and falling behind on work just adds up to more stress over time so keep a diary, schedule and reminders in order to stay on top of things. Delegate less important tasks to others if you are able as this really helps to take the pressure of you and makes a big difference if you simply just have too much to do.
No matter how hard we work at managing stress for ourselves, sometimes stress becomes too overwhelming for us to deal with alone. Over time chronic stress can actually turn in depression or anxiety for which it can be beneficial to seek professional help. There are plenty of options available in every town or city near you with huge networks of psychologists and counselling. When you need someone to talk to, as well as specialised tools to help you cope, then it’s great to seek more help for your stress.