Managing and coping with stress

People feel a variety of emotions throughout their everyday life—happiness, stress, sadness, etc. You might feel excited about your weekend get away with family, but remember a work deadline you have to meet before leaving and suddenly feel panicked. You realize late nights at the office need to happen to finish the project, but still need to pack, grocery shop and make food for your getaway. Stressful thoughts are now associated with both of these life events. You think, “How will I get this all done?”

If you experience stress over a long period of time, it can lead to chronic health issues. Rather than associating stress with a negative feeling, figure out where the source of the stress is coming from. Taking control of your thoughts, emotions and the way you react to situations will help manage your stress and help protect your long-term health. 

Here are some tips to help manage and control stress:

Find a relaxation technique
Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage or learn relaxation techniques. Different relaxation techniques can help calm your mind and reduce stress.

Mediation

Eat well-balanced meals
Don’t skip meals and always keep healthy, energy-boosting snacks on hand. Avoid or reduce your consumption of nicotine, caffeine and alcohol. Keeping your body hydrated will help you cope with stress better.

Get more sleep
Try to improve your quality of sleep by aiming for 7-8 hours a night. Staying on a consist schedule can help you stay well-rested and keep your emotional balance.

Exercise daily
Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week can greatly reduce the amount of stress in your life. Activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat is an effective way to increase energy and boost your mood.

Maintain a positive attitude
Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. It’s been shown in studies that having an optimistic attitude can affect your quality of life.

Change your emotional response
You can’t avoid stress from your everyday life, but you can control how you react to the situation. Find ways to positively respond to stressful events.

Talk with someone
Reach out to your friends, family or co-workers to let them know what you’re going through. A simple coffee break, quick conversation or phone call can help reduce stress. Knowing someone is there to talk to can help provide comfort in a stressful situation.

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