Manage Your Stress

While you may not be able to change the situation that’s causing your stress, you do have a choice in the way you respond to it. In general, there are three main ways to effectively handle stress.

· Remove yourself from the stress.
· Change the way you view the stress.
· Respond in a healthy way to stress.

For help in managing your stress, follow the 10 tips listed below.

 

10 Tips for Healthy Stress Management

Use these tips to help you take control and better manage your stress.

1. Express anger appropriately. Anger research into Type-A personality behavior has shown that people who exhibit increased hostility, resentment and aggression may be more likely to develop heart disease. Express anger in a healthy, appropriate way (such as journaling or confiding to a close friend) rather than holding it in or being openly aggressive or hostile.

2. Stay connected. Don’t isolate yourself when you’re feeling stressed. Talk to people and get any negative feelings out in the open. Call a friend or go to lunch with a coworker or family member. Join a support group or organization that you like.

3. Set priorities. Rather than trying to accomplish several different things at once, set aside chunks of time for specific tasks like returning calls, looking at emails, etc. Don’t allow interruptions.

4. Exercise. All types of exercise help get rid of anxiety and tension, triggering good feeling hormones called endorphins. A regular exercise program helps you cope with daily stresses and makes you feel better overall.

5. Learn mind/body/spirit techniques. Practice deep abdominal breathing, which helps you relax better than shallow breathing from your chest. Deep breathing delivers more oxygen to the brain, which helps calm your mind. Yoga and T’ai Chi are also great ways to help you relax, get stronger and improve your flexibility.

6. Laugh. Sharing a good sense of humor and finding the lighter side of situations can help reduce your stress, promote recovery and strengthen your relationships. Watch funny movies or TV shows on days when you’re feeling stressed.

7. Do something nice for others. Research shows that people who help others live longer and are healthier. Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of getting anything in return. You’ll feel good, and so will the recipient of your goodness!

8. Relax. Take a warm bath, read a book or pet an animal. Take a break from what’s bothering you. Adult coloring books offer a great way to relax. Listening to music can also ease stress.

9. Take care of yourself.  Make healthy choices like eating well, not smoking and staying active. You’ll be better able to manage stress when your body is strong.

10. Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor, spouse, teacher or a friend for help if your stress lingers.