We all face different levels of stress each day, and fortunately there are some proven and effective ways that can help us cope with and relieve our stress levels.
Stress is the psychological perception of pressure and the body’s response to it. It’s the mental, emotional and physical strain that results from a perception of demanding circumstances. When perceiving a challenging situation or potential danger, the body initiates a fight-or-flight response by releasing adrenaline and cortisol, two hormones that raise blood pressure, increase heart rate and spike blood sugar. These responses evolutionarily were meant to solve short-term, life-threatening problems such as keeping our ancestors safe from predators, rather than today’s issues such as marital problems or difficulties at work. Prolonged or repeated stress responses can actually have negative effects on one’s health, which is why it’s important that we learn how to manage them as best we can.
As stress is closely tied to how our minds perceive a certain situation to be, our conscious choice in how we choose to see a situation can give us a lot of power in combating stress. It’s also important to remember when dealing with stressful situations that you are not alone, that you are loved, and that you can and will get through this… you really can.
Read through the following list of simple ways to cope with and relieve stress, and if you aren’t currently practicing some, make sure to give them a try.
Here Are 10 Simple Ways To Cope With And Relieve Stress
1. Accept That Stress Is A Part Of Life
While some waste valuable energy and time thinking things like, “I shouldn’t have to deal with this,” it’s important to understand and accept that problems, challenges, hardships and temporary setbacks are a natural part of life. Rather than spending extra energy trying to resist a certain situation, accept it for what it is and try to use that energy instead to focus on how to move forward and through it. While not all circumstances can be improved, remember that we can always take very valuable steps in the right direction to improve our lives.
2. Keep Problems In Proper Perspective
Rather than letting a spilt glass of milk ruin the day, keep inconveniences in proper perspective. The floor may have become dirty and you may need to clean and mop up, but you can still eat and enjoy your meal, and your life. Steer clear from viewing small problems as catastrophes. Instead, try to view it as a challenge that you can and will overcome in time. Keep a positive mindset. Chances are in a year or two from now, you won’t even remember what has been causing you stress today.
3. Take Care Of Your Physical Health
The body deals and copes with stress better when it is in good shape through regular physical exercise and through eating a healthy diet. Exercise and a well-balanced diet can replenish the energy levels that are depleted by stress. Exercise is a scientifically proven way to relieve stress, and is vitally important to integrate into the lifestyle of anyone wanting to reduce their stress levels. Make sure to also get as many vitamins and minerals as you can through whole foods such as fruits and vegetables.
4. Keep Your Focus On The Bright Side
If you can’t run, at least you can still walk. If you can’t walk, at least you can still crawl. The glass of life is not half empty, but is rather half full. Keep a realistic view of life, but look for the good in all situations, regardless of how challenging it may be. Recognize that good things and valuable life lessons can come from stressful situations. Refuse to be a victim of the situation, and instead use it to learn, grow, and to become stronger. Saying five things you are grateful for to yourself each day can be a wonderful practice to create healthy feelings of gratitude, which relieve stress.
5. Choose Healthy Coping Skills
Rather than choosing alcohol, cigarettes or junk food in an attempt to escape stress, choose healthy methods of stress relief such as going for a walk, talking with someone you love and trust or taking a new and exciting class. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants which can increase stress levels, rather than reduce them, and alcohol is a depressant, which deepens feelings such as depression. Make the choice to stay with healthy activities when making an effort to relieve stress.
6. Get Plenty Of Sleep
When the body gets less than 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night, it doesn’t tolerate or cope with stress as well as it can when it gets 8 or more hours of sleep. Being tired acts as a constant drain throughout the day on one’s physical feelings, leading to stress. Give yourself enough time to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. One of the bonuses of getting regular exercise is that the body is naturally ready to sleep and replenish at night, so if you have trouble falling asleep, make sure to try and get enough exercise.
7. Go To A Stress-Free Environment
If your situation at home is causing you stress, then take some timeout for yourself each week at a cafe or restaurant where you can relax. Bring some headphones, your favorite peaceful music, and a book that helps you feel good inside and spend a few hours nurturing and enjoying yourself. Maintaining a healthy balance of how often we are social, and how often we spend replenishing time alone is an important aspect of stress relief.
8. Practice Self Compassion
Practicing self compassion can be one of the biggest steps towards converting stressful and painful feelings into relief and inner love. When feeling stress, fear, anxiety or hurt, practice sending that part of your inner self lots of love from your heart. Love has the power to embrace, comfort, relieve and to heal stressful and painful feelings.
Try sitting in a quiet space, and focus on feeling the feeling of love in your heart. It may take a while at first, but once you feel the feeling of love, send it to the parts of your self that are stressed or hurting, and allow the love to come into and to comfort all of the parts of you that are experiencing pain. Repeating affirmations can be helpful, such as, “I love the part of myself that is hurting. I love my hurt self.” When you finally begin to feel your love for these hurt parts of yourself, the amount of relief and relaxation felt can be profoundly healing.
9. Do Some Yoga
Yoga involves stretching the body and forming different poses while keeping breathing slow and relaxed. While stress often gets stored in the body, exercises such as yoga can allow such stress and tension to undo and release, causing great relief. There are so many psychological benefits associated with regularly practicing yoga that if you haven’t already integrated a healthy local yoga class into your weekly schedule, then perhaps it’s time to give it a try! There are also many free guided yoga classes available online on YouTube which can be used if you prefer to stretch in the comfort of your own home.
10. Talk To A Supportive Person
Being able to talk about the reasons we’re stressed with a supportive person can often help to put things into a clear and healthy perspective. The act of expressing one’s feelings, and those feelings being acknowledged by another, in itself can provide a great amount of stress relief. Try talking about your stressful feelings with a trusted friend, family member or professional psychologist. There are also wonderful and free online caring counselors who are available to listen anytime, such as at 7 cups of tea.
While no one enjoys being stressed, there are a lot of very useful and effective ways we can cope with and relieve stressful feelings. Keep the best mindset about your situation as you can, and that alone is taking a step in the right direction.
Have any of these techniques helped to relieve your stress?
Let us know in the comments.
You are Loved.