Stress is a normal part of life and affects everyone. We encounter stress in our surroundings, our body, and our thoughts. Nevertheless, not all stress is bad. We experience stress when we take a test or have a job interview, which can motivate people. Stress also happens when you find yourself in a dangerous situation, which helps you to face the threat or flee to safety. However, when you face chronic, long-term stress, there can be negative impacts ranging from anxiety to depression and from hives to heart attacks. With April being National Stress Awareness Month I thought today might be a great day tame my stress.
Here are three techniques I use tame stress:
- Mindfulness – Simply learning basic breathing techniques helps me calm my mind and helps me better cope. Practicing mindfulness also helps me to identify how my body reacts to stress. Do I have difficulty sleeping, am I easily angered, do I feel sad, or do I have low energy? By recognizing stress, I am better able to take care of my body.
- Take a Walk – I enjoy walking at my local park after work. It is a great way to be out in my community and I enjoy connecting with those in my
walking group. Almost any form of exercise can increase your fitness level while decreasing your stress. The National Institute of Mental Healthreported, thirty minutes per day of walking is shown to help boost your mood and improve your overall health.
- Stay connected – Remembering that I am not an island reminds me to reach out to others who are able to provide me with support. This may be friends, family, community support groups, counseling services or religious organizations. Asking for emotional support or practical hands-on assistance helps me remember I am not alone.