If you want to start living a healthier lifestyle, you need to learn to deal with stress. Too much stress has been proven to weaken the immune system and cause emotional problems.
Remember – not all stress is bad. In fact, stress can force us to change for the better, make us focus on the task we’re doing, and in some extreme cases, it can even save our lives. However, when stress starts to build up, it can also result in the opposite.
The first step in dealing with stress is to recognize what triggers it. The triggers are also called stressors. The next step is to get perspective and put each of the stressors in their place. Here are some tips to help you deal with stress the right way.
Stop and take a deep breath
Sometimes, the best thing to do when in a stressful situation is to just stop and take a deep breath. It not only forces you to take a short break from the stressor, it also adds much needed oxygen to your body. The extra oxygen boost can help you relax and give you the moment to regain your composure.
After taking a deep breath, count to ten. Stand up and stretch a bit to release the stress in your body. If it’s possible, take a short walk, even if it is just to the kitchen to get a glass of water. Just do something to get a break from the stressor. Try to change your focus for the meantime. You’ll see that when you go back to your original problem, things will start to look a bit better.
Know your limitations
You are not a superhero. You will never be able to accomplish everything if you keep accepting more and more tasks. Learn to say no to dinner invitations or committee meetings whenever appropriate. Know what things you would like to focus your time on and respectfully beg off other commitments that are not part of your priorities.
If you need help, ask for it. If you need help from your kids to bring the groceries in, ask for it. If you need help from your colleagues on how to interpret a report, ask for it. If you need help from your friends about a personal problem, ask for it. Keeping it inside and trying to do everything alone is a leading cause of stress.
Smell the roses
Take the time to pause everyday to smell the roses, or appreciate the finer things in life. This could be something as simple as a great view from your window office. It could be the pretty flowers at your garden. It could be a nice painting at a nearby museum. It could be a great book you’ve been meaning to read. No matter how busy you are, you have to set aside time to refresh your spirit.
Sleep on it
If you’re dealing with a particularly stressful problem and you can’t seem to find the solution, sleep on it. Try not to think about it for a few hours and resolve to deal with it the next day. You’ll be surprised at the change in your perspective after a good night’s sleep.