Do you often feel frazzled by stress when you are at work? Maybe a weight drops on your shoulders when your alarm rings in the morning. Stress is a normal reaction to modern lifestyles. However, it is important that you manage stress and stay ahead of stressful situations to avoid burnout, health problems and other preventable issues. While it may seem like stress is out of your control, managing stress is about taking responsibility for how you think, feel and handle challenges. Here are four ways you can take charge and gain control over stress:
The best way to neutralize stress quickly is to use relaxation techniques, which work to reverse the physical manifestations of stress. When you do activities like deep breathing and contract-and-release exercises, your cortisol levels start to fall, your heart rate slows down and tension throughout your body eases. Relaxation techniques keep you resilient in the face of work-related stress, keeping your body healthy and your mind sharp. Experiment with different techniques, such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing and stretching, so you can find what you like most.
When you are not getting enough sleep or exercise, your stress hormone levels start to rise, making it harder to manage stress. According to studies, exercising regularly increases focus, improves memory and enhances your ability to respond to stress. Eating a healthy diet also helps keep your stress hormones under control.
Stress often arises in life from circumstances that were preventable. When we fail to manage our time, stay organized or complete necessary tasks, crises can come up that we need to deal with. Taking smart steps ahead of time can help you stay ahead of potential crises. For example, organizational tasks like tracking your budget and paying your bills on time can help prevent financial detriment. While identity theft isn't completely preventable, investing in identity protection can reduce the likelihood of identity theft and help you recover from it quickly if it does happen.
As much as stress is a physical experience, its origins are typically mental. In addition to physically releasing stress and doing things like exercise to lower stress hormones, you also need to get to the root of your stress. Identify the major stressors in your life, and for each one, figure out how you can gain control over it. Is there a boundary you are not setting? Is there a goal you are focused on that is not truly important to you?
Get a handle on what your most important goals and desires are in life, and ensure that your life is centered around those. This way, you can determine where to set boundaries when it comes to commitments and relationships that arenâ€™t adding value to your life. Keep your perspective on life so you can identify a true crisis versus mental negativity and situations you can walk away from.
Stress is a part of life. Your aim should not be to eliminate stress altogether, but to manage it by achieving more balance in your life. By taking care of your body, gaining perspective on matters of the mind and taking actions that help prevent life crises, you can get into a place of greater peace.