We all have stress. Even the most organized person will be stressed at times. Stress is good in small doses, it teaches you how to do well under pressure and helps you manage when you are stressed out. It’s when stress starts to take over our lives and being prolonged that we need to find some healthy ways to cope. Stress can arise from a wide variety of things: people, work, school etc. It can also be a combination of things too. For me, I am typically stressed out about my time management and school.
Today I have listed 10 ways on how to lower stress. I personally do all of these things and it really helps me manage my stress levels.
1. Find out what is causing you stress
Sometimes I get stressed out and I have no idea why. In times like these, I like to take a second and really think about what might be the cause. Try finding what exactly is causing you stress. It might be work, a person, something in your personal life or even all three! Without finding the source of the problem, it can be difficult on trying to fix it. Sometimes you’ll realize that you have no reason to be stressed out at all!
2. Fix the situation
Once you figure out what exactly is causing you stress, you can see how you can fix it. If school creates a lot of stress for you, try to plan homework assignments so you have plenty of time to get them done. I did a blog post back in August on how I stay organized for school. When a particular person is the cause of your stress, talk to them and perhaps mention their impact on your life. If needed, lessen the time spent with that person. If money is the problem, see if you can cut corners elsewhere, such as your food or fun budget.
3. Don’t develop bad habits
Sometimes when we are stressed we tend to lean towards things that helps us momentarily feel better. These things can develop into bad habits. This can be smoking, overeating, alcohol, etc. Alcohol, caffeine and nicotine are all stimulants and can cause your stress levels to actually increase. Having the mindset that you’ll just do these “bad things” only while you’re stressed, can last a lot longer than that!
4. Accept the things you cannot change
Spending time and energy focused on things that you cannot change will only stress you out more and won’t improve your situation. It isn’t worth being upset about a horrible boss or the fact that traffic gets worse each day if you personally cannot change it. Accepting the facts will help you focus on the things that you can change such as your attitude about the situation. Try focusing on how these moments can help your life. Such as “Even though I don’t like my boss, I am employed and able to pay my bills” or “Even though traffic is horrible, I can listen to an audiobook on the drive”.
5. Get some exercise
Working out can help relieve some of the stress you have. It doesn’t have to be an hour-long hard-core cardio workout either! Try putting on relaxing music and doing some yoga if that suits you better. I find myself pushing myself harder when I’m stressed out and it leads to a better workout.
6. Sleep it off
Having a new perspective the next morning can give you a different outlook on a situation. Most of my stressful days are due to sleep deprivation and crankiness. Lack of sleep can really play a big role in our stress levels. Judgement can become cloudy and cause overthinking which ends up leading to stress when there lack of sleep.
7. Talk to someone
Letting go of your stress with someone can really help. You may even find that saying it out-loud makes the situation sound ridiculous. Such as “I’m so stressed out about school, even though I don’t do any of the homework until the last-minute,” you can see that you have the ability to change that. Stress can cloud judgement and getting another perspective on the situation can be very beneficial.
8. Learn how to say “no”
Every have too many things to do and not enough time to do it? Totally me! It just leads to more stress. To combat this, I make a list of everything I have to do that week and if adding an unnecessary task feels stressful, I don’t add it. Don’t neglect the things you need to do such as certain errands, but maybe this week you say no to going out with friends and stay home catching up on your to-do list. Taking care of your personal health is a lot more important than being afraid of saying “no”.
9. Find a relaxing output
Like I mentioned in #5, exercise can be a great stress release. However, finding a relaxing output can be just as beneficial. It could be painting, taking a bath, organizing your pantry, whatever soothes you. Taking the time to step back and breathe can be crucial to managing stress. For me, I love to work on my blog and create some woven wall art. I’m able to work on something that makes me really happy and that helps improve my mood.
10. Keep a stress journal
Writing down the things that make you stressed, who you were with, what triggered it and what you did to cope with it. This can help you in future stressful situations. You can look back and see that a certain person really helps with your stress levels, or that you tend to cope with stress with eating. Any of these facts about yourself can show you how to deal with your own stress and help you find healthier coping techniques, or remember to use the techniques that do work.