Stress is a part of everyone’s life. It is normal to feel stressed under certain conditions. You can feel the stress when you have a lot of work on your shoulders and haven’t had a good night sleep. Stress can also occur due to worry over sick family members, job issues, financial constraints, relationship problems etc.
Stress causes your heart rate to rise, increases the blood pressure, metabolism rate, respiration and blood flow to the muscles. If the stress is not brought under control, it can eventually become a part of your daily life and hinder your day to day activities and relationships. In this blog post, I have discussed 25 strategies to combat daily stress and prevent it from wreaking havoc in your life.
25 tips to combat everyday stress
If you are feeling too stressed, follow the following tips to manage the stress levels and keep it under control. Do not wait for the stress to become too much before you implement a coping strategy. It is best to combat everyday stress so that it does not grow to a level where it can wreak havoc on your life.
There are many benefits to journaling besides just recording your feelings. Journaling is a great option for improving mental and emotional health of a person and can be a huge asset to help you combat everyday stress. Journaling can be considered as a good time investment which can not fit into your morning or evening schedule. It can also act as an SOS friend, helping you relieve your feelings, frustrations and stress when it becomes too much to handle. Journaling also does not require you to allot a specific time to the activity. You can pick any time of the day spend with your journal.
Meditation is something which is respected across all cultures and beliefs as a very beneficial spiritual practice. You can meditate for an hour or for only 5 minutes, it depends on you. However, even as little as a 5 minute meditation practice can help you combat everyday stress and even reduce the pre-accumulated stress. Long term practice of meditation can help with building resilience towards stressors.
It is always very well known that exercise is beneficial for your physical health. However, did you know that exercise has a huge positive effect on emotional health too and can help you combat daily stress?
According to health researchers, a daily dose of exercise can help to avoid conditions like obesity and cancer. Exercise can also act as a huge stress reliever. Whether you go to the gym, walk your dog, cycle or just spend some time walking in nature, you are actively letting go of the stress you have built up throughout the day.
Exercise also leads to the production of endorphins which boost your mind. According to the American Heart Association, 30 minutes is exercise on an everyday basis is good for keeping the heart healthy. Even though you may not realize it now, their are many hidden benefits of exercise which may help you in the long run.
There is a music for every situation. The importance of music is being recognized in the healthcare front as well. Therapists and hospitals are involving music in their therapy sessions since music is known to relieve stress and can help combat everyday stress.
Music can not only calm you down, it can also rejuvenate you both physically and emotionally which would make you feel relaxed and refreshed without having engaged in any physical activity. If you play your favorite music while commuting to work, you will feel better by the time you arrive.
If you are looking for an easy fix to combat everyday stress which can be implemented in your daily life but does not take up your time, add music to your routine. Go for the music which you love and resonate with. Do not listen to classical music just because research shows it improves your mood levels.
Engage in happy activities
Everyone has hobbies and activities which they love to engage in. It has been observed that when people engage in activities they love, it not only lifts their mood, it also creates an upward spiral of positive feelings which lead to an increase in the resilience capacity of the person. It improves your self confidence, increases motivation and enhances your self esteem.
Since this is a positive feedback loop, spending a small time everyday to do something that you really love will go a long way to help you combat everyday stress.
Diet not only has a direct relation with your physical health, it has shown to be directly related to the mental and emotional health of a person as well. Diet is not only about munching on fast food and chugging it down with some soda. Diet is about worshiping your body and nurturing it with good diet and balanced meals.
A good and balanced meal will enhance your immune system, reduce blood pressure and as an added bonus, stabilize your mood as well. Focus on dietary items which are rich in vitamin C like citrus fruits. These can help provide a boost to your immune system. Dietary items which are rich in omega 3 like nuts, fatty dishes and seeds can cause reduction in stress hormones and improve your heart health.
Cooking has also been observed to act as a stress reliever. When you engage yourself in making a delicious meal, it makes you happy, boosts your confidence and makes you ready to combat your everyday problems. Therefore, next time you think to order food from outside, spend a few minutes thinking if you can cook at home and get the added bonus of a stress relief exercise.
Indulge in supplements
Supplements can help keep your body in the perfect shape and make easier for you to combat everyday stress. You can start taking supplements like omega 3 fatty acids, green tea, valerian root, chamomile tea etc. These supplements can help you function at your best by providing your body essential nutrients which are not provided by the diet.
Use essential oils
Essential oils has shown to have a huge positive effect to help you combat daily stress. It can reduce your feelings of anxiety and stress. Scents can soothe your senses and relax your mind at the same time. Aromatherapy has been observed to be very effective in helping you combat everyday stress and reduce anxiety and depression. You can go for any of the following scented candles or essential oils:
- Roman chamomile
- Orange blossom
It is easy to be cranky when you haven’t had a proper sleep the previous night. Getting a few hours of sleep will help you face the day better. If you are tired, it will not only impact you mood, but also your performance in academics and job. Even though it is a common trend for students to pull all-nighters just before their exams, this attitude can actually be counterproductive. It can land up hurting your performance instead of heightening it. Therefore, getting a good night sleep is one of the best ways to combat stress.
Talk about it
Talking helps. Discuss your problems with whosoever is closest to you, be it your therapist, friend, family members, relatives. Talking has actually been observed to reduce stress. Therapists engage their clients to talk about their problems and issues. Sometimes when you talk, hearing your problems out loud, can help you figure out the solution just easier.
In case you are worried about an upcoming exam or test, have a discussion about the same with your instructor or teacher.
Not everyone is good at meditating. In case, you find it hard to meditate, indulge in relaxation exercises. If you find the act of reading relaxing, make it a point to spend a few minutes everyday with books. If walking is relaxing for you, spend a few minutes walking and clearing your mind on a daily basis. What relaxes you is a very personal experience. The relaxation technique that works for you may not work in others favor. However, make it a point to engage in the activity which relaxes you the most on a daily basis without fail. This can prove to be another asset to help you combat everyday stress.
Do not allow stress to weight you down
You don’t have to combat everyday stress all the time. Just do not let it take you down with all of its worries. Stress is a part of like. Accept that. The task to combat everyday stress is more than just having s positive attitude. The first thing to remember is that we all are struggling to combat everyday stress. But how successful you are at this will be determined by how actively you try to resolve your stress and keep it under check.
Reduce your intake of caffeine
Caffeine can be a huge hurdle in your fight to combat everyday stress. Caffeine is a stimulant found in energy drinks, coffee, tea, chocolate and other energy providing beverages. High doses of caffeine has been observed to increase anxiety issues.
Even thought caffeine is healthy when taken in moderation, when taken in very high levels, it can reduce your ability to combat everyday stress.
Chew on a piece of gum
This is the fastest way to combat everyday stress. Just start chewing on a piece of gum. Research has shown that people who indulge in the act of chewing gum on a regular basis has lower stress, greater capability to combat everyday stress and finally had a better sense of well being compared to those who did not indulge in this habit.
It is impossible to feel anxious when you are laughing. Laughing is the best medication to combat everyday stress. Their are many benefits to laughing:
- Relieve your stress
- Relieve the tension which has built up in your body due to your regular stress
Long term effects of laughing has been known to improve not only your mood but also your immune system. To practice this amazing tip, spend time with friends who have a good sense of humor or watch comedy shows or movies.
One of the primary reasons behind stress is our inability to say NO. You cannot control all the things which cause you stress, but you can control some of them. Take control of the things which you can still control and say NO, when needed. This tip must especially be practiced when you feel you have more work on your shoulders than you can possibly handle.
Be selective about the amount of work that you have to do. Your NO may disappoint someone, but it is time you start to take care of yourself. No one else will be able to take care of you except you. So say NO even if it disappoints others.
Tell them why you are saying NO. If they love you, they will respect your wishes and understand the reason behind your refusal. If they don’t understand, you know they don’t love you. You probably don’t need such people in your life anyways.
The best way to combat everyday stress is to always start on the top of your work. For this you must stop procrastinating. Procrastination is a double edged sword. It will not only cause you guilt when you procrastinate, it will also leave you with piles of work to finish later.
Make a to-do list daily. Follow the list and finish all talks mentioned on the list. Give yourself realistic goals for the day which you know you will be able to achieve.
Work on the important things first which must be finished today. Then reward yourself by giving yourself time to relax and rest. Try to not indulge in multitasking since it will not allow you to finish any task in a proper manner.
When you feel anxious or stressed out, your heart rate rises up. Your body goes into fight or flight response. During this period, your body releases stress hormones which cause your physical symptoms like rapid breathing, heart palpitations, increase in blood pressure etc.
Deep breathing techniques and exercises can help you control and activate the parasympathetic nervous system of your body which will put your body in a mode of relaxation. This technique is amazing for immediate stress relief as well as to combat everyday stress in long run.
When you practice deep breathing, focus on your breath and the sound of your breathing. Make your breathing slow and deep. This technique will help you slow down your heart rate and calm your mind.
Spend time with your companion animals
Whether you have a dog, cat or parrot, animals are the best stress reliever and possibly your biggest companion to help you combat everyday stress. Personally I refer to pets as kids because that’s how they should be treated and that’s what they really are. I am mom to Delta Bunny (my adorable boy) and foster mom to 15 Indian dogs. Nothing takes away my stress the way they can. When life seems too hard, I go and spend time with my kids. They not only help me combat everyday stress, they make me happy and at peace with myself.
Yoga, deep breathing exercises and mindfulness are all about bringing your body under your control. Controlling your breath plays a huge part in helping you combat everyday stress.
Yoga has recently become popular amongst people of all ages as a way to combat everyday stress. According to research, yoga enhances the mood and is almost as effective as anti depressant drugs in treating anxiety and depression in people.
Go to your happy place
When life becomes hard, don’t you feel like running away somewhere? What is your could run to a place within your mind to escape from all the stress you are feeling? This is referred to as guided imagery
Guided imagery can be referred to as taking a vacation in your head to combat everyday stress. In guided imagery you can imagine yourself in happy place, like on a beach, smelling the ocean, feeling the sand between your fingers and listening to the music of the waves.
Guided imagery can also be experienced by using recordings of the place to visit in your mind. For example, if you want to visit the beach, listening to audio of waves might help you achieve the image in your mind.
Go for a walk
It can be a walk, hike or run. The point is to spend some time in nature and doing something which you enjoy at the same time. It can be a small stroll around your office or you can visit a nearby park. Walking tends to rejuvenate both mind and body.
Create art and crafts
This is my second favorite thing to do when stressed. I love to paint. I am a digital artist. Art helps me relax as well as meditate. If you don’t want to paint, you can also go for coloring books or coloring apps which are available for use on smart phones. Coloring has been observed to be a huge stress reliever and an asset to combat everyday stress.
Sometimes we wake up feeling like it is a bad day. When you wake up with a bad mood, your day will only get progressively worse. Therefore, do not let misery dominate your life. Practice affirmations the moment you wake up to combat everyday stress. Tell yourself that it is going to be a good day. You will be happy the whole day. Tell yourself, “I’ll be successful in all the tasks I have set for myself today”.
Now that you are aware of 25 activities which you can engage in to combat daily stress, mention in the comment section, which of these is your favorite? What do you do when you feel stressed?
If you do not have a relief strategy to combat everyday stress, you may need a few trials and errors to find out which of the above tips work best for you. However, have faith in yourself that you will get through. Battling stress is not an impossible task. It is easily achievable once you put your mind to it.
Therefore it is important that you do not give up and keep looking for ways to combat stress.
See you in my next blog post
Frequently asked questions
Which are the best ways to combat stress?
We all are looking for a magic bullet to combat daily stress. However, you must find a stress relief activity for yourself. Multiple trials and errors might be needed to figure out what stress relief activity works for you. However, once you find an activity which helps you, do not give up on it and practice the activity/activities religiously on an everyday basis. These are the best ways to combat stress
Is it normal to be stressed all the time?
It all depends on your situation. If you are struggling with family issues, job commitments, relationship problems, it is common to be stressed all the time. However, it is imperative that you take some time out for yourself despite of all the problem. This is the only way you will be able to combat everyday stress.
How to reduce stress immediately?
If you want to reduce the physical symptoms of the stress you are facing practice deep breathing techniques. Focus on your breathing . Try to make it slow and keep your mind on your breath going in and out. This will help you get relief from the physical symptoms of stress.