Latest research shows that more than 50% of the working force in United States are exposed to mild or heavy dosage of stress in their daily routine. Although the human body is designed to experience stress and deal with it, if this negativity is present in your life every day and in high levels, the body and mind will start to react – not in a good way.

Stress can lead to physical symptoms like headaches, elevated blood pressure, upset stomach, chest pain, and sleeping disorder. Some people, in order to relieve of the stress reach (in excessive amounts) to alcohol, tobacco or drugs.

Because its a nation wide problem, during the last 20 years were created many tips, techniques and strategies for stress reduction. No single method works for everyone or in every situation, so you should try to experiment with different methods and focus on the one’s that make you peaceful, calm and positive.

In order to help our readers, we compiled a list of top 8 stress management and reduction techniques:

1. Positive thinking – stop the negative self talk and focus on the positive. This will help you with stress management and can even improve your health. There are numerous (and scientifically proven) benefits of positive thinking: increased life span, greater resistance to infection, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and better coping during hardships.

2. Exercise every day – besides shaping your body, fitness can help you decrease the stress levels. Try to do this everyday so you can create a habit. You will start to notice day to day improvement, feel better and maintain your health.

3. Eat well balanced meals – try to not skip any meals, especially breakfast. Regarding food choice, try to consume vegetables and fruit every day, and limit the amount of meat, fast food, snacks and sugar.

4. Limit the amount of alcohol and caffeine – consuming alcohol too much can lead to panic attacks, anxiety and stress. When you are drinking alcohol, go with wine, which in right dosage (300 ml) is even healthy for your body. About, caffeine – 2 cups a day is the optimal amount.

See also: 7 ways to calm your wondering mind

5. Get at least 7 hours of sleep at night – when your body is stressed it needs additional sleep (and rest) in order to retain the balance. So, during stressful days try to sleep at least 7 hours in the night.

6. Take control of your environment – when getting back from work, take a longer but less-traveled route, if the traffic makes you nervous and anxious. Don’t watch TV an hour before you go to bed. The better alternative is to take your dog on a hike in the neighborhood, or have a conversation with your spouse about your day, maybe read a book.

7. Avoid people who stress you out – if someone consistently causes stress in your life, limit the amount of time you spend with that person, or end the relationship.

8. Accept that you can’t control the uncontrollable – many things in life are beyond our control – particularly the behavior of other people. So instead of stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.

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