Nowadays, a lot of people feel down or anxious. For example, according to a recent Harvard Youth Poll report, young people complain about the following serious mental health symptoms:
- 68% of interviewees noted that haven’t got enough energy;
- 59% people complained about having trouble with sleep;
- 52% don’t feel happiness when doing things;
- 49% have nutrition problems – a poor appetite or overeating;
- 48% unable to focus effectively on tasks;
- 28% of interviewees thought of self-injury.
The reasons for these alarming symptoms are heavy workloads, social media addiction, troubles at home, growing pressure as a result of the pandemic, etc. Is it possible to overcome these problems without any damage to your health?
In this post, you will find efficient ways to manage stress in different ways. Some of them will show you how to deal with stress quickly, while others help more gradually and smoothly.
How to Manage Stress: 9 Effective Tips
Stress is a feeling of being under abnormal pressure. This symptom often has a cumulative effect, with every new stressor building on top of another. Long-lasting stress can result in more severe outcomes like depression and other mental disorders.
To avoid adverse consequences, everyone should know how to deal with stressful situations.
1. Avoid Bad Habits (alcohol, smoking and caffeine)
By bad habits, people usually mean alcohol and caffeine consumption, smoking, or gambling. These categories are often interrelated. People think that they can reduce stress with the help of these habits. However, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, and any type of addiction reduce blood flow and respiration, thereby creating even more stress on the human body and mind.
These habits activate a gene linked to depression and other mental health issues, therefore they only exaggerate unwanted symptoms. To reduce stress, you have to cut these bad habits out.
For example, a great healthier alternative to caffeine is the FeelZing Energy Patch. With it, you can easily achieve a calm state of focus and energy without any side effects.
90% of those who use these patches also report the following positive outcomes:
- Improved attentiveness
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- Decreased mental/physical fatigue
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- Re-wrap the patch for the second useage
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Regular exercise can help to manage your stress – according to ADAA online research, exercises help reduce stress of 14% surveyed. As Jackson, Erica M., Ph.D. Healthcare Administration at Walden University wrote, between 75% and 90% of first visits to primary care doctors are caused by stress-related illnesses.
It is reasonable to include various types of exercise in a complex stress management program, developed with your fitness trainer or a psychologist.
Some of the best exercises involve aerobic activities, yoga, Tai Chi, and weightlifting. The first group of sports activities, for example, assists with releasing endorphins to feel much better and perceive things positively.
3. Better Sleeping Habits
According to the same report, sleep helps 17% of people fight stress. At the same time, about 70 million people suffer from disorders like insomnia in the United States alone. When you are stressed, falling asleep is often difficult. Therefore, it is necessary to develop the right habits.
For example, for an hour before bedtime, don’t use gadgets. It is better to spend this time reading a book, during which your consciousness is put on another plane, which helps you to fall asleep faster.
Mind the duration of your sleep; adolescents should get 8-9 hours of sleep per night. Alcohol and caffeine are not a substitute for sleep. It’s better to minimize their usage in case you have problems falling asleep.
4. Eat Healthy Food
Eating well and enough can also help you manage stress. Most people consume food 4 times per day (3 meals and a snack). That is the norm for an average adolescent. Malnutrition is just as dangerous as gluttony, so it’s better to estimate an individual's healthy weight based on such factors as height, age, gender, and some others.
According to a medical review, your diet should include vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and other foods that contain such vital vitamins as Omega-3, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin D (as many people suffer from a deficit of these having to work in offices), etc.
In some cases, food supplements may be a good way out (for example, if a person has to stick to a specific diet). Comprehensive nutrition can improve mood and relieve your stress.
There will always be situations that increase your stress level. Meditation is a popular practice to avoid the stress and/or manage it. It is the process of training in awareness and obtaining a healthy sense of perspective. Meditation assists with providing a lot of science-based benefits, so dedicating at least 20 minutes per day to this practice makes sense.
It’s possible to choose between different types of meditation for various purposes:
- Loving-kindness meditation
- Mindfulness meditation
- Breath awareness meditation
- Kundalini yoga
- Body scan (a.k.a. progressive relaxation)
To lower your stress, choose techniques that focus on deep breathing and slow movement. If you want to cheer up, better to pick more active meditation.
During meditation your brain receives more oxygen and calms the part of the brain that deals with relaxation.
6. Set Realistic Goals and Expectations
Very often we get upset and even depressed because we don’t see the desired results of our work. That is because many people set unrealistic goals. Don’t compare yourself with anyone else. Instead of trying to be a jack of all trades, work smart by prioritizing your tasks.
Postponing the least important assignments is okay. Develop a personal schedule with specific tasks and due dates so that you don’t fall behind.
7. Study and Practice Relaxation Techniques
There are many relaxation techniques to be found on the Internet. The methods to get rid of tension in your muscles include:
- Stretching exercises
- Isolated light strengthening
- Ergonomic modifications
- Massage therapies
- Hot baths or showers
8. Take a Walk
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered that 2-2.5 hours of moderate walking per week is enough to keep fit. It can replace a 15-minute run that is so tiring for many people. In other words, walking as much as 7,000 steps daily, which is the equivalent of 3-4 miles is enough.
Walking is also one simple and effective way to reduce stress. During a walk, your lungs, muscles, and heart are filled with oxygen; your body begins to release feel-good hormones. As a result, you feel a surge of energy, and anxiety and stress leave you.
9. Connect with People
According to research, social support helps people feel less stressed, as it removes the feeling of loneliness. Spending time with friends, family members, or loved ones can help reduce stress. Connecting with people via the Internet and other channels, as well as having a healthy social life, can help you reduce stress, relieve feelings of anxiety, and restore self-confidence.