Stress is simply a fact of life.
While a little stress can even be considered a good thing, too much of it can lead to a variety of issues. Dealing with excessive stress over time can cause everything from heart problems and high blood pressure to an increased risk of diabetes and even certain types of cancer.
Thanks to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s safe to say that many people are feeling a bit more stress than usual.
But there are things you can do on a daily basis to manage your stress and keep the symptoms of it in check. If you’ve been looking for ways to keep your stress under control and feel more at peace throughout the day, keep some of these techniques in mind.
Do Things You Enjoy
One way to reduce the effects of stress is to do at least one thing you enjoy each day. If a source of your stress is being too busy, try to do things that don’t take long but have a big impact.
For example, if you love to work out but don’t have a lot of time, take a walk around the block. You’ll feel better because you got to do something you enjoy, even for a few minutes. As a bonus, exercise in itself is another great way to manage stress.
Or if you love cooking, take a few extra minutes to make yourself breakfast in the morning or choose one night a week to cook a meal that takes more than 30 minutes. By finding ways to do more things for yourself, you can focus less on how stressful your life may is.
Let Go of the Things You Can’t Control
So many people get worked up over things that are out of their control. Of course, it’s frustrating when something doesn’t go your way. But, if the situation wasn’t able to be changed by your actions or words, there is truly nothing you can do about it.
The old saying “don’t sweat the small stuff” really rings true here. While it’s easy to get upset when things don’t go as planned, place your focus on those matters you can control instead.
The most important thing under your control is your response to any given situation. You also control your attitude and perspective. While it can be difficult to keep those things in check, it’s something you should strive for, to maintain a positive point of view.
Be More Mindful
One of the best things you can do to manage stress daily is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness and meditation often go hand-in-hand. But you don’t need to perform any special rituals or chants. In fact, you only need a few minutes each day to spend time being more mindful.
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment. You close your eyes, focus on taking deep, steady breaths, and think about how your mind and body feel at that moment. You can also take in the world around you, from any sounds you might hear to anything you might feel, like a gentle breeze.
When you focus on the moment, you can let go of stress about the past or future. Thoughts will continue to come to mind, of course. But the object is to work on letting them go as they pass by instead of holding onto them.
How to Manage Stress for Better Mental Health
Stress will continue to come each day. Some periods of stress will be worst than others. But, as you can see, there are ways to keep the impact of stress under control.
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed by stress, talking to a mental health professional can help. Feel free to contact me for more information about my approach to stress relief. Together, we’ll work on more techniques to manage your stress and address any signs of anxiety you might be dealing with, too.