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6 Ways to Effectively Overcome Stress

Psychological and Counseling Services Last updated

Stress affects everybody in some form and is almost a “normal” part of our modern lifestyle. However, the way you deal with stress is what truly determines how detrimental it will be in your life. Here are 6 ways to effectively overcome stress.

1. Get outside

Studies have shown that taking a walk in the park or countryside can reduce stress and improve mental functioning. When things are getting too much to handle, a stroll in the woods can really make you feel better. Getting a dog is a great way to make yourself get out and about more.

Woman looking relaxed getting face massage

2. Get relaxed

Meditation, yoga and other relaxation techniques can really help you to overcome stress. Taking a course under the guidance of a qualified professional will show you proper technique, as relaxation is a skill which needs to be learned. There are many different options available, so try a few and see which one works best for you.  Different breathing methods are often used in relaxation therapies. You can often feel less stressed simply by lying on the floor and concentrating on your breathing cycle. Other great ways that you can relax are to enjoy a massage, do a gentle stretching routine or to simply lie back in a hot bath. Make time to enjoy relaxing hobbies such as reading, knitting or art. Dedicating 15-20 minutes a day to doing something you enjoy can help you become less stressed.

3. Get active

There is no more effective way to reduce stress levels than partaking in physical activities. Regular exercise increases the brain’s production of neurotransmitters. These endorphins make you feel good by reducing the levels of cortisol and adrenaline which are produced by stress.  Exercise also increases your energy levels, brings many other health benefits, and makes you feel better about yourself. If joining a gym or signing up for a sports team is not really your thing, no problem – exercise comes in lots of forms. Even chores like housework and gardening can become great physical exercise if you put real effort into them. Or you could try some fun exercising like trampolining. Bouncing is great physical exercise that improves your coordination – and the flying sensation will make your stress levels plummet!

Three people reading and writing in a group

4. Get organized

Planning your work schedule can help stop stress from building up. Keeping a stress diary can help you to discover what causes you to become stressed and lets you discover ways to avoid stressful situations.  Don’t bottle up your stress inside. Thoughtfully discussing your problems with trusted family members, friends, workmates, or a professional can help you put things into perspective and alleviate stress.

5. Get healthy

Eat a varied diet that includes lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Don’t skip meals as this can increase stress. Eating healthily helps ensure that your body and mind are functioning correctly, making it less likely for you to get stressed, and more likely for you to be able to deal with it if you do! Many people mistakenly believe that alcohol reduces stress. This is untrue. While a drink may temporarily make you feel better, its long-term effect is depressive – which will not help your stress level. Caffeine, nicotine and refined sugars should also be avoided: these are all stimulants, which can increase your stress levels and make your energy levels and emotions peak and crash.

 

6. Get sleep

Go to bed at the same time each night and try to get at least 8 hours of sleep in a dark, well-ventilated room. If you have trouble getting to sleep, stop working and do something relaxing for a couple of hours before retiring. Getting sufficient good-quality sleep is essential to overcoming stress.


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