How to get your stress under control
Stress can be a positive thing, it keeps us focused and ready to face the challenges life throws at us. But chronic stress can be bad for your health. So we’ve put together a simple guide to teach you how to get your stress under control.
What is stress?
Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances which triggers a physiological response in our bodies. It’s designed to protect us, to keep us energetic, alert, and focused in emergencies and challenging situations.
When short-lived, stress is perfectly healthy and useful. Beyond a certain point, however, when stress becomes chronic. It can have adverse effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health, including:
- Physical / diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, irregular appetite (cravings / lack of appetite), reduced metabolism, sleep issues, insomnia, muscle wasting, reduced sex drive
- Mental & emotional / depression, anxiety, increased irritability
Therefore, it’s extremely important that we get control over stress to prevent these negative long-term effects.
How do I get control of stress?
The key to getting control of stress is balance. Balance between a stress-inducing activities which create a stressed state of mind, and stress-reducing activities which create a relaxed state of mind.
We all have enough stress-inducing activities in our lives. With busy jobs, the pressure of studies, financial worries, and relationships to deal with. So to balance things out and get stress under control we need to prioritize stress-reducing activities to help our mind get into a relaxed state more frequently.
There are lots of activities which can help you do this, for example:
- Going for a walk
- Having a cup of green tea
- Doing some yoga
- Doing a balanced exercise program
- Meditation like mindfulness or deep-breathing
- Having a bath
- Going for a jacuzzi / sauna / steam room
- Reading a book
- Having a glass of wine
- Having sex
The options are endless but the truth is, it’s not the activity that matters, it’s the state of mind you achieve when you’re doing that activity that’s important. The key thing is that your mind switches off and gets a break from the stress-inducing activities in your life. So that you can come back feeling refreshed and ready for action.
So choose whatever activity it is that allows you to reach this state of mind. Then practice it for 30 mins each day.
A certain amount of stress in our lives is a good thing. It keeps us on our toes and at the top of our game when challenges are thrown at us.
The key thing though is balancing stress-inducing activities with stress-reducing activity so we don’t slip into a state of chronic stress which can have many negative impacts on our bodies and minds.
If you know how to get your stress under control it can help you find this balance. Find the activity that allows you to switch off and make time for it every day, especially in times of high stress. This will help you get your stress under control while maintaining focus and energy.
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