5 Tips to Better Manage Stress

Stress is an unavoidable challenge, but you can take better control of your responses and learn how to cope with the effects of every day stress.  Below are 5 tips to help manage stress.

Keep a journal and record what triggers your stress.  Once you have an honest perspective on what is causing your stress or enhancing the symptoms of stressful situations, you can take the steps needed to either avoid the situation all together or at least be able to cope with them when they do arise.

Prioritize, be intentional and plan.
Feeling pressured for time is very stressful.  Figure out what you need to do and what you want to do – what is urgent and what can wait?  When organizing your time, remember to leave a margin.  Situations arise that are out of your control and if you plan with a margin, this allows you to relax and breathe through the stress of circumstances that are out of your control.

The daily physical stress can take a toll on your health. The body recovers from stress with enough quality sleep and rest. Counter stress by adopting healthy food choices, exercise and self-care.  Take time for you!  Too many times guests coming in for moments of relaxation.  When they walk out they ask, “Why did I wait so long to do that?”

Practicing better breathing for just 10 minutes a day can boost energy, melt away tension, and can even relieve stubborn health problems.  Research various breathing techniques and find the one that works best for you.  For example:  inhale for 7 counts, hold for 3 and exhale for 4.  Focusing on the counting and breathing more deeply lowers my anxiety and helps refocus. Incorporating essential oil, such as lavender, into controlled breathing can also be beneficial.  Some studies suggest that the essential oil of lavender may be useful for treating anxiety, depression, insomnia, restlessness and can help relieve pain from headaches.

Finding support from family, friends and your community makes a difference in how you cope with stress.  Also evaluate those who possibly increase the unneeded stress in your life and set boundaries in the relationship to create more of a healthy environment.

Stress can be caused by many factors and people react to it in a variety of ways. At times, stress cannot be avoided but you can learn how to cope and lessen stress enough to regain your sense of control.