6 Tips to Handle Stress

I explained how stress can affect you mentally and physically (click here to read: You are stressing me out). Now it’s time to talk about how to overcome this situation from home and by yourself. As I said before if the stress is ongoing and you cannot overcome the situation with the following techniques you should seek professional help.

Tip 1. Identifying the sources of stress in your life.

It might sound obvious but identifying the cause or causes of stress can be difficult for some people. While it’s easy to identify an acute stress situation as a deadline, moving, going through a divorce, etc. it might not be as straightforward as it sounds for someone who is suffering from chronic stress. In some cases, not everyone wants to admit what is actually bothering itself. Sometimes we pretend everything is ok and we look to the other way. This is the first step to achieve a good stress management and in order to identify the sources of stress you should look closely at what caused your stress (make a guess if unsure), how you felt or how did affect you mentally and physically, how you reacted to this situation and what did you do to make yourself feel better. Start a diary if required.

Tip 2. Avoid unhealthy coping strategies.

As explained in my last post “You are stressing me out”, we tend to experience behavioural changes under an episodic acute stress which in most of the cases means increasing smoking or drinking and increasing junk food intake. Isn’t it true?

Your crush says this is getting too serious and doesn’t want to date anymore, what do you do after crying while you’re eating a 500ml of chocolate ice-cream? Going out which usually means drinking anything alcoholic and OH YES, I´d love to have one of those cigarettes because it doesn’t matter anyway! (Am I getting close?) Yeah, this is a bit extreme but I probably have seen all my friends in this status at least once in their lives. This is a good example of losing control.

What to avoid: start smoking or increase smoking, the same with drinking, using drugs to relax, junk food (you won’t be happy when you can’t wear your amazing jeans), taking out your stress on others, procrastinating, spending hours looking at your phone and avoid facing problems.

Tip 3. Accept the things you can’t change. 

There are some sources of stress unavoidable, for instance, the death of a loved one, an illness or the behaviour of other people. There are beyond our control and we have to stop trying to control the uncontrollable. In such cases, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things as they are. This is one of the reasons why people suffer from anxiety or depression. Try to focus on things you can control and accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world where bad things happen and people make mistakes, let go of anger.

Tip 4. Get moving! 

Probably the last thing you want to do after a stressful day at work or when you have lots of things in mind but it works! By exercising for 30 min/day not only you’ll get rid of the fat from that 500ml of chocolate ice-cream but your body will release endorphins that make you feel good, happy and increase self-esteem.

This is what I usually do, 45min to 1-hour workout at home every day, I play the Beast Mode Playlist from Spotify and gives me the motivation boost I need. I also dance. A lot. Beyonce or Rihanna or Lady GaGa, anything, whatever makes you happy. Dancing lets you express yourself.

There are other techniques, more relaxing than sports or bouncing your booty around the house. You can relax yourself using breathing exercises. Deep breathing relieves stress and anxiety due to its physiological effect on the nervous system. How does it work? Breathing slowly and mindfully activates the hypothalamus to send out neurohormones that inhibit stress-producing hormones and trigger a relaxation response in the body.

Practice the Breathing Exercises: 

1- Place one hand on your chest and one hand on the abdomen.

2- Take a deep, slow breath in through your nose lasting close to 5 seconds. Then hold your breath for few seconds and breath out slowly through your mouth, taking close to 7 seconds. Repeat this step 10 times.

3- Once you have more practice with breathing in and out, it’s time to include this exercise. When you are breathing in and holding your breath, contract one part of your body as much as you can, for example, your left leg. Then, relax your left leg slowly as you are breathing out. Repeat this with both legs, arms and abdomen.

Find the best way to calm yourself down. Breathing exercises are not for me but there are people who find this very relaxing and useful!

5. Get rid of the negativity. 

This is the outcome of tips 1 and 3. Once you know what is stressing you out and you know you can control it, get rid of it! Life is hard enough to be surrounded by negativity. Try to avoid people who bring bad vibes in your life. Analyse any toxic relationship and cut them off. If the situation at work is getting out of your control, change it. Feeling stuck in a job is not fun. Anything that makes your life miserable is not worth it. Assess the situation and make a change in your life, your body will appreciate it!

6. Be positive and smile.

As simple as that. S-M-I-L-E. Laughter boosts the immune system. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed up to 45 min later. It has the power to make us happy. Try to watch a video of people cracking up, you’ll end up laughing too. Be positive or try to think positive, be aware of what you have and what you have achieved, personally and professionally. Don’t push yourself too hard, we all make mistakes. However, blaming ourselves is not productive and if you have a positive attitude you’ll find a better way to act the next time.

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Hope you find this useful.

Be Juicy 🙂

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