Effective Stress Management Strategies
With stress being so commonplace in our lives today, it’s so important that our daily routines contain effective stress management strategies. If we don’t want stress to become an issue for our bodies and minds, we must find simple ways to relax and release built-up tension. Here are 10 small but effective ways to manage daily stress build-up.
1. The Power of Endorphins -Effective Stress Management Strategies
We all know that one of the positive side effects of exercise is the release of endorphins. Endorphins help reduce stress, relieve pain and improve your sense of well-being. However, did you know that they are released during pleasurable activities such as massage, eating and sex too? So pick your activity or activities of choice and get those endorphins flying.
2. Hug It Out - Effective Stress Management Strategies
We have all heard the expression, but can hugging really help to reduce stress levels? One study thinks so with research showing that our stress response changes when having a hug, meaning we see less of an increase in negative emotions. Even without research showing how hugging can reduce stress, it can be a nice way to show someone you care, and that, in itself, can be stress-reducing.
3. Meditation and Breathing - Effective Stress Management Strategies
Calming the mind is an effective stress management tool. It can help reduce and manage anxiety, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to face your day with a healthy attitude. Meditation can help slow racing thoughts, produce a deep state of relaxation and support a tranquil mind. Start simple, sitting quietly for 5 to 10 mins. Focus on your breathing. Use an app or guided meditation to help.
Give yourself some stimulation free time by disengaging from technology. You can easily integrate this into your daily routine by taking your morning coffee in the garden or having lunch in the local park. Whatever your approach, try to think of ways that don’t involve a screen that takes you out of the rat race and away from notifications and messages.
5. Happy Talk
Be compassionate; talk to yourself the way you would to your closest friends. The way you talk to yourself does matter. Negative self-talk, self-doubt and criticism adds to your stress levels. Try to find that positive inner dialogue that can encourage, support and nurture you through stressful situations.
6. To Do List
Reassessing your to-do list can be an effective stress management strategy; if you try to squeeze in more work than is possible in any given day or week, it will stress you out. Review your commitments, prioritise and get help. Honing your time can allow you to minimise the stressors that you experience.
7. Be Social
As humans, we are made to be social; we get comfort from simply connecting, sharing and supporting. Bonding with both words and touch is essential.
Pick up a new hobby, hold a crafternoon session or games night with friends, take an evening class where you can learn something new, join a book club, whisky club or even a dance class.
8. Chill and Relax
There is a real benefit in getting our muscles to relax. Unsurprisingly, stressed-out humans present to pain clinics worldwide with tight necks, stiff backs and aching jaws. This is because our bodies will hold stress if not allowed to relax and release it. Find ways to let our muscles relax regularly, including stretching, massages and hot baths.
9. Listen to Music
Music can evoke many emotions; it can transport us to any other time in our life, sparking joy or more melancholy feelings. Because of this emotional response, studies have shown that listening to music lowers our heart rate, reduces cortisol levels, and increases our endorphin levels. So crank up your favourite playlist, sit back and chill knowing you are reducing your stress levels.
10. Cut It Out
It’s difficult to reduce stress levels if your week is scattered with activities that make you stressed. So try and remove or reduce those key stress points. This is not always easy when work and family can be some of our most significant stressors. However, if we break things down a little further, there can be some quick wins. Not watching the news, removing alcohol, reducing caffeine, and keeping work at work.
Ironically the most important thing is to not get stressed out about ‘fixing’ stress, which is all too easy to do. If you can start from a point of accepting that successful stress management and treatment is something that inevitably takes time, you will be much better off. Simply try different solutions out in a gentle and patient way, observing which seem to make the biggest difference to you. Then before you know it you will have found your own unique keys to effective stress management.