Feeling Stressed? Here’s How to Manage Stress

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We all go through periods of stress, and it’s hard to know how to manage stress. The Stress Management Society defines stress as:

“A situation where demands on a person exceed that person’s resources or ability to cope.”

Stress is a biological response controlled by the brain to a challenging stimulation of a physical or emotional nature. After a stressful stimulation, the brain (amygdala and hypothalamus) responds with the biological reactions necessary to put the individual experiencing stress on alert, engaging the fight or flight response.

For many people, feeling stressed is a part of life and something they just live with. But what if you wanted to change that?

Read on to learn actionable steps on how to manage stress.





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Actionable Steps


Here’s how to manage stress:

1

Stay Hydrated

Research has shown that as high as 75% of adults are dehydrated. If your body doesn’t have what it needs to function on a basic level, how will it perform under additional pressure, such as stress? Stay hydrated and drink water (the suggested amount varies depending on activity level, weight, and gender but aim for around 64 ounces a day, on average).

2

Avoid nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugars

These substances are often the crutches we use to calm ourselves but believe it or not they have the opposite effect. Biologically, they stimulate us. So, when you feel stressed, avoid them.

3

Be physically active

Exercising, even if it’s just walking, can help manage stress. Not only does the fresh air and extra oxygen calm you, but exercise also releases “happy chemicals” known as endorphins, which change your state physiologically, reducing the feeling of stress.

4

Sleep

Often things seem worse when we haven’t had enough sleep. We have a reduced capacity for everyday things, not to mention stress. So when you feel stressed make every effort to keep a good sleep routine and make sure you have a healthy amount of sleep each night (adults need on average 7-9 hours of sleep a night).

5

Effective Communication

We often feel stressed due to our interactions with other people so improving your communication skills can help reduce stress. Using the principle “I’m okay, you’re okay” going into every conversation helps remind you that we are all entitled to respect and the opportunity to talk and be listened to.

So, if you find yourself not being heard, learn to walk away, and if you find yourself not listening to the other person, take a breath and allow them to speak too.

6

Say No

Many of us struggle to say “no” even when we want to. This is because we have a social trigger built into us that means we have a desire to be liked, especially if we like the other person.

However, learning to say “no” is important. Think of yourself as a battery; if you aren’t charged you’re not able to give all your energy to something else. Putting yourself first is an act of self-care, not selfishness, so the next time you want to say no, be brave and say it. You can be polite about it!

7

Manage Your Time

Prioritizing and doing one thing at a time can help manage your stress, especially if you don’t know where to start or feel you have too much to do. Make a list and do one thing at a time, ticking things off as you go. It’ll give you a sense of achievement which will boost your motivation to complete the next item on the list.

8

Adapt Your Thinking

One of the best ways to manage your stress is to let go of the things you cannot change and focus on the things you can; control the controllable. Doing this allows you to move into problem-solving mode focusing on what you can do rather than dwelling on what’s out of your control, ultimately helping you deal with the source of stress more effectively.

9

Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness

Research has proven that practicing just 10 minutes of yoga, meditation or mindfulness daily leads to a massive increase in productivity. Not only that but they reduce blood pressure and heart rate meaning physiologically they also help to reduce stress.

So, if you’re feeling stressed, find 10 minutes in your day to relax. This can be especially helpful just before you go to bed as it improves your ability to get to sleep as well as your quality of sleep.

10

Me Time

When we feel stressed it’s often hard to find time for ourselves. This leads to a greater decrease in our well-being due to a lack of self-care. Taking some time out to do something you enjoy can make a real difference to your ability to manage stress, especially if it’s something creative that will require you to focus on other things for a while.

From the list above, which will you implement? Commit to implementing them now so that when stress hits, you are in a better position to deal with it.

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About the Author


Stacey O'Callaghan

Stacey O’Callaghan

Life Coach

Hi, I’m Stacey and I’ve spent 12 years helping people take back control. Working with me goes beyond the goal we’re working on. It provides the opportunity for mindset growth and transformational change.

I use distinction accredited psychological techniques to achieve these results and empower people to own and adjust their behavior so they can achieve their own definition of thriving. With my help, you form a clear vision of what thriving means for you whether that be at work or in your personal life, and we create an action plan outlining how to achieve it. To book a consultation with SJS Coaching Services, visit www.sjscoachingservices.com/consultations


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