Stress management helps your mind and body adapt (resilience) to everyday challenges. Without it, your body might always be on high alert. Over time, chronic stress can lead to serious health problems. Here are the seven strategies I follow to reduce stress.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep for 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily as an adult. Inadequate or poor-quality sleep can negatively affect your mood, mental alertness, energy level, and physical health.
- Learn relaxation techniques. Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, deep breathing exercises, and yoga are powerful relaxation techniques and stress-busters.
- Strengthen your social network. Connect with others by taking a class, joining an organization, or participating in a support group. Pernally find Church groups helpful as this also plays a spiritual role.
- Hone your time-management skills. The more efficiently you can juggle work, life and family demands, the lower your stress level.
- Try to resolve stressful situations if you can as soon as possible. Don’t let stressful situations fester. Hold family problem-solving sessions and use negotiation skills at home and work.
- Nurture yourself. Treat yourself to a massage. Truly savor an experience: eat slowly and focus on each bite’s taste and sensations. Take a walk or a nap, or listen to your favourite music.
- Ask for help. Reach out to your network and ask for support. Don’t be shy to ask for help from your spouse, friends, and neighbours. If stress and anxiety persist, talk to your doctor.
Along with these ways to reduce stress, add in a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthful fats.