Five Easy Ways to Reduce Stress
No one is entirely free of the stress, or the threat of it. No matter how easy our lives might seem, stress can find its way in, especially if we aren’t prepared for it. Sometimes the secret isn’t being prepared, though – it’s the self-care of preparing, itself. The simple act of getting ready and working on things in advance can help us relax and feel in control. Here are five easy ways to help you manage stress and a few that will also help you prepare for it.
Even if stress ends up making you break a plan or two, making them is a good start to helping reduce your stress. Eventually, with better time management and stress management, you won’t feel as bad if something doesn’t happen, and you’ll feel great when you’ve made a plan and stuck to it. Start with small, less critical things, like going to the post office for stamps or tidying up your laundry room. You can build confidence by completing things that you decide are important.
Whether you’re planning for the worst internally, or even if you’re just setting aside some extra food and water for emergencies, making preparations can help you feel more confident in who you are. Sometimes planning for those times you know will stress you out will help you feel more confident about your ability to handle those things when they come up.
Make A List (or Several)
Along the same lines as preparing and planning, making lists of all kinds can help you feel in control, and therefore help reduce your stress. The bonus is, of course, you’ll remember things that used to go by the way side and, if you write it all down, eventually you’ll notice two lists – stuff you still need to do and stuff that is less important than it once was. Talk about relief.
Mindfulness is looking deep within yourself and acting with intention. If you can see why you act how you do and why you feel the way you do, you can apply your learnings to how you are affected by stress, and how you are attracted to certain stressors.
Take Time Out
A lot of us feel like we don’t have the time for ourselves, but giving yourself a break – even in the middle of something big – can be hugely important for stress relief. Deep down, you know what things are important to worry about, and taking more breaks will help you remember what you already know about your stressors.
Stress isn’t always just internal – the things that affect us mentally are rarely just “in our heads,” so trust your own feelings. Sometimes we may have unhealthy reactions to stress, or feel we are overreacting to stressors, but these are all things that can be looked into, examined, and worked on. When stress piles on, it can be cyclical, but finding ways to separate yourself and see why you react that way will help you out.
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