April is National Stress Awareness Month, which means it’s a time to identify the sources of stress in your life and eliminate or cope with them in a healthy way. Everyone feels stressed out from time to time, both positively and negatively. The future is always uncertain, which, in itself, can be a source of stress for some.
But there are plenty of ways to cope with stress in a healthy and positive way. For example, you can practice deep breathing or go for a light walk or jog to physically calm down. Here are some other ways to assess stress in your own life and help remove it in a healthy manner.
Eat, Move, Sleep
Within the health community, eating a proper diet, exercising at least an hour a day, and getting at least seven hours of sleep are known as the “big three.” These three areas of your life are critically important because they all feed into each other and affect your mood, energy levels, and state of mind throughout your entire life.
Eating a well-balanced and healthy diet helps you receive and store the energy to move around. Exercising for at least an hour a day burns calories, keeps the blood flowing, and keeps your body in top shape, which positively impacts the brain. Finally, sleeping for at least seven or eight hours per night gives you the energy to repeat the process and keeps your mind focused and sharp throughout the day.
Relax and Unwind
To further reduce and eliminate stress, you can learn to relax and unwind. Doing this while stressed can be a difficult task, as stress clouds the mind and can be difficult to shake off. However, there are several ways to relax during the day, such as meditation and reading. The more often you do these two things, the more likely you are to continue doing them.
There’s no better time to start relaxing than today; after a long day of work or a stressful event, remember to breathe and be mindful. Unwind or take your mind off of your stress for a few hours before facing it and solving any problems which are within your control. You can also practice breathing exercises that promote a healthy frame of mind and calm the body down naturally.
Write Down and Discuss Your Stress Sources
It may sound corny, but research has shown that writing down your stressors can actually reduce them significantly. When you write down what’s stressing you out, the appearance of the words cues the brain to accept that the source is actually safe. The brain will not hold onto a stressor that you write down for as long, or as hard. In addition to writing down your stressors, you can talk to others about what’s stressing you out and why.
Having support in your life is critical to feeling relaxed and learning to stop worrying about problems in your life. Research has demonstrated multiple times the importance of a support system in the lives of individuals. If you don’t have anyone you can talk to about your stress, you can look into talking to a professional.