Stress Management

Stress Management

Let’s travel back to November 3rd, 2020. The raging global pandemic is causing a panic in the US and in addition, its Election Day. Millions of Americans are staying up late watching the news, anxiously waiting to hear who won the election. Two days later and it’s still uncertain who may win. Phones checked every five minutes and the feeling of helplessness is weighing Americans down. In these anxious times, stress is common but there are healthy ways to cope.

Stress is your body responding to a threatening experience. Stress keeps you alert, aware and focused. It can be valuable in challenging situations but it can also become harmful. There are external and internal causes of stress. Some external causes include school, work, family, relationships, overbooking, and other environmental factors. Internal causes include negative self-portrayal, pessimism, unrealistic expectations, perfectionism, and fear. This stress can cause headaches, insomnia, depression, anxiety, poor judgement, dizziness, constant worrying, and eating more or less. Although it can seem irrepressible, there are ways to manage stress.

Coping Strategies:

1) Taking deep breaths; although it may seem stereotypical, taking deep breathes can be beneficial and can help calm you down.
2) Eating healthy; many healthy foods have stress-relieving benefits. For instance, some foods that include vitamins A, E or C neutralize harmful molecules produced under stress.
3) Exercising; exercising brightens your mood by producing endorphins and is calming.
4) Talking to others; talking about your stress and venting to someone can be comforting. You can get a new perspective on what’s causing your stress and find ways to handle it.
5) Getting a sufficient amount of sleep; sleep makes you relaxed and sharpens your decision making.
6) Identifying causes of stress; by establishing the source of your stress you can determine ways to discard excess stress.
7) Staying positive; by removing negative self-talk you can decrease worry and anxiety.
8) Meditation; meditation is calming and can draw your mind away from the source of your stress.
9) Get help if needed; going to a therapist or a trained professional is a great way to help with stress and anxiety.
10) Accept you can’t control everything; some things are out of your control so by accepting this you can change and move on.

 

Whether it’s stress over the election, a parent’s divorce, or overdue schoolwork, stress can be scary. So finding coping strategies that work for you whenever you feel anxious or stressed can be extremely beneficial. Stress can be overwhelming so coping strategies can help you live a healthier and happier life.