Stress is a part of human existence. In fact, we need it to prepare our bodies and minds for difficult situations and threats. I think it’s safe to say that most of us don’t have constant threats to our lives like our ancestors had. However, the instinct for survival and security remains. Stress hormones enter our systems when something challenges us. This can be something big or small. Even the occasional spilled milk, job pressure, and lover’s argument can send us into a stressful state. Too much of those stress hormones and too often can wreak havoc on our organs and health. The key is to minimize stress where we can. Save those cortisol spikes for when you really need them. Here are 5 smart ways to beat stress.
Smart Ways to Beat Stress #1: Know Stress Signals
What happens to your body when you are stressed? Take account of your physical and mental symptoms the next time it happens. Do you sweat? Does your cognitive ability go out the window? And, an even more important question: What triggers your stress? Knowing the triggers for your stress helps you to avoid them in the future if possible. However, there are some things that you can’t avoid. In this case, try to work with your body to calm down your systems.
Smart Ways to Beat Stress #2: Find Ways to Relax
When you feel stressed, one of the best ways to combat it is to relax. Yeah, I know… easier said than done. Stress amps up your heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and even chemical production. It can also make you feel strong emotions that cause non-serving behavior. So relaxing will take some effort and tools. Relaxation gives your mind and body time to process the situation that you’re in and to feel refreshed.
Quick Relaxation Methods:
- Breathe Deeply.
- Get away from the situation and go somewhere quiet.
- Talk about it.
- Drink a warm beverage (not caffeinated).
- Take a walk.
Smart Ways to Beat Stress #3: Get Healthier
True physical and mental health creates greater joy and stamina. Even small changes to your health can make a difference in how you respond to stress in general. Feeling unwell can cause stress in and of itself. If there are obvious things in your life that do not serve your health, try to eliminate or minimize them. Start by quitting bad habits such as smoking, excess alcohol, and poor food choices. If you find it difficult to quit smoking, try vaping. With the right supplies, such as those at Mt Baker Vapor, you can cut down on nicotine gradually while still satisfying your need to do something with your hands and mouth. Do what you can to increase your health in all areas.
Smart Ways to Beat Stress #4: Stay Organized
For some people, disorganization actually creates more stress. This is due to misplaced items, missed appointments, and always feeling like you’re behind. What can you do to organize your time and life? As with your health, doing simple things to change how things work during your day will ease stress. For example, plan all of your errands in one day, that way you can avoid those small trips to the store, post office, etc. Make a family cleaning day that has rewards! Make your schedule fun and creative by using colorful markers on a whiteboard or a kitchen chalkboard.
Smart Ways to Beat Stress #5: Have More Fun
Enjoying yourself is one of the very best (and easiest) ways to beat stress. Even the busiest people must find time in their lives to have some fun and enjoy themselves, whether that is watching a favorite TV show, going out with friends, enjoying a fitness class, or taking up a hobby. Having fun is one key element in life-balance. Consider what things you love to do and maybe have left behind. How can you add recreation and fun back into your life? When you do, see how your stress levels go down overall!