Stress can often be a motivator. For instance, it can motivate you to push harder to meet your daily challenges and achieve your goals, whether they are related to completing work tasks more efficiently or improving your lifestyle.

That’s called positive stress: when your brain activates your “fight or flight” response and stimulates your body with the release of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine (adrenaline) hormones.

However, there’s also negative stress, which can be dangerous to your health. You need to know how to effectively manage this kind of stress so that you can keep your mental and physical health in top condition.

Here’s what you can do to truly manage stress overload like a pro.

Identify Your Stress Triggers and Signs

Identifying the signs of being stressed out is the first step to properly managing your stress. A lot of people are so overwhelmed with stress almost all the time that they don’t really notice that their body is trying to tell them something’s wrong.

Noticing the effects of stress will help you take the right steps for reducing or completely eliminating it. For instance, you may feel like you’re pins and needles, you may have frequent headaches, back pains, or muscle cramps, your stomach may be upset, or you may have trouble sleeping.

There are plenty more symptoms of stress, so make sure you can identify any change in your body when you’re swamped at work, or experience any other stressful situation.

Once you identify the symptoms, find out what may be causing them, so that you can stop it in its tracks, and prevent it from taking the toll on your body again. You can achieve that with the following steps.

Get Your Priorities Straight

Once you know what’s causing your stress, you need to get things into perspective. Can you control all of your stressors? If you can, then you can effectively get rid of all the hassles they’re causing.

But if you can’t control what’s making you overwhelmed, you need to accept it, so that you can actually focus on what you can change. The sooner you accept that you simply can’t control everything, the sooner you’ll start feeling better. It’s really as simple as that.

For instance, the traffic may be hell when you’re going to work, making you want to scream from the rooftops. You can’t control the rush hour traffic, but you can avoid it by going to work a bit earlier.

You can apply the same rule to literally anything else in your life that you cannot control, and focus on things that you can.

Get It Out of Your System

Never underestimate the power of a friendly conversation. Talking to a friend, colleague, family member, or significant other about any problem you may be facing can be very therapeutic. Piling everything up is always counterintuitive, but getting it out of your system is always liberating.

Now, you may not be a person who likes talking about their problems and feelings, but you should seriously change that. Sharing your feelings and problems with people you love doesn’t show weakness. It shows courage and strength. It shows that you are mature enough to admit something’s really bothering you and that you want to take the bull by the horns.

Even if you’re not asking for someone’s help, but rather need a sounding board to simply listen to you, a simple conversation will make all the difference. It may even help you find a solution that you hadn’t even thought of.

Nurture Your Body

You need to maintain a healthy diet and get a good night’s sleep every day so that you can boost your immune system and keep stress at bay. The healthier your body is, the better you will ultimately feel.

Keeping your health in top condition also means staying physically active. Regular exercise is a very potent antidote to stress and anxiety. Any kind of physical activity helps your body produce endorphins, which help you sleep better and reduce stress.

Whether you hit the gym or take a simple walk, you’ll let off some steam and instantly forget about what’s stressing you out.

Find Ways to Relax

What is it that generally helps you relax? Is it taking a walk? Is it running? Is it curling up with a good book? What about listening to music, spending time with your pet, or hanging out with friends? Perhaps getting a deep tissue massage?

Find anything that can help you unwind, and do it regularly, not only when you’re stressed out. That way, you’ll effectively prevent stress from crawling into your life and taking over.Are you ready to say goodbye to stress and take full control of your life? Start following all these tips right now, and you’ll start living a healthier, happier, completely stress-free life.

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