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No one is immune to stress; it’s an unfortunate side effect of life. The severity of stress can range from mild to high, and a variety of activities can cause it. This includes work, school, or social events.
Learning how to manage stress is an essential part of living a happy and fulfilling life. If you don’t have the proper techniques to manage stress, it can consume you.
To help you better navigate stress, here are eight health promoting behaviors you should start today!
1. Positive Self-Talk
Positive self-talk is often overlooked, but it’s crucial for reducing stress. Speaking negatively to yourself can exasperate your stress levels.
An example is telling yourself you can’t do something versus telling yourself you’ll do the best you can. Even if you don’t realize it, the negative self-thoughts can cause you to panic and stress out more.
Positive self-talk is calming and assures your mind that things are going to be okay.
Read on here for more ways to cut-out negativity in your life.
Exercise is excellent for both your physical and mental health. You can fight your stress more effectively when you’re fit and healthy.
When you exercise, your body pumps out endorphins. Endorphins are natural “feel good” chemicals that can help improve your overall happiness. It can also help relax you and limit anxiety and depression.
3. Deep Breathing
Stopping to take a few deep breaths can help you calm down. It serves as a pause button. Right away, you can reduce any pressure you may feel.
This is a popular technique to reduce stress and anxiety among athletes before high-pressure events. Breathing in and out for 5 to 10 minutes slows the heartbeat down and encourages peaceful thinking.
4. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Unfortunately, a lot of people tend to eat unhealthy when they’re stressed. Eating junk food is the exact opposite of what you should do. Healthy food options like vegetables and fresh fruit improve your mood and increase energy levels.
You’re also less likely to exercise when you’re eating junk food, which is a double-negative. Plus, a well-balanced diet increases the serotonin to the brain and stabilizes blood pressure. Both of these things limit stress.
You can also try drinking herbal tea, which can reduce feelings such as anger, anxiety, and depression associated with stress.
5. Yoga and Meditation
There have been a ton of studies showing the effectiveness of yoga and meditation for reducing stress. Yoga is a mind-body practice that often involves meditation. It combines poses and controlled breathing that relaxes the body and lowers blood pressure.
Yoga encourages you to be present and let the outside world go. It provides a quick escape from the real world, which can bring about a renewed perspective.
6. Avoid Drugs and Alcohol
Though drugs and alcohol can be an alluring way of reducing stress, it’s a short-term solution that can exasperate your problems. Drugs and alcohol aren’t good for promoting health, and they can also be addicting.
Drugs and alcohol are unhealthy coping mechanisms for stress that can harm both your physical and mental health.
Studies have shown both men and women are more likely to drink more when they are stressed. Alcohol shifts the hormonal balance in the body, which changes how people perceive and respond to stress. This makes it hard for the body to return to its “normal” hormonal balance.
When this happens, it wears down your mind and body. When consumed often, both medical and physiological problems are more likely to occur. This puts users at a high-risk of drug dependency.
Each of these factors can contribute to increased stress levels.
7. Invest in Time Management Strategies
One of the main contributors to feeling stressed is time. When you feel rushed and you’re running around trying to get stuff done, you’re more likely to be stressed. Last-minute tasks and deadlines put additive pressure on people, stressing them out.
One of the best ways to battle this is by developing strong time management skills. You can do this by creating a schedule for your week with tasks prioritized in order. This can help you figure out what needs to be done next.
Check-lists are perfect tools for managing tasks because you can check-off tasks after completing them. This helps you avoid procrastination.
Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks, either. If you have a heavy schedule, appropriately assigning tasks to others can be a great way of managing both time and stress.
8. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is one of the best ways to fight off stress. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your stress is likely to increase.
Sleep plays an essential role in promoting a healthy lifestyle. Sleep is like a reset button for your body and mind. Though high-stress levels can make it harder to get a good night of sleep, following a regular sleep schedule can help.
This will restore your body and improve both your mood and concentration.
Following a healthy diet and exercising regularly can also improve your sleep. Reducing the time you spend on your phone or computer before bed can also help.
If you’re experiencing long-lasting issues related to your sleep, consider seeking professional help.
Now You Know a Few Health Promoting Behaviors for Battling Stress
No matter your age, gender, or life experiences, you’re going to experience stress. The important part is how you handle that stress. Stress tends to compile and can lead to adverse outcomes.
Incorporating these health promoting behaviors can significantly improve your life, bringing you more calmness and happiness. So, why not start doing some of them today?
And if you found this article helpful, be sure to check out the rest of this blog. We have a ton of other awesome articles on health and wellness that you’re sure to love!