Everyone gets stressed. Life is unpredictable and change is always filled with uncertainty. Between the two, you’re probably dealing with more on your plate than you can swallow. But you aren’t alone. Many Americans are dealing with record-high reported stress levels and it may take years for people to adjust to changes that have occurred. Making small adjustments is key to managing your stress and there is no reason you can’t thrive through troubled times.
Tips for Stress Management
Identify Your Source of Stress
The first step to managing your stress is understanding where it comes from. However, this isn’t always as straightforward as it sounds. While identifying major stressors may seem easy, it’s usually the accumulation of small stressors that become the most difficult to manage. Try taking an inventory of your life from sleep habits to satisfaction levels. Pinpointing minor stressors that can buildup to major problems is a complicated process and may take a little time, but just know it will be worth it in the long run.
When it comes to stress management, everything starts with your diet. You can do all the mindful yoga you want, but if you aren’t fueling your body properly then it won’t do you half as much good. If you eat a diet rich in whole foods your body will be able to better support your immune system which has been shown to improve mood. It makes sense that if you are not getting sick or feeling drained then you are more likely to experience better moods. Although it can at times prove challenging to maintain a healthy diet, it can help if you set aside time for food preparation or have access to prepared, nutritious meals.
Move It or Lose It
We know, you’ve heard this one a lot but the fact is it’s true. Exercise is a great stress management method. When you exercise, your body responds by releasing lots of positive hormones — like endorphins. Endorphins inhibit feelings of pain and discomfort, leaving you feeling good. It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to conclude how having a flood of endorphins would improve mood.
Having difficulties managing stress in your own life? Try helping someone else with theirs. Though this might seem counter-intuitive, helping other people has the potential to make you feel better. This can help if you are overwhelmed and stressed out. Take a breath, take a break, and see if you can help someone. Often, you will find that the result of feeling good about helping other people will help give you the fortitude you need in order to manage your own issues. Volunteering is also a great way to help other people. You can ask local community organizers for volunteer opportunities in your area.
Though technology can keep us connected with those we care about, some studies indicate it can be a major source of stress. Increased digital use contributes to stress as well as a lack of sleep. If you are finding yourself overly stressed lately, try giving yourself a digital detox and step away from your phone or tablet for a few hours.
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Concord Reserve is a continuing care retirement community in Westlake, Ohio. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Concord Reserve online or at 440-871-0090. Concord Reserve is a continuing care retirement community in Cleveland, Ohio.