Ever told someone that you feel stressed out? If so, you’re not alone. We experience stress every day, while driving, while in school, at work and more. Relationships can be stressful. Problems can be stressful. Life events like divorce and financial woes can be stressful. When stress starts to build up, it can lead to depression, heart disease, ulcers and other health problems, according to the National Library of Medicine. Instead of letting this news stress you out, use it as an incentive to find healthy ways to deal with stress.
Seems easier said than done, right? The truth is, developing a positive attitude can help alleviate your stress. When you’re trapped in a negative cycle of thinking, you’re going to see every little challenge and trouble in life as a bigger deal that it might be. Adjust your thinking whenever you can, making a conscious decision to be calm, collected and reasonable. Focus on problem solving and the things you can change.
Lack of sleep can affect your mood and your health. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re probably feeling additional stress. Set a firm bedtime and stick to it. Keep your bedroom peaceful and avoid doing things before bed that could stimulate you. If you know that reading a certain website or watching a certain show gets you riled up, save that for the morning.
You don’t need to become a gym rat right away. But you do need to get moving. Fresh air and light activity can help you deal with your stress. Sometimes just clearing your head can make problems seem much more manageable. Regular physical activity also makes your body feel better and makes it easier to sleep at night.
Avoid Unhealthy Coping Strategies
Womenshealth.gov recommends avoiding unhealthy stress relievers like drinking too much alcohol, using drugs, smoking, or overeating. These activities often lead to further stress, through complications of the activity or simply making you feel bad. Lean on your friends and family instead of turning to substances. Consider taking on a hobby or just doing something that feels good, like meditation, getting a massage, taking a long bath or watching some mindless television.
Talk to Your Doctor
Sometimes you can’t beat stress alone. Chronic stress that you feel unable to escape from may require help from a doctor or mental health counselor. If you need to talk to your health care provider, take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone in this, and that you’re brave for recognizing the need for help.