With so much competing for our daily time, stress is a well-established part of the lives of many Americans. However, it is not something we should continue to accept. Chronic stress can have a negative impact on your sleep, digestion, weight, memory, skin, and heart. Not to mention that many people adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress, such as smoking, drinking alcohol to excess, overeating, or lashing out angrily at others. If any of this sounds familiar to you, you are advised to take immediate steps to reduce stress in your life, as well as manage the stress you do have in a healthier manner.
The first step toward reducing your stress is to give your life an honest assessment, and move forward with the goal of avoiding any unnecessary stress. In many cases, this comes down to simply being more assertive and remembering you can take control of your environment. Does a certain coworker stress you out? If so, it’s OK to not talk to them more than is necessary to get the job done. Is there a topic of conversation that puts you on edge? If so, you can refuse to discuss it. Is someone putting more demands on your time than you can handle? If so, know it is acceptable to tell them no.
Another positive step in the right direction to managing your stress is adopting a healthier lifestyle. Avoid self-medicating with items such as alcohol and junk food. Instead, it is very important to get enough sleep each night, as being tired exacerbates stressful feelings. Completing at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week is excellent for releasing your body’s pent-up tension. A well-balanced diet, starting with a healthy breakfast, is key to keeping your energy up and your mind clear as for many, just being hungry can cause stress. Finally and most importantly, if stress has become a serious issue in your life, you are encouraged to schedule an appointment with your physician to discuss it further.