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  • Writer's pictureAku Energija

Obvladovanje stresa: Kako zmanjšati, preprečiti in prenašati stres

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Morda se vam zdi, da na raven stresa ne morete vplivati. Računi ne nehajo prihajati, nikoli ne bo več ur v dnevu za vse vaše opravke in vaše poklicne ali družinske obveznosti bodo vedno zahtevne. Kljub temu imate veliko več nadzora, kot si mislite. Pravzaprav je potrebno le spoznanje, da imate kontrolo nad svojim življenjem, to je temelj obvladovanja stresa.

Obvladovanje stresa je odvisno od upravljanja: upravljanja vaših misli, čustev, vašega urnika, okolja v katerem živite in načina kako rešujete težave. Najvišji cilj je uravnoteženo življenje v katerem je dovolj časa za delo, odnose, sprostitev in zabavo – poleg tega pa tudi trdoživost, ki pomaga zdržati pod pritiskom in pri soočenju z izzivi.

Ugotovite vire stresa v svojem življenju

Obvladovanje stresa se začne s prepoznavanjem virov stresa v vašem življenju. To ni tako enostavno, kot se sliši. Vaši pravi viri stresa niso vedno očitni in zelo enostavno je spregledati lastne misli, občutke in vedenja, ki povzročajo stres. Seveda, zavedate se, da vas skrbijo nenehni roki pri delu. Toda mogoče je za ta stres krivo vaše odlašanje z delom in ne dejanske zahteve v službi. Za prepoznavanje vaših pravih virov stresa, natančno preučite svoje navade, vedenje in izgovore:

  • Si razlagate stres kot nekaj začasnega (“enostavno se mi dogaja preveč stvari naenkrat”) čeprav se ne spomnite, kdaj ste se nazadnje sprostili?

  • Ali definirate stres kot sestavni del vašega službenega in privatnega življenja (“tu vedno vlada zmešnjava”) ali kot del vašega značaja (“samo malo sem nervozen, to je vse”).

  • Ali krivite za svoj stres druge ljudi oziroma zunanje dogodke ali ga smatrate kot nekaj povsem običajnega in vsakdanjega?

Dokler ne sprejmete odgovornosti pri ustvarjanju in vzdrževanju stresa, se nivo le-tega ne bo spremenil in bo ostal zunaj vašega nadzora.

Začnite pisati dnevnik o stresu

Dnevnik stresa vam lahko pomaga identificirati vsakodnevne stresorje v vašem življenju in način, kako se z njimi spopadate. Vsakič, ko se počutite pod stresom, si to zapišite v dnevnik. Ko boste vodili dnevne beležke, boste začeli opažati vzorce in skupne povezave. Zapišite si:

  • Kaj je povzročilo vaš stres (ugibajte, če niste prepričani).

  • Kako ste se počutili, fizično in psihično.

  • Kako ste se odzvali.

  • Kaj ste storili, da ste izboljšali počutje.

  • Poglejte kako se trenutno spopadate s stresom.

Premislite kako trenutno obvladujete stres in kako se z njim spopadate v svojem življenju. Vaš dnevnik stresa vam lahko pomaga pri tem. So vaše strategije spopadanja zdrave ali nezdrave, koristne ali neproduktivne? Žal, se mnogi ljudje spopadajo s stresom na načine, ki le poslabšajo obstoječe težave.

Nezdravi načini spopadanja s stresom

Te strategije obvladovanja lahko začasno zmanjšajo stres, vendar dolgoročno povzročijo več škode:

  • kajenje

  • prekomerno pitje

  • prenajedanje ali stradanje

  • dolgotrajno sproščanje pred televizorjem ali računalnikom

  • oddaljevanje od prijateljev, družine in dejavnostih

  • uživanje tablet ali mamil za sprostitev

  • preveč spanja

  • prokrastinacija

  • zapolnjevanje celotnega dne namesto, da se spoprimete s težavo

  • prenašanje stres na druge (znašati nad drugimi, izbruhi jeze, fizično nasilje)

Učenje bolj zdravih načinov obvladovanja stresa

Če vaše metode spopadanja s stresom ne prispevajo k vašemu boljšemu psihičnemu in fizičnemu zdravju, je čas, da poiščete bolj zdrave. Obstaja veliko zdravih načinov za obvladovanje stresa in shajanja z njim, vendar so pri vseh potrene spremembe. Lahko spremenite situacijo ali spremenite svojo reakcijo. Ko se odločate, katero možnost izbrati, je koristno, da pomislite na kratico ISPS: izogibati, spremeniti, prilagoditi, ali sprejeti.

Spoprijemanje s stresno situacijo: kratica ISPS:

  • Spremenite situacijo:

Izognite se stresorju.

Spremenite stresor.

  • Spremenite svojo reakcijo:

Prilagodite se stresorju.

Sprejmite stresor.


Strategija obvladovanja stresa št. 1: izogibajte se nepotrebnemu stresu

Vsakemu stresu se ni mogoče izogniti in tudi ni zdravo, da se izogiba situacijam, ki jih je potrebno rešiti. Lahko pa vas preseneti število stresorjev v vašem življenju, ki jih lahko odpravite.

  • Naučite se reči “ne” – poznajte svoje meje in se jih držite. Ne glede na to ali gre za zasebno ali poklicno življenje, zavrnite sprejemanje dodatnih odgovornosti, ko ste blizu, da jih dosežete. Če prevzamete več kot zmorete, je to zanesljiv recept za stres.

  • Izogibajte se ljudem, ki vas obremenjujejo – če nekdo neprestano povzroča stres v vašem življenju in razmerja ne morete spremeniti, omejite čas, ki ga preživite s to osebo, ali v celoti prekinite stik.

  • Prevzemite nadzor nad svojim okoljem – če vas večerne novice naredijo živčne, izklopite televizor. Če ste zaradi prometa napeti, izberite pot , ki je daljša a po njej potuje manj ljudi. Če je obisk trgovine neprijeten opravek, nakupujte po spletu.

  • Izogibajte se vročim tematikam – če vas razburi pogovor o verskem prepričanju ali politiki, prečrtajte to s seznama pogovorov. Če se večkrat prepirate o isti temi z istimi ljudmi, jo nehajte izpostavljati ali pa se umaknite, ko je to tema razprave.

  • Razčlenite seznam opravil – analizirajte svoj urnik, odgovornosti in dnevne naloge. Če ste preveč obremenjeni, ločite med "naj bi" in "moram". Dela, ki dejansko niso nujna, spustite na dno seznama ali jih popolnoma odstranite.

Strategija obvladovanja stresa št. 2: Spremeni situacijo

Če se stresni situaciji ne morete izogniti, jo poskusite spremeniti. Ugotovite, kaj lahko storite, da spremenite stvari, tako da se težava v prihodnosti ne bo več pojavljala. Pogosto to vključuje spreminjanje načina komuniciranja in delovanja v vašem vsakdanjem življenju.

  • Izrazite svoja čustva, namesto da jih zatrete. Če vas nekaj ali nekdo moti, svoje skrbi skomunicirajte na odprt in spoštljiv način. Če ne boste izrazili svojih občutkov, se bo ustvarjala zamera in situacija bo po vsej vrjetnosti ostala enaka.

  • Bodite pripravljeni na kompromise. Ko nekoga prosite, da spremeni svoje obnašanje, bodite pripravljeni storiti enako. Če sta se oba pripravljena vsaj malo ukloniti željam drugega, boste imeli dobro možnosti, da najdete srečno srednjo pot.

  • Bodite bolj odločni. Bodite aktivno udeleženi v svojem življenju. S težavami se spopadajte direktno, po svojih najboljših močeh jih predvidite in preprečite. Če se morate učiti za izpit in je vaš klepetavi sostanovalec ravno prišel domov, povejte vnaprej, da imate na voljo le pet minut časa za pogovor.

  • Bolje upravljajte s svojim časom. Slaba časovna organizacija lahko povzroči veliko stresa. Ko imate preveč dela in zaostajate z njim je težko ostati miren in zbran. Če pa načrtujete vnaprej in si zagotovite, da ne boste pretiravali z delom, lahko spremenite količino stresa pod katerem ste.

Strategija za obvladovanje stresa št. 3: Prilagodite se stresorju

Če stresorja ne morete spremeniti, spremenite sebe. Če spremenite svoja pričakovanja in stališča se lahko stresnim situacijam prilagodite in s tem ponovno pridobite občutek nadzora.

  • Ponovno ovrednoite težave. Poskusite gledati na stresne situacije z bolj pozitivnega vidika. Namesto da besnite zaradi prometnega zastoja, glejte na to kot na priložnost, da se malo ustavite in znova zberete, poslušate svojo najljubšo radijsko postajo ali uživate v času zase.

  • Poglejte širšo sliko. Poglejte v stresno situacijo. Vprašajte se, kako pomembna bo na dolgi rok. Bo pomembna čez en mesec? Leto? Se je res vredno razburiti? Če je odgovor ne, svoj čas in energijo usmerite drugam.

  • Prilagodite svoje standarde. Perfekcionizem je velik vir stresa, ki se mu je mogoče izogniti. Nehajte se nastavljati na neuspeh, ker zahtevate perfekcijo. Določite razumne standarde zase in za druge ter se naučite biti zadovoljni z “dovolj dobro”.

  • Osredotočite se na pozitivno. Ko vas stres vleče navzdol, si vzemite trenutek, da razmislite o vseh stvareh, ki jih cenite v svojem življenju, vključno z lastnimi pozitivnimi lastnostmi in sposobnostmi. Ta enostavna strategija vam lahko pomaga postaviti stvari v perspektivo.

  • Prilagajanje vašega odnosa

Način razmišljanja ima lahko globok učinek na vaše psihično in fizično počutje. Vsakokrat, ko o sebi pomislite negativno, vaše telo reagira, kot da bi se znašlo sredi napete situacije. Če o sebi vidite dobre stvari, je večja verjetnost, da se boste počutili dobro; velja tudi obratno. Odstranite besede, kot so "vedno", "nikoli", "moral bi" in "morati". To so razkrivalni znaki samouničujočih misli.

Strategija za obvladovanje stresa št. 4: Sprejmite stvari, ki jih ne morete spremeniti

Nekaterim virom stresa se ni mogoče izogniti. Stresorjev kot so smrt ljubljene osebe, resna bolezen ali državna recesija, ne morete preprečiti ali spremeniti. V takih primerih je najboljši način za obvladovanje stresa sprejemanje stvari, takih kot so. Sprejemanje je lahko težko, vendar je dolgoročno lažje kot udrihanje po situaciji, ki je ne morete spremeniti.

  • Ne poskušajte nadzorovati neobvladljivega. Številne stvari v življenju so zunaj našega nadzora — še posebej obnašanje drugih ljudi. Namesto da bi se stresirali zaradi njih, se osredotočite na stvari, ki jih lahko kontrolirate, na primer kako se odzovete na težave.

  • Iščite dobro stran. Kot pravi pregovor, “kar nas ne ubije, nas krepi.” Ko se soočate z velikimi izzivi, jih poskušajte dojemati kot na priložnosti za osebnostno rast. Če so vaše slabe odločitve prispevale k stresni situaciji, razmislite o njih in se učite na svojih napakah.

  • Delite svoja čustva. Pogovorite se s zaupnim prijateljem ali se dogovorite za sestanek s terapevtom. Izražanje tega kar preživljate, je lahko zelo katarzično tudi, če s stresno situacijo ne morete ničesar spremeniti.

  • Naučite se odpuščati. Sprejmite dejstvo, da živimo v nepopolnem svetu in, da ljudje delajo napake. Ne oklepajte se jeze in zamer. Osvobodite se negativne energije z odpuščanjem in pojdite naprej.

Strategija za obvladovanje stresa št. 5: Najdite čas za zabavo in sprostitev

Poleg pristopa prevzemi-kontrolo in pozitivnega odnosa, lahko stres v svojem življenju zmanjšate tako, da negujete sebe. Če si redno vzamete čas za zabavo in sprostitev, boste na boljšem položaju za spopadanje z življenjskimi stresorji, ko se bo pojavilo neizogibno.Zdravi načini za sprostitev in polnjenje baterij

  • Pojdite na sprehod.

  • Preživite čas v naravi.

  • Pokličite dobrega prijatelja.

  • Prepotite se z dobro vadbo.

  • Pišite v svoj dnevnik.

  • Privoščite si dolgo kopel.

  • Prižgite dišeče sveče.

  • Uživajte v dobri kavi ali čaju.

  • Igrajte se s hišnim ljubljenčkom.

  • Vrtnarite.

  • Pojdite na masažo.

  • Pocrkljajte se z dobro knjigo.

  • Poslušajte glasbo.

  • Oglejte si komedijo.

Ne bodite ujeti v vrvežu življenja, da boste pozabili na svoje potrebe. Skrb zase je nuja in ne razkošje.

  • Uredite si čas za sprostitev. Vključite počitek in relaksacijo v vaš vsakdan. Ne dovolite, da vmes posežejo druge obveznosti. To je vaš čas za oddih od vseh odgovornosti in, da si napolnete baterije.

  • Povežite se z drugimi. Preživite čas s pozitivnimi ljudmi, ki vam izboljšujejo življenje. Močan sistem podpore vas bo varoval pred negativnimi učinki stresa.

  • Počnite nekaj v čemer uživate vsak dan. Vzemite si čas za prostočasne dejavnosti, ki vam prinašajo veselje, bodisi gre za opazovanje zvezd, igranje klavirja ali popravilo kolesa.

  • Ohranite svoj smisel za humor. To vklučuje tudi sposobnost, da se znate smejati samemu sebi. Smeh pomaga telesu, da se spopada s stresom na več načinov.

Naučite se sprostitvenega odziva

Raven stresa lahko nadzorujete s sprostitvenimi tehnikami, ki prebudijo sprostitveni odziv telesa, stanje mirnosti, ki je nasprotno odzivu na stres. Redno izvajanje teh tehnik bo povečalo vašo fizično in psihično odpornost, pozdravilo telo in povečalo splošne občutke veselja in umirjenosti.

Strategija za obvladovanje stresa št. 6: Sprejemite zdrav življenjski slog

Odpornost za stres lahko povečate s krepitvijo fizičnega zdravja.

  • Redno telovadite. Telesna aktivnost ima ključno vlogo pri zmanjševanju in preprečevanju učinkov stresa. Vzemite si čas za vsaj 30 minutne vadbe, trikrat na teden. Nič ne more preseči aerobnih vaj za sproščanje stresa in napetosti.

  • Jejte zdravo. Dobro nahranjena telesa so bolje pripravljena na spopadanje s stresom, zato bodite pozorni na to, kaj jeste. Začnite dan z zajtrkom in ohranite energijo ter jasne misli z uravnoteženimi, hranljivimi obroki skozi cel dan [Preberite več o zdravi prehrani].

  • Zmanjšajte kofein in sladkor. Začasni "visoki" nivoji kofeina in sladkorja se pogosto končajo s padcem razpoloženja in energije. Z zmanjšanjem količine kave, brezalkoholnih pijač, čokolade in sladkornih prigrizkov v vaši prehrani se boste počutili bolj sproščeno in bolje boste spali.

  • Izogibajte se alkoholu, cigaretam in drogam. Samozdravljenje z alkoholom ali mamili lahko priskrbi hiter pobeg pred stresom, vendar je olajšanje le začasno. Ne izogibajte se ali prikrivajte težav; spopadite se z njimi direktno in z bistrim umom.

  • Dovolj spite. Ustrezen spanec spodbuja vaš um in vaše telo. Občutek utrujenosti bo povečal vaš stres zato, ker lahko povzroči neracionalno razmišljanje [Preberite več o spanju].

Avtor: Lawrence Robinson, Melinda Smith, MA, Robert Segal, MA, Helpguide.org

vir fotografij: splet, internet

 

Stress Management: How to Reduce, Prevent, and Cope with Stress

It may seem that there’s nothing you can do about your stress level. The bills aren’t going to stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day for all your errands, and your career or family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think. In fact, the simple realization that you’re in control of your life is the foundation of stress management.

Managing stress is all about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun – plus the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on.

Identify the sources of stress in your life

Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Sure, you may know that you’re constantly worried about work deadlines. But maybe it’s your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that leads to deadline stress.

To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:

  • Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?

  • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”).

  • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?

Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control.

Start a stress journal

A stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal. As you keep a daily log, you will begin to see patterns and common themes. Write down:

  • What caused your stress (make a guess if you’re unsure).

  • How you felt, both physically and emotionally.

  • How you acted in response.

  • What you did to make yourself feel better.

  • Look at how you currently cope with stress

Think about the ways you currently manage and cope with stress in your life. Your stress journal can help you identify them. Are your coping strategies healthy or unhealthy, helpful or unproductive? Unfortunately, many people cope with stress in ways that compound the problem.

Unhealthy ways of coping with stress

These coping strategies may temporarily reduce stress, but they cause more damage in the long run:

  • Smoking

  • Drinking too much

  • Overeating or undereating

  • Zoning out for hours in front of the TV or computer

  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities

  • Using pills or drugs to relax

  • Sleeping too much

  • Procrastinating

  • Filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems

  • Taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence)

Learning healthier ways to manage stress

If your methods of coping with stress aren’t contributing to your greater emotional and physical health, it’s time to find healthier ones. There are many healthy ways to manage and cope with stress, but they all require change. You can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose, it’s helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.

Since everyone has a unique response to stress, there is no “one size fits all” solution to managing it. No single method works for everyone or in every situation, so experiment with different techniques and strategies. Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.

Dealing with Stressful Situations: The Four A’s

  • Change the situation:

Avoid the stressor.

Alter the stressor

  • Change your reaction:

Adapt to the stressor.

Accept the stressor.


Stress management strategy #1: Avoid unnecessary stress

Not all stress can be avoided, and it’s not healthy to avoid a situation that needs to be addressed. You may be surprised, however, by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate.

  • Learn how to say “no” – Know your limits and stick to them. Whether in your personal or professional life, refuse to accept added responsibilities when you’re close to reaching them. Taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress.

  • Avoid people who stress you out – If someone consistently causes stress in your life and you can’t turn the relationship around, limit the amount of time you spend with that person or end the relationship entirely.

  • Take control of your environment – If the evening news makes you anxious, turn the TV off. If traffic’s got you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route. If going to the market is an unpleasant chore, do your grocery shopping online.

  • Avoid hot-button topics – If you get upset over religion or politics, cross them off your conversation list. If you repeatedly argue about the same subject with the same people, stop bringing it up or excuse yourself when it’s the topic of discussion.

  • Pare down your to-do list – Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. If you’ve got too much on your plate, distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely.

Stress management strategy #2: Alter the situation

If you can’t avoid a stressful situation, try to alter it. Figure out what you can do to change things so the problem doesn’t present itself in the future. Often, this involves changing the way you communicate and operate in your daily life.

  • Express your feelings instead of bottling them up. If something or someone is bothering you, communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way. If you don’t voice your feelings, resentment will build and the situation will likely remain the same.

  • Be willing to compromise. When you ask someone to change their behavior, be willing to do the same. If you both are willing to bend at least a little, you’ll have a good chance of finding a happy middle ground.

  • Be more assertive. Don’t take a backseat in your own life. Deal with problems head on, doing your best to anticipate and prevent them. If you’ve got an exam to study for and your chatty roommate just got home, say up front that you only have five minutes to talk.

  • Manage your time better. Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. When you’re stretched too thin and running behind, it’s hard to stay calm and focused. But if you plan ahead and make sure you don’t overextend yourself, you can alter the amount of stress you’re under.

Stress management strategy #3: Adapt to the stressor

If you can’t change the stressor, change yourself. You can adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude.

  • Reframe problems. Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. Rather than fuming about a traffic jam, look at it as an opportunity to pause and regroup, listen to your favorite radio station, or enjoy some alone time.

  • Look at the big picture. Take perspective of the stressful situation. Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.

  • Adjust your standards. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress. Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others, and learn to be okay with “good enough.”

  • Focus on the positive. When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts. This simple strategy can help you keep things in perspective.

  • Adjusting Your Attitude

How you think can have a profound effect on your emotional and physical well-being. Each time you think a negative thought about yourself, your body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation. If you see good things about yourself, you are more likely to feel good; the reverse is also true. Eliminate words such as "always," "never," "should," and "must." These are telltale marks of self-defeating thoughts.

Stress management strategy #4: Accept the things you can’t change

Some sources of stress are unavoidable. You can’t prevent or change stressors such as the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or a national recession. In such cases, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things as they are. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run, it’s easier than railing against a situation you can’t change.

  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control— particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.

  • Look for the upside. As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” When facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth. If your own poor choices contributed to a stressful situation, reflect on them and learn from your mistakes.

  • Share your feelings. Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist. Expressing what you’re going through can be very cathartic, even if there’s nothing you can do to alter the stressful situation.

  • Learn to forgive. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes. Let go of anger and resentments. Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.

Stress management strategy #5: Make time for fun and relaxation

Beyond a take-charge approach and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress in your life by nurturing yourself. If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors when they inevitably come.

Healthy ways to relax and recharge

  • Go for a walk.

  • Spend time in nature.

  • Call a good friend.

  • Sweat out tension with a good workout.

  • Write in your journal.

  • Take a long bath.

  • Light scented candles

  • Savor a warm cup of coffee or tea.

  • Play with a pet.

  • Work in your garden.

  • Get a massage.

  • Curl up with a good book.

  • Listen to music.

  • Watch a comedy

Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take care of your own needs. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury.

  • Set aside relaxation time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule. Don’t allow other obligations to encroach. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.

  • Connect with others. Spend time with positive people who enhance your life. A strong support system will buffer you from the negative effects of stress.

  • Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be stargazing, playing the piano, or working on your bike.

  • Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.

Learn the relaxation response

You can control your stress levels with relaxation techniques that evoke the body’s relaxation response, a state of restfulness that is the opposite of the stress response. Regularly practicing these techniques will build your physical and emotional resilience, heal your body, and boost your overall feelings of joy and equanimity.

Stress management strategy #6: Adopt a healthy lifestyle

You can increase your resistance to stress by strengthening your physical health.

  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise, three times per week. Nothing beats aerobic exercise for releasing pent-up stress and tension.

  • Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day [read more here].

  • Reduce caffeine and sugar. The temporary "highs" caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.

  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary. Don’t avoid or mask the issue at hand; deal with problems head on and with a clear mind.

  • Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally [read more here].

Author: Lawrence Robinson, Melinda Smith, MA, Robert Segal, MA, Helpguide.org


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