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Nov 1, 2023

Proactive Tips for Stress Relief

Learn How to Deal with Stress in a Proactive & Productive Way

Sometimes dealing with all of life’s challenges can feel overwhelming. Whether you are experiencing trouble with work, school, family matters, or other obligations, it can be easy to feel overburdened by your responsibilities in today’s busy world.


According to an October 2022 poll conducted by the American Psychological Association, more than a quarter of American adults say that they are so stressed that they cannot function. And while the sources of stress may vary from person to person, the effect that chronic stress can have on an individual’s mental and physical health can be universally damaging.


While you may be unable to change the scenarios in your life that are causing you stress, you can change how you react to them. By remaining aware of your level of stress and frequently taking a step back to view the big picture, you can work towards relieving your stress instead of adding to it. Continue reading to learn about stress awareness and tips to reduce stress!


Why Is Stress Awareness Important?


Between everyday inconveniences and long-term adverse health effects, being stressed can bring a laundry list of unpleasant side effects to your body and mind. According to Mayo Clinic, common effects of stress include headaches, muscle and chest pain, sleep problems, upset stomach, fatigue, anxiety, anger, and depression. These changes in your health can also lead to changes in your behavior, such as over- or undereating, social withdrawal, drug and alcohol use, angry outbursts, and physical inactivity.


When you are not consciously aware of your stress level and mental state, the many stressors of life can easily feed into one another and make your troubles worse. To relieve stress, it’s important to first be able to identify when you are feeling stressed in order to break this cycle of negativity.


How Can I Stop Feeling Stressed?


When you notice you are feeling stressed, your first reaction may be to feel dispirited by the pressure you are feeling instead of making an effort to relieve the tension. The first step when you notice you are feeling stressed is to simply pause and acknowledge your mental state.


By pausing and taking a step back when you are stressed, you can begin the process of returning to a more calm and composed state of mind. There are a number of different strategies you can use to try to unwind, but it’s up to you to find productive ways that work for you. Try out these stress relief methods the next time you are feeling overwhelmed:


      Get active: Although it may not be at the top of your to-do list if you are having a bad day, the benefits of exercising can be felt almost immediately when you are stressed. When you exercise and get your blood pumping your brain releases endorphins which serve to boost your mood and overall mental health. Even a short walk can bring a massive improvement to your mood! Fun Fact: According to research cited by the APA, exercising can better equip your brain to handle stressful situations.

      Try mindfulness meditation: When you are stressed out and feeling inundated by thoughts of things to do, try taking a few minutes for a guided meditation to observe your breath and mind. According to the APA, “Researchers reviewed more than 200 studies of mindfulness among healthy people and found mindfulness-based therapy was especially effective for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Mindfulness can also help treat people with specific problems including depression, pain, smoking, and addiction.” Click here to read mindful resolutions you can make for a more positive you!

      Take care of yourself: It’s always important to make good choices for your health, but especially so when you are stressed out. In order to live life at your best, you need to make sure your basic needs are met. To do this, have a plan to make sure you are eating nutritious meals and getting an adequate amount of sleep.

      Lean on your support network: Everyone comes to a time in their life where they need a little help from a friend. Sometimes when you talk about your problems with someone else, you can identify solutions that you wouldn’t have otherwise, without an added perspective. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help – whether to a family member, a friend, or a mental health professional – to talk about the things that are stressing you.


Being proactive with your health can help you live a longer and happier life. By stopping and taking note when you are feeling unusually stressed and then taking steps to recenter, you can reduce the risks associated with chronic stress and get back to feeling like yourself again.


The American Heart Association notes chronic stress as a potential cause of high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Click below to learn ways you can be proactive with your heart health!