(1-2 minute read)
Stress affects everything around you. It affects your mentality, body functions, mood, and feelings.
Some short-term stress can be useful for getting through a challenging, but doable, situation. However, an excess of stress, or distress, typically comes with situations you feel are out of your coping abilities. Whether short-term or long-term, distress can increase feelings of being overwhelmed, nervous, anxious, hurt, confused, afraid.
Here are some tips on how to deal with stress so that those negative effects do not hinder you.
Take a moment to sit down and breathe. Focus on the breaths you are breathing. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Your deep breaths and the increase of oxygen will help your body to relax and decreases the stress you are feeling.
2. Slow down
Stop trying to do a million things at once. Instead of multitasking, focus on ONE thing. Make a list of the most important things for you to work on. Choose one and get to work on that. By working on that one thing, your mind is better able to focus, and your work will be more efficient.
Exhaustion makes your work less effective, which is likely to cause more stress. Getting the sleep you need allows your brain to reset and process through your day, getting you off to a fresh start in the morning. Plan a time to go to bed and go at that time. Your mind and body will thank you.
4. Avoid enhancers
Oftentimes, caffeine is used as an energizer, and nicotine is used as a relaxer. However, both should be avoided. VeryWellMind explains, “[Caffeine] can increase the body’s levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.” It is also important to note that “Research into smoking and stress has shown that instead of helping people to relax, smoking actually increases anxiety and tension,” as described by MentalHealth.org. What you may be using to help you relax, is actually causing more stress.
5. Talk to someone about it
Talk to someone about what you’re stressed about. If you don’t feel like you can trust anyone, use a journal and write about what you are feeling. Sometimes just getting your thoughts and feelings out helps you to recognize the stress you are feeling and how to manage it.
If you need a professional to talk through your stress with, the counselors here at Cache Valley Counseling are ready to listen and talk through your stress with you. They will work with you to create a plan to manage and get through your stress.
Click here to learn more about our Discovery Visit – an opportunity for you to meet with a therapist for free to help you decide if one of our counselors will be a good fit for you.