Coping with Stress
When experienced over a long period of time, stress can damage your health. Chronic stress has been linked to many health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. It can also impact your sleeping habits, mood and overall quality of life. While the events and situations that trigger stress may be unavoidable, you do not have to let stress control you. By learning ways to manage stress-causing situations effectively, you can not only improve your health, but your life.
Use these tips to help manage stress:
- Exercise, take a brisk walk or try yoga.
- Use progressive relaxation.
- Keep a journal or diary.
- Take deep breaths from the diaphragm ("belly breathing").
- Make a list of chores and errands – putting them on paper can relieve anxiety you may feel about the number of tasks on your "to-do" list.
- Practice healthy eating habits.
- Try meditating, visualizing or retreating to a quiet area.
- Get a massage.
- Use positive "self talk."
- Take time to learn and/or develop a hobby.
- Foster friendships and a social support network – it is important to have someone to talk to.
- Slow down and simplify your life.
- Try counseling sessions, especially those that focus on changing your way of thinking.