Tips for Reducing Stress in Your Life

Animation Movie AvailableCommon Skills to Help You Cope with Stress

IMAGE Stress—we have all felt it at one time or another. However, many people feel stress often. Some even feel it as a part of their daily lives. Stress can contribute to numerous conditions, like heart disease, stroke, immune disorders, gastrointestinal problems, eating problems, sleep disturbances, and sexual problems. Learning to reduce your stress can help you live happier, healthier, and maybe even longer. Here are some tips for reducing or controlling stress:

Learn Your Triggers

You can't cope with your stress without knowing what causes it. While it is true there are things in your life you cannot control, there are many others you can. Take a minute and think about the causes of stress in your life. Carry a notebook and track when stress occurs and what started it. You may be able to identify areas where you can change your habits, such as how you approach a project at work, or how your children push your buttons. Write down how you resolve stress. Is it healthy or unhealthy? Over time, unhealthy stress management will compound your problems.

Set Realistic Goals

Do not take on everything; learn to say no. Set realistic goals for yourself. If you are feeling overwhelmed, try eliminating an activity that is not absolutely necessary. Ask yourself, "What really needs to be done? Is the deadline realistic?" No one is perfect, so do not expect perfection from yourself or others. Delegate or ask for help if you need it.

Set Aside Time to Meditate or Relax

It only takes about 10-20 minutes to get a benefit from meditating. These few moments of quiet reflection may bring relief from stress as well as increase your tolerance to it. And it is simple to do: sit quietly, listen to peaceful music, relax, and try and think of pleasant things or clear your mind of all thoughts.

Picture This

Take a moment to picture how you can manage an upcoming stressor. This can work with just about anything, whether it is an important meeting at work, a big move, or a final exam. Going through the challenge in your mind can help you to feel more confident. In other words, think ahead and make a plan of action.

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