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What to do when stress finds you

© http://wallpaperswide.com/
© http://wallpaperswide.com/

As much as you wish that life is stress-free, you know that it is impossible. Wherever you go, whatever you do, this six letter word will eventually come knocking at your door. If you are not careful, Stress can ruin a happy marriage, a successful career, a promising academic life, and a healthy body. And often it does not even bother to knock; rather it comes barging right in, turning your world upside down. Yet what matters is not keeping Stress out of your life, but managing it when it invades your life. Here are some healthy and practical tips to manage Stress:

#8: Take a step back and have a break!

© http://imgfave.com/

Sometimes what you need to do is double back and see the whole picture. When you are too focused at one thing, you can miss out the other details and thus, add to your stress. If you are a workaholic, don’t be afraid to take a break. Sometimes it does not have to be a long break. It can just be a day or two. Make it a habit to have breaks to avoid getting burned out.

#7: Get enough rest!

© http://favim.com/
© http://favim.com/

Many people have problems with their sleeping habits. Either they sleep too much or they sleep too little. Whatever the case may be, both can affect a person’s performance in a negative way. Your body is designed to have at least seven to eight hours of sleep a day. If it gets anything less or more, it won’t be biologically fit as it should be. Yes perhaps, you got used to your own sleeping patterns, but it does not make it healthy or right. When you are older, you will feel the effects of your bad sleeping habits. So better fix it before it’s too late!

#6: Watch your diet!

© https://bigbeautydreams.wordpress.com/
© https://bigbeautydreams.wordpress.com/

So many people turn to food whenever they are stressed. They will either eat a lot of salty food or satisfy their sweet tooth. This is the most common way that people manage their stress. But anything taken in excess, no matter how good it may be, is bad. Again, the effects of taking too much junk food or chocolates in your body will only be evident as you age. Plus, improper diet does not help you relieve stress at all. It can even aggravate it by making you feel sluggish or sick after a while. So bring out those greens and squeeze those fruits! Watch what you eat and take care of your body.

#5: Reconnect with nature!

© http://65.media.tumblr.com/
© http://65.media.tumblr.com/

Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery. Stroll down a quiet park or take a trip to an uncrowded beach. Just make sure it is a place where you can really relax, reflect, and refresh.

#4: Engage in physical activities!

© Jean Alfonso-Decena
© Jean Alfonso-Decena

Participating in physical activities like exercise or playing any sport can help manage stress. If you jog often, perhaps you can try hiking or swimming. You can bring a friend along with you so you won’t slack off from doing it (especially if you are not a physically active person).

#3: Try something new!

© http://tumblrphotography.tumblr.com/
© http://tumblrphotography.tumblr.com/

Do something new that you haven’t tried doing before. Learn to play an instrument, or try painting. You can even try composing a song or writing a poem. Send cards to your friends instead of the usual text message or volunteer in a non-profit organization. Channel your stress into something creative and beneficial for you and for others. It will make a lot of difference!

#2: Chill out with your friends!

© Summer Manzano
© Summer Manzano

What you need is to have a good hearty laugh with your barkada. It will surely help you de-stress and relax. So long as your friends are not stressed out too! Aim to chill with them and not drown yourselves with each other’s complaints. Probably you can at the start, just to let it all out. But don’t let the day end with all of you not having a great time together.

#1: Smile often and be thankful!

© http://www.5foq.co/
© http://www.5foq.co/

If you are not used to smiling often, try being thankful first. You can take the 14-day no complaints challenge. One author proposed this method to avoid negativity in words and attitude. For the next two weeks, make it a point not to complain about anything – weather, traffic, food, etc. And notice how often we complain about little things. Instead replace these complaints with thanksgiving. Appreciate the things you complain about such as the heavy traffic – gives you a longer time to talk to your spouse, son, or friend, who is with you in the car. You will notice the good effect it has on you and the people around you. The next thing you know, you are smiling a lot than you used to do!

You can take it further by mentioning things you are thankful for during the day before you sleep. It is a better exercise than worrying about your To-Dos tomorrow.
As they often say, “Prevention is better than cure.” So manage stress by occasionally trying any of these eight healthy steps for better and improved living. Know that stress is something constant in this world. It is up to you if you will let it manage your house or learn to deal with it as it comes!

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