HealthPractical Tips for Dealing With Chronic Stress

Practical Tips for Dealing With Chronic Stress


Chronic stress is more than just an occasional headache or day of worry – it’s a persistent presence that can affect every aspect of your health and well-being. Understanding how to manage and reduce chronic stress is crucial for maintaining physical and mental health.

1. Recognize Your Stress Triggers

The first step to managing chronic stress is figuring out what triggers it. Keep a simple diary for a week or two, and jot down when you feel stressed. Look for patterns. Is it:

  • Work deadlines?
  • Family responsibilities?
  • Social situations?
  • A full calendar?
  • Health issues?
  • Finances and money?

Understanding what triggers your stress is key to managing it. Once you know your triggers, you can start developing strategies to deal with them, like setting boundaries or finding new ways to handle old problems.

2. Get Moving

Exercise isn’t just for your body – it’s also for your brain. When you’re physically active, your body releases endorphins, which are chemicals that make you feel good and can relax you. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift heavy weights. A brisk 30-minute walk, a quick swim, or even dancing around your living room to your favorite songs can help reduce stress.

Make physical movement a part of your daily routine, and you’ll likely notice a drop in your stress levels.

3. Try Mindfulness or Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation can sound a bit trendy, but there’s a good reason they’re popular – they work. Mindfulness is all about living in the moment and being aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment.

Meditation can help you find a sense of calm and get some relief from stress. If you’ve never tried it, it can feel a little weird the first time. However, you’ll quickly learn to love it. There are lots of free apps out there to get you started, and even a few minutes a day can make a big difference.

4. Manage Your Time Wisely

Ever feel like there’s just not enough time in the day? That’s a common stress trigger. Time management might sound boring, but it’s super effective at relieving stress.

Start by prioritizing your tasks – giving each a priority rating of one through three.

  • 1 = Would be nice to get done
  • 2 = Need to get done soon
  • 3 = Absolutely must get done ASAP

When you prioritize tasks according to this scale, it instantly tells you which tasks command your attention and which ones can wait. As a result, you feel less stressed by small things.

For best results, use tools like calendars or planner apps to keep track of your commitments. When everything has a place and time, you’ll feel less rushed and more in control.

5. Consider Professional Help

If you’ve tried managing stress on your own but still feel overwhelmed, it might be time to seek professional help. A therapist in your area can empower you to unpack your stress triggers and create new pathways for managing challenging circumstances and thoughts.

If meeting with a therapist is new territory for you, don’t worry. It’s not going to be like something you see in the movies where you lie on a sofa and a shrink asks, “How does that make you feel?” Skilled therapists are highly trained and understand how to relate to you in a practical way.

6. Connect with Others

When you’re stressed, it’s easy to withdraw and try to handle everything on your own. However, reaching out to others can be very helpful. Talking with friends or family members can provide emotional support and new perspectives on your stressors. (Plus, laughing and having a good time with others can be a great stress reliever on its own.)

7. Make Time for Yourself

In the middle of all the hustle, don’t forget to carve out some time for yourself. Do something you enjoy, whether it’s reading a book, taking a long bath, gardening, or sketching. These activities aren’t just fun – they’re actually pretty therapeutic. They can distract you from your stressors and bring joy, which is a natural stress reducer.

8. Sleep Well

Never underestimate the power of getting a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep can make stress worse, and stress can make it hard to sleep. (It’s a huge negative cycle that can be difficult to dig out of.)

Do your best to aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night. You can make things easier on yourself by creating a relaxing bedtime routine. This means turning off screens an hour before bed, dimming the lights, and maybe reading a bit or listening to some soft music.

Prioritize Your Mental Health

There are few things that will gradually chip away at your health and destroy you from the inside out, quite like chronic stress. Even the low-grade variety can eat away at you – deteriorating your immunity and compromising your mental health.

The more proactive you are in dealing with your stress, the better you’ll feel. Use these suggested techniques as a good starting point!

Soha is a poet, writer, and traveler. She loves to read about entertainment, DIY tips, and Home improvement.


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