Stress is a normal part of life, but too much stress can be harmful to your health. You may experience physical symptoms, such as headaches and muscle tension, or emotional symptoms such as irritability or anxiety. Stress management is the practice of methods to reduce stress, either during its development or once it has developed.
The following activities are some of the ways you can manage your stress:
- Get moving. Exercise can help relieve physical symptoms associated with chronic stress, such as headaches and muscle tension. It also helps release endorphins (natural mood boosters) in the brain that can improve your overall sense of well-being. Try getting 30 minutes of exercise three times per week for optimal results. If you’re not used to exercising regularly, start off slow with a 5-minute warmup and cool down period each time you work out — eventually work up to 30 minutes at a time!
- Take a walk. A walk outside in nature is one of the best ways to relieve stress and anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins, which make us feel happier and more relaxed. Find a nearby park or hiking trail and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful views while getting some exercise at the same time.
- Meditate for 10 minutes at night (or whenever you have time) using an app like Calm or Headspace (or just focus on your breath).
- Drink water! Hydration is important for so many reasons, but one of them is that it helps reduce stress levels by making you feel less thirsty and more satisfied.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep helps relieve stress by giving your body time to heal itself after a long day at work or school. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try keeping an electronic device out of your bedroom (such as your phone or laptop) so that it doesn’t distract you while trying to fall asleep. And don’t forget about naps! They’re great for rejuvenating tired minds and bodies in between busy days.
- Make a playlist of songs that make you happy and listen to it when you need a pick-me-up!