Strategies for Stress

Feeling stressed? Not sure what to do about it? You’ve come to the right place we have some great strategies for stress. 

Everyone experiences stress at times and stress isn’t always bad. If you are presented with a dangerous situation, stress sends signals to the body to get ready to face a threat by fighting, or getaway to remain safe via flight. In situations that aren’t life-threatening, like preparing for a test or a job interview, stress can motivate people. 

Although stress is common and at low levels can even be motivating, if you are presented with a lot of stress or constant stress, it can have some negative impacts on your health. When you’re stressed, your muscles tense up in order to prevent injury. Usually, muscles release again when you relax, but if you are under constant or chronic stress, your muscles may not get a chance to relax. In the short term, tight muscles can cause headaches, body aches, and muscle pain. 

Stress may present itself as being any of the following: 

  • Worry or anxiety
  • Irritability 
  • Poor decision making
  • Tuning out and wanting to sleep too much
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Worrying a lot
  • Trouble concentrating

In the long term, if you suffer from constant stress without any relief, it can result in a variety of health issues. Health issues resulting from chronic stress may include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, or anxiety. 

So, what are you to do to decrease your stress levels? 

Move your body! 

I can’t say this enough. When you move your body, you are releasing the stress that you are carrying around. In fact, when you do something to get your heart pumping, your brain produces feel-good transmitters called endorphins. 

Trick Your Brain & Feel Better

By moving your body, you are relieving stress while doing something really cool. You’re imitating the fight or flight response. You’re basically telling your brain that you survived whatever threat you were faced with and you’re now safe. This is good practice because you are teaching your brain that you can relieve stress. Plus, moving your body can lead to more positive effects, like helping your digestive and immune system.

The goal isn’t that you never experience stress. It is that you gain the ability to move easily in and out of stressful states, so that if you find yourself feeling stressed, you have tools to calm yourself down again. 

Ideally, you would spend 20 to 60 minutes each day moving by walking, working out, riding a bike, playing a sport, dancing, or any other activity. However, if this isn’t your reality at the moment, you will still benefit from standing up to stretch, dancing to a song in the car while you drive, or shaking your arms and legs out. Try it. It feels so good when you’re done! 

Of course, there are a lot of ways to help with stress, but moving is my favorite. If getting up and moving to increase your heart rate isn’t an option for you, try any or all of the tips below.

Strategies for Stress:

  • Breathe! Let all of the air out of your lungs, then inhale. Repeat.
  • Meditate, pray, or sit in silence. 
  • Give a hug to a loved one, cuddle with a pet, or imitate a hug for yourself.
  • Journal about your thoughts and feelings.
  • Draw or color.
  • Do anything that allows you to move through your feelings.

If you found anything helpful in this blog, pass it on to a friend to help them relieve their stress.