Stress — just the word may be enough to set your nerves on edge! Everyone feels stressed from time to time. While it’s true that everyone copes with stress differently, these 8 tips are sure to help relieve stress in any situation.
Ditch the Stress
Author – Naomi Brower
A couple of years ago while I was preparing a workshop on stress management, I realized just how many stress symptoms I was currently experiencing. Apparently the workshop I was preparing was for myself! I determined right then and there to take better care of myself. I will admit it hasn’t always been easy; it’s so much easier to put work or other’s needs ahead of my own, but this mind shift has really helped to improve the quality of my life. Here are a few of my top tips on how to reduce stress:
1. Breathe. Breathing deeply sends a message to our bodies to relax.
2. Visualize calm. You’ve probably heard this before, but going to a happy place in your mind (I enjoy thinking of past vacation spots) can help you relax. For example, try feeling the sand in your toes and remembering what the ocean smells like. (This is especially helpful in calming my mind so I can sleep.)
3. Exercise. Physical activity releases the happy, positive chemicals that can help fight illness and depression naturally.
4. Take a time out. Spend some time doing something you love. It doesn’t have to be for hours, and it won’t make your problems go away, but just reading a book or looking through old pictures for 10 minutes can help energize you to take on the next challenge.
5. Just say no. We don’t have do everything. Enough said.
6. Laugh! Learning to laugh at ourselves and seeing the humor in any situation can reduce stress. Take a break and watch a funny YouTube clip and just laugh for a minute.
7. Talk or write it out. Sometimes it’s nice just to get those stressful feelings out. Talk to someone you trust who is not involved in the stressful situation or write out your feelings. (You can even burn it after if you want.)
8. Get pampered. Once in awhile it’s okay to do something you wouldn’t normally do, just because you are a wonderful person and you deserve it. For example, get a massage, buy yourself a small treat or stop just to smell the roses or enjoy the sunset.
Feel free to combine coping techniques! My favorite is to go on a walk with a friend so I can vent about life or to watch funny clips on YouTube with my husband before going to bed.
One word of caution…be careful not to choose ways of coping that may cause you more stress and possible addiction in the long run such as alcohol, drugs, excessive shopping, eating, etc.
For an additional resource about stress, click here (https://extension.usu.edu/utah/files/uploads/I’m%20Not%20Stressed.pdf)
What’s your best tip for coping with stress?
This article was written by Naomi Brower
Naomi Brower is an Extension Associate Professor for Utah State University. She has a Masters of Family and Human Development from Utah State University. Often called the relationship guru by friends, Naomi is passionate about helping others improve the quality of their lives through creating and strengthening their relationships with others.