Stress Management Tips


Between commuting, work, and family responsibilities, there are a lot of opportunities in the day to get stressed out. The evidence is everywhere. Incidents of road rage are increasingly common, and you probably know people in your family or at the workplace that just can't seem to relax. The fact is, it's a busy world, and that's not likely to change anytime soon. The good news is that there are several things people interested in stress management can do to get a little peace of mind.

Burning off some steam is a tried and true stress management method. Twenty to thirty minutes worth of aerobic exercise can do wonders for shaking off a long day — or girding yourself against the daily grind. Anything from a morning run to a weekend basketball game to a lunch hour walk will make a big difference. When you exercise, your body and brain chemistry change a little bit, both flushing out chemicals that cause stress and increasing endorphin production.

Spending less time with late night comedians and more time with your pillow can also help with stress. Of course, many people's sleep problems arise from stress. A bedtime routine may help cut out stress and anxiety when you're ready to go to sleep. Sleep experts recommend a routine that doesn't include television.

Instead, they suggest reading a book, writing in a journal, or making a to-do list for the next day. If you're under a lot of pressure, focusing on a few things you know you can accomplish the next day may help put problems in perspective. If all else fails, a low-sugar snack could be just the thing to help you drift off.

Throughout the day there are several simple things you can do to manage your stress. One of these is reducing or eliminating your caffeine intake. Many of us rely on our mugs of java to get us through the day, but the peaks and valleys of a coffee drinker's energy level actually do contribute to stress. Focusing on your breathing can also help. Taking slow deep breaths is often used as an effective technique to bring one through a difficult situation, and the flood of oxygen to your brain actual can calm mounting tension.

While the above methods are fairly simple, much of stress management involves the more lengthy and complex process of getting rid of bad habits and learning to focus on the things that are important to you. Confronting problems with coworkers, roommates and friends — while sometimes difficult — can save you weeks of worry and tension.

Also, putting aside some time every day for an activity you really enjoy is helpful. Knowing that you have an interesting project or some time with your family waiting for you at home is likely to keep your rush hour teeth from grinding.

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