Health Lifestyle

15 Smart Tips For Successfully Managing Stress

Successfully Managing Stress

March 13th, 2018   |   Updated on April 27th, 2024

If you’re stressed, whether by your job or by something more personal, the first step to feeling better is to identify the cause. The most unhelpful thing you can do is turn to something unhealthy to help you cope, such as smoking or drinking.

Stress is our body’s and mind’s way of telling us that something has upset our normal equilibrium. At times stress is not a bad thing as it may motivate us to succeed but sometimes, stress can affect us in a negative way.

1. Transition Between the Office and Home

Whatever works for you, do it! Maybe it’s a drive, a coffee or a visit with a friend but try to transition between work and home mode. You will feel more connected, far less strained and your children will thank you.

2. Be active

Exercise won’t make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling, clearing your thoughts and letting you to deal with your problems more calmly.

3. Connect with people

A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles and help you see things in a different way. The activities we do with friends help us relax. We often have a good laugh with them, which is an excellent stress reliever.

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4. Challenge yourself

Setting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside, such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps to build confidence. This will help you deal with stress.

5. Work smarter, not harder

Working smarter means prioritising your work, concentrating on the tasks that will make a real difference.

6. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eat a well-balanced diet which includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as foods which are high in complex carbohydrates. An ideal diet also has moderate amounts of protein while remaining low in fat.

7. Go outdoors whenever possible

A little sunshine and activity can do you a world of good and enhance your entire life outlook.

8. Think positive

For each negative thought you have, try to counter it with something positive. Always look for that silver lining.

9. Set realistic goals for yourself

Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic goals. For example, if you are dieting, realise that you cannot lose 10kg in one month. Allow for sufficient time to reach your goals and acknowledge that occasional setbacks may occur. Avoid expectations altogether if you can; expectations and reality are often two entirely different things.

10. Make time for yourself

You have to be on top of your priority list. Attend to your own needs first. Once they are met you will find that you may have more time for others. You may find more pleasure in helping others when you don’t feel that you must always put others’ needs before your own.

11. Adopt good sleep habits

Make sure you go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day. Avoid very stimulating games and take a warm shower before bedtime to help you relax. Try to resolve arguments before bedtime. If possible, only bring up issues during daytime.

12. Mindfulness Meditation

Try Mindfulness Meditation. Meditation has been fast gaining momentum and practiced by many people to help not just relax their mind but most importantly, centre and ground them. In other words, being focused in the moment, which is the present or NOW!

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13. Laughter is the best medicine

Listen to some humorous podcasts, watch some comedies or even short YouTube clips at the end of the day on your commute home. According to Mayo Clinic, laughter has both short term and long term (improve mood and immune system) benefits. So have a good belly-rollicking laugh!

14. Step Back and Put the Problem in Perspective

Maybe you’re disappointed that you didn’t get a promotion you were up for or concerned that money is a little tight this month because of an unexpected medical bill. Feeling stressed is a natural reaction. But try to take a step back and ask yourself: Will this issue still matter in a year? In five years? If the answer is no, take a deep breath and try to move forward. Keeping things in perspective is crucial to managing stress.

15. Try to Get Some Regular Exercise Every Day

Exercise is one of the best methods for managing stress because it can relieve both the physical and emotional effects of stress. Consider fitness choices that also deliver specific stress-reducing effects like yoga, tai chi, Pilates, or one of the martial arts, all great ways to get rid of pent-up stress and negativity. “Exercise can help regulate and dissipate in a productive way those ‘fight or flight’ stress chemicals in the brain,” says Kubiak.