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Self-Help for Dealing with Stress
Stress invades people’s lives all the time, even daily for some. Life gets hard and it’s difficult to juggle all the things life throws at us. It’s important that we get our stress levels under control because frequently elevated levels of stress are toxic to the human body and can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. It’s easier than you may think to help yourself decrease your stress levels. Just follow these simple steps.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and do not decrease your levels of stress; they increase them. Alcohol is a depressant in large amounts and a stimulant in small amounts, making it bad for you to take as a way of relieving stress. Instead of reaching towards the alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, grab some water or herbal tea. These are hydrating and provide you with stress relief.
- Try taking part in physical activity. Stress releases hormones in your body known as adrenaline and cortisol. Releasing some of these hormones can help your stress levels to go down.
- Get more sleep. Not getting enough sleep is a direct correlation to high-stress levels. However, stress sometimes prevents us from relaxing enough to fall asleep. If you are having this issue, try taking a warm bath or reading before bedtime. Another good tip is going to bed at roughly the same time every night. This creates a routine for you to follow, naturally decreasing your stress.
- Try relaxation techniques. Every day, try a different stress-reducing technique. You can try self-hypnosis as this is very simple and easy to do anywhere. You could also attempt saying one word repeatedly to yourself that holds meaning for you. Don’t worry if these relaxation tips don’t work right off the bat. Relaxation is a skill that takes time to master.
- Talk to someone you trust and who can help. Letting someone know how you feel is a great way to reduce your stress. Many people have said that it’s like a weight being lifted off their shoulders. Stress can cloud our minds and prevent us from thinking clearly. Talking through your situation with someone can help you figure out a solution to what you’re stressing about.
- Keep a stress diary. Keeping a diary and writing down your thoughts and emotions will help you become more aware of what you’re feeling. Write down the date and place the stressful event occurred. Also include what you were doing and how you felt, both emotionally and physically. Writing everything down will enable you to avoid another stressful situation and you’ll discover some new coping mechanisms.
- Manage your time. Many people experience stress when they run out of time to do important things. With a schedule to follow you can ensure that you get all of your important tasks done in a timely manner. Having all your work done on time will help to decrease some stress.
- Learn to say “No”. It’s easy to believe that you have all the time in the world and can juggle one more thing in your life. But sometimes you need to remember that you have so many other important things that needs to be juggled. There’s only a certain amount of hours in a day, making it hard to get multiple things done.
Take care of yourself. Stress invades everyone’s lives but dealing with stress is manageable. Know that everything will get better and the thing that’s causing you so much stress won’t be a worry to you down the road.
Self-Help Tips for Dealing with a Low Mood
Many people suffer from depression and low moods. It’s often hard to overcome, but remember that change takes time. When trying to take control of your feelings, remember to be patient. Listed below are some tips you can use to try to lift your feelings of depression.
1. Stay in touch. Don’t withdraw from your life and your loved ones. When talking to others, it has been proven that it can improve your mood. Talk to the people you care about the most. Let them know how you feel because they may be the biggest key in you getting the healing that you need.
2. Be more active. Take up any form of exercise. Studies have shown that exercise helps to lift your mood.
3. Face your fears. Whatever is making you feel so low, face it, but in small amounts. Running away from something difficult can actually just make your mood drop even more. Depression can make people lose their confidence, but don’t let it take that away from you. Battle through it and tell your depression who’s boss.
4. Don’t drink too much alcohol. Alcohol in large amounts is a depressant, which will only make you feel more depressed. You may turn to drinking to cope or hide from your depression, but in actuality only makes it worse.
5. Try to have a healthier diet. When depressed, many people don’t feel like eating. This makes them in danger of being underweight. On the flip side, though, some people find comfort in food, which then puts them in danger of being overweight.
6. Have a routine. Keeping your body on a regular schedule has shown to decrease stress and low moods. Ensure that you go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time. Without a routine, you can fall into a slump and notice a new level of sadness. Another negative to not having a routine is that it impacts your eating. You may stop cooking regular meals, eat snacks throughout the entire day, or miss meals because you stay in bed all day.
These tips may not work for everyone. However, if you notice that your depression is getting out of hand and you can’t handle things on your own, it may be time that you get help from a professional. They’ll be able to provide you with an “attack” plan to help battle your depression.
If you feel as though the tips given won’t help, or that your depression is on a high level, then you may want to consider talking to your doctor about medication to help balance your moods.
There are also helplines available to anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable getting help from their doctor, or whose depression has gotten so out of hand that they’ve thought about harming themselves.