Address These 3 Key Areas to Better Manage Your Stress

Stress is one of the key barriers in our quest for living a healthy life. Stress management is all about taking charge: of your lifestyle,...

Stress is one of the key barriers in our quest for living a healthy life. Stress management is all about taking charge: of your lifestyle, thoughts, emotions, and the way you deal with problems. Stand up for yourself in a polite way to fight with your brain (no actually trick your brain). Learn and practice relaxation techniques.

Address These 3 Key Areas to Better Manage Your Stress
Stress is, well, … stressful! But seriously, when we are in the thick of, when stress is really mounting, we can become irritable, get upset stomachs, become anxious, have depleted concentration, feel quiet moody, and even raise our blood pressure and have disturbed sleep. And you wouldn’t be alone; one in 4 Australian report having moderate to severe levels of stress.
Having said that, a degree of stress is helpful for our evolution. Stress keeps us sharp, gets us off the couch to go for a walk rather than staying home watching TV. So how can we manage stress levels and maintain a good degree of stress?
Recommended article: 10 Ways To Reduce Stress or Depression

Managing stress is about taking stock of our body, mind and social connection.

Healthy Body

Physically, we need to allow our bodies to do what they’re designed to do: self regulate, evolve and thrive. So how do you look after your body? Here are our tips:
Self awareness: it’s beneficial to identify when the body is functioning well and what enabled this to happen so you can emulate it. It’s also important to listen to your body for early warning signs that tell you when the pressure is building. Some warning signs include tensing the jaw, grinding teeth, getting repeat headaches, being quick to anger or becoming easily irritable.

Self management: what about scheduling some ‘bodytime’ in your calendar? Things like mindfulness practice, yoga, regular exercise, good sleep, good nutrition, and fun and enjoyable activities like riding, walking or gardening. Plan something every day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.

Healthy Mind

We know that people who manage stress well tend to have good anchors (personal beliefs and clear values, routines, and meaningful things or places) that support them to cope with stress. We also know that they tend to interpret events in a constructive and proactive way, with pragmatic optimism.
Identify your stress triggers.  

Most of us have an idea about what raises our stress level. Be it particular situations or negative self-talk (yes we all have negative self talk). We often allow fear to rise if we perceive a situation as a threat to our identity, our autonomy or belongingness. Some of the tips we teach at Holistic is how to turn perceptions of difficulties into challenges. For example: turning the “I won’t fit in”to “everyone started as an outsider before they felt they belonged”, or from “I can’t do it” to “what else worked before and what could I do now?.

When we’re stressed, we sometimes say things to ourselves that are quite unhelpful, and tend to repeat them. So managing stress is often about about internal thought management and turning difficulties into challenges.

Healthy social connections

We know that one of the most effective managers of stress is care, human connection and social bonding. When we feel cared for and care for others the body release a neurotransmitter that moderates the levels of the stress chemical (including adrenaline or the ‘fight or flight’ chemical, norepinephrine, and the more slowly-released cortisol). So look at ways to grow your current social support network (friends, family or community) who you can lean on for support, care, love and guidance, and visa versa. And remember, social media doesn’t always feel very ‘social’, so opt for the face to face interactions wherever possible. Spending time with family and friends who you find uplifting can really help. Rather than bottling up your feelings, share your thoughts and feelings with others when you can.

Establishing routines for the physical, mental and social health will help you take the bad stress out of life and keep the stress at a good healthy level. So find out what the right “zone” is for your stress and aim for that!

When to seek professional help?

If you find that high levels of stress are continuing for a long period of time, or are interfering with you enjoying a healthy life, please seek professional help. There are many Psychology who are experts in mental and emotional health and can help you identify behaviors and situations that are contributing to high stress, and help you to make changes to the things that are within your control.

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