How to manage stress levels

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Today I’m going to discuss a few ways we can manage our stress levels but before we look into ways to reduce stress levels, let’s first find out what stress is.

Stress can be defined as the inability to cope with a perceived threat to one’s mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being which results in a series of physiological responses and adaptions. We actually get good and bad stress. Good stress positively compels people to action (for example studying for an exam or test), whereas bad stress results in negative feelings such as anger or depression. Bad stress can be acute or chronic and may lead to serious health problems.

In the world we live in our stress levels are much higher than they are supposed to be. High stress levels are a major problem, therefore, we need to take steps to manage our stress levels properly.

Here are five ways to reduce stress

  1. Eating better

    Following a well-balanced diet and eating regularly will help you to feel better in general. Eating better may also help you to control your moods better. Your diet should contain lean protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains for energy. Care must be taken to make sure that you don’t miss meals. This can not just put you in a bad mood but can also increase your stress levels. A few food sources that can reduce stress are berries, seeds, nuts, salmon, avocado, oatmeal and dark chocolate.

  2. Exercise on a regular basis

    When stress affects the brain with all its nerve connections the rest of the body will feel the impact. So this is the reason why if your body feels better so will your mind. Exercising on a regular basis is one of the best ways to relax your body and reduce stress levels. Exercise will also increase your energy levels and help you to think clearer. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins –  which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.

  3. Take regular breaks

    You need plan your day in such a way that you can take some breaks to give your mind time off to reduce stress. Taking a short break to refuel and refresh doesn’t mean that you are goofing off or that your brain has shut down. If you’ve been sitting for over an hour, get up and take a brief stroll around the building, or better yet, outside and take some deep breaths. You just need that little time off to catch your breath and regain mental energy.

  4. Make time for your hobbies

    You need to set aside some time to enjoy the things you like. Doing things you like will make you feel better and will reduce stress levels. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, giving yourself 15-30 minutes a day is more than enough to relax. Here is a link to a few hobbies for stress relief. Hobbies for stress relief

  5. Reach out for social support

    Calling a friend, sending a text or Whatsapp message will help you to talk to people. A recent study has shown that being part of a social system can decrease stress levels. When you share your concerns or feelings with another person, it does help relieve stress. But it’s important that the person whom you talk to is someone whom you trust and whom you feel can understand and support you. Spending time with people helps ward off loneliness. Whether it’s other new parents, dog lovers, fishing buddies or siblings, just knowing you’re not alone can go a long way toward coping with stress.

I hope these few tips will help you cope with stress better. If you would like more information about stress management please contact me at ewandeklerk1@gmail.com

Ewan de Klerk

 

 

 

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