Stress can leave you feeling overwhelmed and out of control. There are only so many hours in the day to get everything done and the pressure of being a working mom can leave you feeling helpless at times. Stress has a negative impact on your emotional and physical well-being which makes it important to address. Take a look at our top twenty tips on how to cope with stress.
- Discover the main sources of stress
The first step to coping with stress is to pinpoint the causes of stress in your life. While some sources of stress are easy to pinpoint, like switching jobs, others are more subtle. Your beliefs and thought patterns can be the source of your stress too.
- Review your habits
Do you have unhealthy habits that are causing you stress? Take an honest look at your behavior patterns to identify any areas of your lifestyle that you need to change.
- Take responsibility
While some of the sources of your stress are out of control, there are changes that you can make to reduce stress. Accept the things that you can’t change and take responsibility for the habits and thought patterns that you can adjust to make your life easier.
- Commit to tackling stress
Sometimes we get so used to operating at high levels of stress that it becomes normal to us. Take an honest look at how stressed you are and commit to making a change.
- Create a stress journal
Having a stress journal can help you to monitor your stress levels and to identify the sources of your stress. While it may seem impossible to make time to write in a journal, you can leave a book next to your bed and take a few minutes before you go to sleep to record your thoughts.
- Check your responses
How do you respond to stress? Do your reactions reduce your stress levels or increase them? When you take an honest look at how you currently cope with stress, it becomes easier to create change.
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- Map the effects
Review the consequences that stress is having on your life. Take a look at how stress is affecting you physically and emotionally. Understanding the negative consequences of stress makes it easier to choose the right coping strategies and to stick to them.
- Change unhealthy coping strategies
Replace unhealthy coping strategies with methods that make you feel relaxed and in control. Try out different techniques to see which ones work best for you.
- Avoid stressors
While there are some stressors that we can’t avoid, there are instances where we can change the situations that are causing us stress.
- Establish boundaries
Sometimes all it takes to decrease your stress levels is to learn to say no. Creating healthy boundaries is essential if you want to feel more relaxed.
Review your to-do-list and eliminate any tasks that aren’t essential. This frees you up to focus on the responsibilities that care most about.
- Learn to communicate
Expressing your feelings in a respectful manner can help to reduce stress. When you bottle up your feelings it creates tension and puts a strain on your relationships.
- Spend time with friends
When you share your experiences and frustrations with your friends, it helps you to relax and unwind. Words of encouragement and support can go a long way towards helping you to feel better after a bad day.
If tension in your relationships is causing you anxiety, look for opportunities to compromise. Instead of focusing on getting the other person to change their behavior, focus on finding solutions to the problem where both people win.
- Find balance
With a never-ending to-do-list, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. Make sure that you take some time to do activities that you enjoy. Taking time out to recharge helps you to look at difficult situations with a fresh perspective.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself
The pressure that we put on ourselves to be perfect is often one of the primary causes of stress. Focus on your strengths and use daily affirmations to boost your self-esteem.
Ask for help when you need it. From getting the kids involved with chores to asking your husband for more help, look for opportunities to reduce your workload.
- Seek help from a professional
Sometimes it’s hard for us to identify our problematic belief systems on our own. From adjusting negative thought patterns to learning to communicate better, there are plenty of benefits to seeking help from a therapist.
Exercising may be the last thing on your mind when you’re feeling overwhelmed but it’s essential to incorporate physical activities into your weekly schedule. When you get your body moving, endorphins are released and it’s easier to relax.
- Decrease your caffeine and sugar consumption
By decreasing the amount of caffeine and sugar in your diet you’ll feel more relaxed. You’ll also enjoy a better quality sleep.