Feeling Stressed? Follow This Guide
Stress may be an inevitable part of the human experience, but it does not have to be a consistent obstacle on your health and wellness journey. Here at EVER BETTER™, we believe that the foundation to a better, happier you is within – and that includes the ability to manage the stresses of everyday life while focusing on the positive and enjoying every moment.
What Is Stress?
To put it simply, stress is your body’s physical, emotional, or psychological reaction to change that requires action. Stress is inevitable because change is inevitable, and the degree of stress you experience is directly related to the amount of change and its potential impact on your life. Unfortunately, we cannot create a life free from stress; but we can create a life with the tools needed to manage it.
Of course, there are varying degrees of stress. For example, taking on a new assignment at work is typically not as stressful as a significant life change like moving, getting married, or coping with the loss of a loved one. Learning to manage stress through simple techniques that you can easily integrate into your daily life can not only help you quickly brush off the smaller stresses, but it can also help you prepare for dealing with larger ones.
Now that you know you’re never alone when it comes to stress and that you have the power to manage it, it’s time to kick back, relax, and read our quick guide to daily stress management:
Separate what you can control from what you can’t. As human beings, it’s normal to have an immediate and emotional reaction to a stressful situation. Before you let your emotions take over your stress response, it’s important to pause, breathe, and assess whether or not the external stressor is something you can control. If it is, then great – you can establish your plan! If not, then you can practice giving yourself grace and remind yourself that this situation is beyond your control.
Breathe. Your body’s immediate stress reaction may include physical symptoms such as an elevated heart rate or shortness of breath, which can make it difficult to remain calm and determine the best next steps. By taking several moments to close your eyes, focus, and take several deep breaths, you can help level set your body’s reaction and find the calm you need to develop your plan.
Talk it out with a loved one. Sometimes, there’s nothing better than getting an outside perspective from a significant other, family member, or friend. If you find yourself in a stressful situation and experiencing doubt or confusion, get in touch with a loved one to get their perspective on the matter. Not only are you likely to get calm, rational advice on how to deal with your stress, but you will also know that it’s coming from someone who has your back.
Exercise. Working out isn’t just good for your waistline, it’s also wonderful for your mental health and stress management! It helps to release endorphins, otherwise known as “feel good” chemicals that your nervous system produces to naturally cope with stress. Don’t worry if you are short on time when stress hits; even just a short walk around the block can do wonders.
Fuel up with healthy foods. Stress can create a vicious cycle of unhealthy eating, lack of movement, and lack of sleep that can result in weight gain, fatigue, and other health issues. That’s why it’s important to stick to a healthy and balanced diet during stressful times. If you find yourself craving comfort foods, look for healthier alternatives made with lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh veggies. You can get some great ideas ad recipes from this post on The Better Blog. If you are craving something sweet, skip the traditional cookies and candy bars and instead reach for our EVER BETTER™ Protein Cookie Bites, which are packed with wholesome ingredients including protein and probiotics.
Get enough sleep. Oftentimes, stress results in a racing mind that peaks in the hours before bedtime. This can make it difficult, or for some even impossible, to fall asleep or stay asleep for a full 7-8 hours. This will leave you feeling groggy and irritable in the morning, leaving you susceptible to even more stress. It’s important to prioritize your sleep and practice relaxing pre-bedtime rituals to clear you mind and prepare your body for the restorative sleep it needs. One of our favorite pre-bedtime rituals is writing in a Stress Journal, which lets you literally put your worries on paper so you can shut the cover and go back to them in the morning.
When it comes to stress, it’s important to remember that you are never alone because everyone experiences it. We hope this guide sparks some ideas to help you cope with stress along your own health and wellness journey. Remember…you are worth it!
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