Stress Management: 9 Tips to Conquer your Inner Beast

November 12, 2014

By: Anna Agoncillo

The daily hustles and bustles in a face-paced city made me realize how stressful life can be. Stress, when not managed, can be detrimental to one’s health. So, here are some ways to conquer your inner beast, and live healthily:

1. SLOW DOWN, BREATHE AND RELAX.

(c) Sreehariayurveda
Whenever you feel like you're going to burst, calm yourself down. Breathe in and out, hold your breath for a while, breathe slowly and repeat. A higher form of this practice is called meditation. Personally, yoga and meditation help me regulate my emotions better.

2. SHARE YOUR EMOTIONS AND EXPERIENCES. 

When you experience something difficult, seek refuge from the people who can offer you the listening ears (e.g. friends, family, support group or school counselor). I truly find talking therapeutic. I can freely express and let go of my worries and share it to a person who affirms and understands me the most.
 

3. SMILE AND LAUGH OFTEN.

Smile and laughA study showed that when people were placed in a stressful situation, even the most forced of smiles can decrease one's stress and increase happiness. Also, smiling transmits nerve impulses from the facial muscles to the limbic system, a key emotional center in the brain (Bloomfield & Cooper, 1996). Once you've tricked your brain to change its mood, your thoughts shall follow (Fake it 'till you make it!).

4. EAT HEALTHILY AND MONITOR YOUR LIFESTYLE CHOICES. 

If you feel good inside, it will radiate on how you look outside. Here are 10 tips by ChooseMyPlate.gov to help you make healthier food choices. You can download it and pin it on your fridge as a friendly reminder. 
 

5. GET ENOUGH SLEEP FOR YOUR MIND AND BODY.

When you are tired and sleep deprived, you are less patient, less concentrated and easily irritated. This can increase stress. Give your body the restorative rest it deserves. At least 6-8 hrs of sleep is ideal for teens and adults.

6. EXERCISE REGULARLY.


Exercise has physical and psychological benefits such as reducing anxiety and depression. Studies also showed that exercise improve one's quality of life, self-concept and self-efficacy (Swan & Hyland, 2012). So, run outside the house or gather a group of friends and start a regular exercise routine.

7. SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY.

Make a conscious effort to spend quality time with people whom you care for the most. The greatest gift you can give to anyone is your time and attention. Seeing them happy will make you feel better.

(c) The Guardian
8. SPARE A PORTION OF THE DAY FOR YOURSELF.

Set aside at least 10 minutes of the day to yourself. Put chores or work away and do something you really enjoy. Listen to your favorite song, eat your favorite dessert, pamper your body or try on different shades of dresses (Tips to wear the color of your mood here). I know it's easier said than done but try it! You'll love it!

 

9. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS AND BE GRATEFUL!

Before you go to sleep or the after you wake up, think of 3 things you are thankful about. This changes your focus from your stressors to the beautiful things that you might have taken for granted. 
It doesn’t have to be a big thing. Practicing this often will help you gain a positive outlook in life, a coping strategy with difficulties and an increase in overall satisfaction (Action for Happiness, n.d.).
(c) Google Images

Parting thoughts

To deal with stress, you must take care of yourself (body, mind and spirit), spend time on knowing yourself better, seek support from your loved ones, and have a positive outlook in life. Follow these 9 simple steps and go beyond it. Everything else shall follow. 


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References

Action for Happiness. (n.d.). Find three good things each day. Retrieved on November 2, 2014 from http://www.actionforhappiness.org/take-action/find-three-good-things-each-day

Bloomfield, H., & Cooper, R. (1996). Power of Five. USA: Rodale Press

Swan, J. & Hyland, P. (2012). A review of the beneficial mental health effects of exercise and recommendations for future research. Psychology & Society, 5(1), 1-15

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