Stress can affect your thoughts, feelings, and behavior (source), so it’s important to find ways to deal with your stress.
Common effects of stress are headaches, pain, upset stomach, insomnia, irritability, depression, and can lead to overeating or social withdrawal (source).
It’s a serious and under-diagnosed issue – but it can be managed by taking action.
How to deal with stress in a healthy way
Medicating with alcohol or caffeine can temporarily alleviate the pain of stress, but it’s not a lasting or helpful solution.
It’s important to find and choose healthy ways of dealing with stress that lead to long-term solutions. Below is a list of easy-ish ways of dealing with stress – choose your favorite one and give yourself the time to feel better.
If you are dealing with prolonged anxiety and stress, please seek help from a therapist.
10 easy ways to deal with stress
- Go for a walk or do some other physical activity (yoga, tai chi, etc). Exercise improves your mood and relaxes your body!
- Practice meditation. Even just taking a few deep breaths will reduce your heart rate.
- Ask a friend for a massage or go to a spa. Your muscles get tense when you’re stressed, help release them with a massage. Or have a spa day at home.
- Spend some time with someone who makes you laugh. Doing something fun that makes you feel good is a great stress reducer.
- Take a bath and listen to some relaxing music. This will cause your muscles to relax and allow you to quiet your mind.
- Get enough sleep regularly. If you are low on sleep, your cortisol levels are raised – making you feel anxious.
- Say no to something on your social calendar that causes you stress. You’ll feel immediately relieved when you remove something from your calendar – choose something non-mandatory (keep your doctor’s appointments!) and send your regrets.
- Talk to someone about what’s causing you stress. Seeing a therapist or speaking with a friend will both be helpful – it’s important to vocalize your pain.
- Practice deep breathing. Focusing on your breath will help to center you.
- Spend time in nature. Getting outside is an immediate mood boost. Even a brisk 15-minute walk outside will help you feel better.