Life is busy. Life is chaotic. Stress is part of life. At least, most people’s life. Have you ever noticed that some people experience constant stress and anxiety while others experience less or almost none? There are many factors in play, of course, but one thing is for sure: Stress doesn’t come from the circumstances in your life but on how you respond to them. So the way you see and approach life has a big impact on your stress levels. Two people can live the same situation but react completely differently to it. Learning how to manage stress in a healthful way can help you feel more at peace from within, thereby affecting your whole wellbeing, and life positively.
How do you currently manage your stress? Do you know? Some people drink, smoke, eat, workout, meditate.. Do you know what works well for you but that is also health-supportive? If so, that’s wonderful. It takes time, practice and patience to figure out what works for us. If on the other side you haven’t figure out yet, this article might help.
Here are 20 ways on how you can manage your stress in a more healthful way. And it’s not about doing them all but more about finding what works for you, and what you do and apply to your daily life. It’s better to do less but do it well, and it’s better to do less than nothing at all. Do what you can. If you think you may forget, write a few ideas on a piece of paper and hang it somewhere that you can see it easily.
- Live in the present moment. Lean to go of the past. You’re not going there. You can’t do anything about it. Accept it, learn from it, let it go and move on. Also, remember that the future hasn’t happened yet. Anything in your life can change at any moment, thereby worrying about the future won’t help anything. You are just causing yourself more internal stress for something that haven’t happened yet. If you live in the present moment, you are fully present with the only moment you truly have.
- Learn to trust. Learn to trust yourself and life. Trust that whatever “issue” you have or going through is there to teach you something. You may just not see it now. Be patient and kind to yourself. I believe the purpose of life is to learn and evolve so try your best to see every situation as opportunities to learn and grow. There is no such thing as mistakes. Practice trust and let go control.
- Learn to apologize. It’s not being weak. It’s being strong. When you do so, you free yourself. You help your body, mind and soul. This is a form of healing.
- Practice gratefulness. Have you noticed that what we have is never enough? When we get what we wanted, later on we have a tendency to forget about it and wanting more. We always want more, or different. Yet, there are people who have nothing in life that always show up in life with a smile. Learn to be grateful for everything you have because you do have a lot to be grateful for. Practicing gratitude, and even have a gratitude journal, can be very helpful.
- Learn to say NO. Learn to have boundaries. Learn to slow-down. And without feeling guilty. It’s ok to rest. It’s ok to think about you. That’s a form of self-respect and self-love.
- Practice deep breathing. When feeling stressed or anxious, go to your breath. Take a deep breath through the nose, filling your belly first and then your chest, hold for a few seconds, then gently exhale through the mouth, taking a few seconds more to exhale. Repeat a few times until you feel calmer.
- Try meditation. There are so many ways to meditate and so many kinds of meditation to try. It doesn’t have to be fancy or too long. See what works for you. Start small. And as you get more comfortable, increase time. Meditation is known to reduce stress and anxiety and elevate mood.
- Move your body. Find what you like, whether it’s weightlifting, running, yoga, tennis or swimming. Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress, both physically and emotionally. Do something you enjoy. And doing an activity outside in nature is just as good, if not better. Nothing beats fresh air. And nature is truly calming and healing.
- Try aromatherapy. Diffuse oil in your house or a room you spend a lot of time in or put a few drops on your pillow. Try oils such as lavender, bergamot, lemon, rose or chamomile. Make sure to use pure essential oils, preferably organic.
- Sip on a cup of hot tea or coffee that you enjoy. It’s soothing; it’s comforting. Make it a ceremony. Take your time making it, be fully present, and enjoy every sip. A cup of warm soup or broth is just as good.
- Do a self-care activity. You can go on a walk in nature, take a warm bubble bath, light up some candles, reading a good book, chat with a friend, going for a facial, massage or pedicure, listen to a motivational podcast or to your favorite playlist, or whatever that you enjoy that is healthy and that makes you feel good.
- Write. You can write anything from a to-do list to help clear your mind, a life bucket list, some affirmations that speak to you, things that you are grateful for, your strengths, what you want to accomplish in your life, how you feel about certain situations in your life. Writing is very powerful.
- Talk to someone in whom you trust. It can be your spouse, a friend, a therapist. Anybody that you know that can listen to you, and that perhaps you can have some compassion or extra love, or maybe get words of wisdom. Talking is always good to express and liberate ourselves.
- Choose your words wisely. Words have so much power on us. Use them carefully, with yourself and others. Remember that words, when spoken, can’t be taken back.
- Try something creative. Draw in an adult coloring book with beautiful pencils, try painting, photography, create a vision board, cook or bake something you enjoy, or to give as a gift.
- Have good sex. Try something different. Explore in that area. Have fun. It’s always a good way to relieve some stress.
- Get good sleep. Sometimes, all we need is a good night’s sleep. Go to bed early or take a nap during the day if needed. Learn to slow down. Learn to rest. So many beautiful things happen when we rest.
- Get good nutrition. Eat whole foods, eat fresh foods. Cook homemade, nourishing meals. Take a good quality multi-vitamin. Stay hydrated. Poor nutrition and inadequate hydration add stress on the body.
- Let go of perfectionism. There is no such thing as perfection. It doesn’t exist. Instead, learn to relax, and learn to accept and let go. Embrace change. Life will always bring us challenges because that’s how we grow. And embrace your imperfections; we are all perfectly imperfect!
- Enjoy life and the little things of life. Smile and laugh more. Don’t take life too seriously.