We all get stressed out from time to time from work, school, or our busy schedule. It’s okay to be stressed every so often but if there is a constant stress in your life, it could be very damaging to your health and well-being. Stress can lead to headaches, stomach pain, muscle tension, fatigue, and even heart attacks. It can cause you to pick fights with people and put a strain on your relationships with friends, family, and partners.
Now, you may not be able to change what is stressing you out, but you can control how you respond to the stress. One of the main things that I like to do when I am stressed out is to create a list. I write down everything that needs to be done and cross off each one when the task is completed. This helps me to see how much I have to do and helps me feel in control of the situation.
What I do to handle stress might work for you or there may be easy and quick ways to help you deal with stress. If you notice that you’re showing signs of stress, there are 3 quick things that you can do to help yourself.
Practice Breathing Exercises
This is the easiest thing that you can do to control your stress because you can do it anywhere. Just breath. Relax your mind. Focus on your breath, pushing all other thoughts aside. Be conscious of the breath coming in and going out; focus on the sensation of inhaling and exhaling.
Doing this at work at your desk or at home when you have a lot of responsibilities will help you feel more in control, loosen up the tension in your muscles and will increase the supply of oxygen to your brain and lead you into a state of calm.
Change Your Environment
My job is pretty demanding and stressful so during my workday, I like to make a point to change my environment. If I have to make a bunch of trips to drop papers off to different people, I try to walk a different route than usual to change up the scenery. At lunch, I try not to eat at my desk, rather outside or in my car. Doing these things helps me to escape my busy environment.
Another easy thing you can do to manage your stress is to go outside! People easily forget that they are allowed to go outside during the workday. This is especially important if you work from home and don’t have a commute to an office building. Try to take a ten-minute walk each day, whether it be around your neighborhood, work parking lot, or around an actual walking path at a local park. Sunshine and nature will naturally boost vitamin D and increase levels of serotonin in the body.
Treat yourself to some dark chocolate.
It shocked me too when I found out but yes, eating dark chocolate has been found to decrease stress. Researchers have found that eating one average-sized dark chocolate candy bar that is over 70% cocoa, reduces stress levels, and inflammation in your body. Additionally, it makes you happier which has positive effects on your brain. This is the perfect excuse to have a little chocolate candy stash in your desk at work or hidden away from the kids at home!
Remember, it’s perfectly normal to feel stressed out every so often. I tend to feel overwhelmed a lot and have to take a step back from what I am doing and go talk to a co-worker or take a 10-minute walk around the block. If these activities don’t help you, try other self-care activities like reading, laying down for a few minutes, taking a shower, or chatting with a loved one.