So far in the Stress Series, you have learned about the signs of physical reactions to negative distress. You have also learned ways exercise can help with stress management.
America is a stressed-out nation, there is a high likelihood that you experience some negative stress. Realize you are not alone, many Americans feel stress daily. Answering these two questions below can help you on your way to a healthier version of yourself with better stress management. How do you identify the stress in your life? How do you manage the stress in your life?
Identifying Stress Triggers in Your Life
- Know the Signs: Review the physiological stress reactions in the second article. Be aware of these negative distress signs. If you are aware of common stress signals, you can evaluate what is going on when you are feeling them.
- Write It Down: Journaling your feelings and daily activities may not sound fun, but it can be quite insightful. You may be surprised as to how much more emotionally aware you are when writing things down. It can be a great way to track what you are doing. You may see a pattern of when you feel more or less stress. You may see that diet, time management, lack of activity, commitments, and other events all lead to your stress. It can also be an excellent way for you to notice what has helped with stress reduction.
Manage Stress in Your Life
- Social Support: Group exercise can be a wonderful way to alleviate stress. Not only are you physically helping your body with exercise, but you are also laughing and talking with friends which can be therapeutic.
- Sleep/Rest: Make sure you are getting enough sleep nightly and that you find the time to rest your body.
- Eat Well: Reviewing what you are eating can benefit your stress levels. Not only will eating better benefit your overall health, but it can also make you feel happier when you make a healthy food choice.
- Time Management: A key to a healthier lifestyle lies within time management. You are needing to plan ahead with food, snacks, permit time for exercise, and balance your lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to say no, make sure you prioritize your health and your family. You may need to take some time to write out a schedule to help you fit in everything you want.
- Seek Support: Family and friends can either serve as stress relief or stress triggers. If you are having trouble managing your stress, please seek help. The American Psychological Association has great links for help. https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/