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According to Ipsos, over half of America (52%) feels stressed to the point that they don’t feel they can cope, and another 51% cite mental health as a top health concern.

If you’re struggling to cope with stress, you could also be struggling to focus and function. Before that happens, apply these tips for stress management. Start living your best life today by prioritizing your mental wellness!

Identify Sources of Stress

Try to recognize when you are starting to feel stressed out, and remember that your symptoms can be mental and physical. According to Healthline, signs of chronic stress include:

  • Headaches
  • Increased depression
  • High blood sugar
  • Weakened immunity
  • Insomnia
  • Heartburn
  • Rapid breathing
  • Pounding heart
  • Tense muscles
  • Stomach aches
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Recognizing your triggers can help you manage everyday stress. Therefore, try to consider how your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors might be contributing.

Keep a Stress Journal

Creating a stress journal may help you identify your regular stress triggers. In your stress journal, keep a list of the stressor, the physical and emotional symptoms you experienced, how you responded to these symptoms, and how you felt after your attempt to cope. All of this information will be very helpful for the future, and you can use it to help you the next time you feel triggered by something.

Avoid Temporary Relief

It’s possible you’re coping with stress using ineffective (and even unhealthy) strategies. These coping mechanisms might not only be unproductive, they could even make your stress worse.

For example, perhaps you’re withdrawing from friends and family. While done with good intention in mind, isolation could make your stress worse. 

Other forms of temporary relief include lashing out, procrastination, and filling your day with so many tasks that you don’t have any down time. Additional maladaptive coping mechanisms include excessive drinking, sleeping, and binge eating, which can cause your mental and physical health to deteriorate.

If you’re using these unhealthy coping mechanisms, ask for help. There are online therapy services available. These resources will help you develop more healthy coping strategies for handling stress. 

Start Coping With Stress

To better manage your everyday stress, use the four A’s: avoid, alter, adapt, and accept.

Remind yourself of these techniques the next time you feel stressed, as these strategies will help you to remain calm and in control.

Avoid Unnecessary Stress

Don’t avoid a stressful situation that needs addressing, as the stress could only build up over time. Instead, try to determine which stressors you can eliminate from your life. 

In order to do so, review your stress journal to determine your limits (in both your personal and professional life). Learning how to say no can help you avoid stressful situations.

 You should also try to apply the same principles to people in your life. If there are specific people in your life who are constantly major causes of stress, consider ways in which you can minimize contact with them.

Another way to reduce unnecessary stress is to try to take control of your environment. For example, perhaps going grocery shopping, traffic, or the news triggers your anxiety. If this is the case, consider completing your grocery shopping using an online delivery service, adjusting your commute to avoid traffic, or shutting off the TV if the news is on.

Review your schedule, daily tasks, and responsibilities, and determine what you can eliminate to avoid excess stress on your plate. 

Alter the Situation

If you can’t avoid a stressful situation, try to change it, starting with trying to change how you communicate. Instead of bottling up your emotions, express them by remaining open, honest, and respectful.

Also, remain willing to compromise. If you ask someone to change a behavior, you may need to do the same. 

Adapt to Everyday Stress

Try adapting to how you react to stressful situations. First, try to reframe the problem as to see the situation from a positive perspective.

For example, perhaps you feel stressed while shopping. If this is the case, pause, and try to imagine the delicious meal you’ll make later. You could also think about nourishing your body or spending time with friends and family.

Try to look at the big picture by asking yourself how important it will be later. Will this situation matter in a month? If the answer is no, try to focus your energy elsewhere and remind yourself it’s not worth stressing over.

Try to adjust your standards, as perfectionism is a cause of avoidable stress. Instead ,think about what might be more reasonable standards for yourself. 

Accept What You Can’t Change

You can’t change everything. Therefore, you may need to start handling stress by accepting the situation.

Otherwise, trying to control the uncontrollable can lead to additional stress.

Stay Social

Excessive technology use can increase your stress levels. Instead of staring at your phone, connect with others. 

Make time for family and friends. You can build relationships by:

  • Finding a workout buddy
  • Reaching out to a colleague at work
  • Volunteering
  • Having lunch or coffee with a friend
  • Calling or emailing a friend
  • Scheduling a weekly dinner date
  • Taking a class
  • Joining a club
  • Asking a loved one to check in with you regularly

Consider joining a support group. There are groups available in person and through online therapy platforms.

Prioritize Mental Wellness

Prioritize your mental health by making time for fun. Consider doing something you enjoy every day. This can include playing the piano, journaling, or painting.

Take up relaxation practices. Deep breathing, meditation, and yoga activate the body’s relaxation responses.

Find Balance in a Fast-Paced World

Try to improve your time management skills by prioritizing tasks and avoiding over-committing your time. 

Remember to find opportunities for fun and joy that balance out your sources of stress.

Apply These Tips for Stress Management Today

Use these tips for stress management as part of your routine. With these strategies, you can prosper and manage future challenges. 

Create a fulfilling, balanced life with Solid Group Psychotherapy. We can address the root causes of your stress and anxiety, and we’ll develop strategies tailored to your unique needs.

Want to more effectively manage your stress? Book an appointment for online stress management therapy today.