A little bit of stress in your life can be a good thing. In small doses, stress can motivate you to work hard and accomplish your goals. But if you’re experiencing levels of stress that cause difficulty concentrating, a weakened immune system, trouble sleeping, or irritability, you can improve your quality of life by following these three tips for managing stress.
Learn what causes your stress levels to spike. Everyone’s triggers are different. These can be obvious, like the stress you experience when you have to give a presentation, speak in public, or interview for a job. But you may have less obvious triggers too. Maybe you hate talking on the phone, or get anxious in crowded public spaces.
Many stress triggers are unavoidable. While it’s a good idea to avoid stressful situations if you’re already feeling overwhelmed, it’s also important to prepare to deal with them effectively. Brainstorm with a trusted friend or make a list of ways you can minimize stress when it’s triggered. For example, you might practice your presentation in front of the mirror several times, or role play that job interview until you feel more prepared for it. Or, if crowded public spaces are your main concern, you can plan to do errands like grocery shopping in the early morning or late evening, when there are fewer people around.
Make Time to Relax
Life gets busy, but carving out time to relax and take care of yourself is essential. The simple act of taking the time to go for a run, read a chapter of a good book, or soak in the tub can help lower your stress levels and boost your mood.
Remember, stress in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. It’s the amount you have in your life and how you manage it that makes the difference. Recognizing your stress triggers, minimizing their impact as much as you can, and taking good care of yourself can help you manage your stress effectively.