Stress is an all-encompassing, paralyzing feeling that can take over your life.
Therapy is one of the most effective courses of treatment for extreme stress and anxiety, but sometimes, it's not always enough to help you cope.
That's where changes in habit and behavior come in.
So, here are seven tips that will help you deal with stress every single day:
1. Figure out your sources.
What situations are going to trigger your stress? Among other things, your stress and anxiety can be linked to work, family, relationships and other similar factors.
Any kind of life change can really spike this as well. Have you recently moved, gotten a new job or lost an old one or gotten married or divorced?
All of these things can affect your stress levels.
2. Recognize your symptoms.
Your signs of stress are going to be different from anyone else's.
Some people react to stress by getting mad. Some can't concentrate or make decisions as well. Some people get worried or depressed.
Stress that hasn't been properly dealt with can even manifest itself as physical symptoms like back pain, headache, upset stomach or even trouble sleeping.
Once you know yours, you'll know how to effectively deal with them.
3. Look at your coping strategies.
It's helpful to evaluate how we cope with situations that stress us out and cause anxiety.
Do you drink a little more or smoke too much? Maybe you overeat or shop too much.
Whatever your coping strategies, both positive and negative, it's best to evaluate them so you can have a good idea about how you deal with things.
4. Learn to say, "no."
It can feel good to say, "yes" to people and to then deliver on whatever you've promised to do.
But, this becomes problematic if we overcommit to things.
Not only will you not be able to deliver on all these things you've said yes to, but you'll also start to feel unwell and depressed.
Simplify your life and limit the stressors you have.
5. Plan ahead.
Take a look at your day and figure out the most important things you have to do.
Once you've established this list of items, take a look at some of the smaller, less important items on your list, and rank them accordingly.
Some items will even fall off of your list entirely, and this is OK. You're simplifying your life in order to de-stress, and that involves some tidying up of daily tasks.
6. Create time to relax.
It isn't easy, but it's important to take time for yourself, to relax and to make it all about you.
If you can't manage a vacation, try to make time for movie night, to read that book you've always been meaning to get to or to listen to music.
Deep breathing exercises and meditation are both super useful when it comes to de-stressing and kicking those negative feelings to the curb.
7. Exercise regularly.
A brisk walk, a bike ride and a trip over to the gym are only a couple of ways you can kill stress.
You should try to get the same amount of exercise per week as the length of a movie: about two to two and a half hours.
This will give you something fun to do while also keeping your mood up.
You might always have to cope with some of the effects of stress and anxiety, but at least you can eliminate a few of the more harsh and oppressive feelings through simplifying your life.