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How To Stop Life Stress Before It Becomes Severe

Preventive Stress Management

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Updated June 10, 2014

How To Stop Life Stress Before It Becomes Severe

Managing Live Stress: Living a low-stress lifestyle is within your grasp. ©iStockphoto.com

We all know what it feels like to be overwhelmed by stress, and this site has many techniques that can effectively reduce high levels of stress to more manageable levels so you don’t suffer negative health consequences. However, the best way to manage severe stress is to prevent it, or catch it while it’s still low-grade stress and prevent it from becoming severe and chronic. This article contains some important suggestions that have also been recommended by the Mayo Clinic on how to manage stress day-by-day to prevent it from becoming overwhelming.

Relaxing

It’s important to keep your mind and body relaxed. Meditation, prayer, having a creative outlet, listening to music and laughter all help. For other relaxation techniques, visit the Tension Tamers section.

Watch Your Body

Before you experience ulcers, heart disease and other major health problems from stress, your body will experience milder forms of discomfort, such as headaches, stomach upset and poor sleep. When you feel these early warning signs, start practicing your tension taming techniques and put a stop to low-grade chronic stress before it becomes a bigger problem.

Physical Activity

Practicing martial arts, jogging, lifting weights, or even a short walk can improve mood and reduce feelings of stress by increasing endorphins, lowering cortisol levels, and providing many other benefits. Here are some of the best ways to reduce stress with exercise.

Eat Well

A healthy diet gives you the energy to handle daily stress, and keeps your blood sugar levels stable so you don’t experience mood swings due to low blood sugar levels. Skipping meals and making poor food choices can contribute to fatigue, greater susceptibility to illness, greater feelings of stress, and a general feeling of poor health.

Setting Boundaries

Being overscheduled and rushed can be a significant cause of stress. By prioritizing your commitments and saying no to some tasks can help you be more successful with what you find to be really important, and you’ll have extra time for additional stress management activities.

Maintain Social Support

Having a supportive network of friends can help you stay healthy and reduce stress in many ways. Friends can provide resources that you may need when you’re in a bind, or a supportive ear that helps you feel accepted and understood. Studies show that having a sense of belonging can reduce your risk of depression. And having a friend who makes you laugh can also make you healthier and less stressed.

Find Fun Distractions

Playing games, reading, watching movies and t.v. can all help you get your mind off of what’s stressing you and onto something more pleasant. Sometimes this is just the break you need to stop a pattern of obsessing over your problems, and enable your body and mind to enter a relaxed state. When you come back to your stressors, they may not have the same powerful grip on you.

Keep a Positive Perspective

Throughout the day, stop and evaluate the endless stream of thoughts that run through your mind. If they’re negative, try to reframe those thoughts in a positive way. (This isn’t the same as pretending everything’s great when it isn’t, a form of denial that doesn’t always help.) Using less negative language in your self-talk, looking for the hidden benefits as well as the obvious drawbacks of stressful situations, and reminding yourself that this, too, shall pass are all effective strategies in positive thinking that have helped many people.

Get Help If You Need It

If stress is affecting your ability to work or find pleasure in life, seek help from your doctor, mental health provider or other professional. There’s no need to let stress overwhelm your life, and there are many effective forms of help available. Finding it could give you the life you want and deserve.

Working toward implementing these practices into your daily routines can go a long way toward reducing stress in your life and leaving you healthier and happier. Take baby steps at first, and reward yourself for the progress you make, and in no time, these new practices will be old habits.

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