The following are some reasons why:
- Your Health: Excessive stress really can lead to poor health outcomes, from relatively minor things like headaches and digestion problems in the short run to major conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke after years of unmanaged stress. (Here’s a more complete list of stress related health problems, and a more detailed description of how stress affects your health.)
- Your Looks: Many stress relievers can also make you healthier and even more attractive. For example, taking care of your body by getting enough sleep can make you more productive and healthier, and can help you better manage stress, as well as staving off dark circles under the eyes and a poor complexion. Also, eating right can keep your blood sugar levels even, keeping your emotions in check and making you more resilient to stress, as well as helping you stay in your ‘skinny jeans’ or favorite tee-shirts from college. Getting regular exercise can help you blow off steam when you’re frustrated and keep your body fit and toned.
- Increased Productivity: Simply put, when you’re not stressed, you can be more productive because you’re more focused. Therefore, it really pays to keep stress to a minimum. Certain stress relief habits naturally make you more productive. Power napping, for example, can help you catch up on sleep and be more focused and productive, making less sleep stretch further. Being organized can also help you save time and money in the long run, reducing stress and helping you to be more productive in virtually every area of your life. Even limiting caffeine can help, improving your sleep and helping you feel less stressed at the end of the day. Finally, having the right attitude is actually a habit that can be learned. Being an optimist can benefit you in many areas of your life, helping you let failures roll off your back and actually enabling you to achieve more! (Think you’re already an optimist? You may be surprised. Take this quiz to find out for sure, and discover the secrets of optimistic thinking.)
- Your Happiness: Some stress relief practices just bring more joy. If you want to enjoy life more, you’ll want to adopt some of these stress relievers, and the fun will come more easily. Caring for pets, enjoying music, dancing while you clean, working more laughter into your life, maintaining a supportive circle of friends, and even having sex are all fun activities that double as great stress relievers for various reasons. Read more about them and how they can help you, and remind yourself that you’re never too busy to include these activities in your lifestyle—they’re stress management techniques!
- Your Stress Levels—Of Course!: The desire to avoid walking around feeling stressed-out is, in itself, a good reason to bone up on stress management. Certain general techniques that primarily just relieve stress (rather than serving some secondary function) are more than worth adopting because, when you’re less stressed, you enjoy life more. Some of the best stress management techniques available include meditation, journaling, PMR, guided imagery, and good old breathing exercises. Read more about the benefits of each, and choose a few to try, and you won’t have to let stress sap you of energy, productivity and enjoyment of life again!
Putting in the effort to learn effective strategies for stress relief and low-stress living will pay off in the long run. Because of this, stress management is among the most important subjects to learn!