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How can I handle my stress?

Everyone has to deal with stress in their lives. -- But sometimes it’s hard for some people to know where or how to handle stress in a positive way and to keep it from making them sick.

Here are a few tips that may help:

Flip Your Attitude

Become a problem solver -try creating a list of the stuff that brings on stress in your life.  Now, from that list, see what problems you can solve immediately and which are just outside your power for now.   From this list of problems that you can solve now, start with the small ones.   Find ways to calmy look at a problem, think of would-be solutions, and take action to work out the problem. Solving the small problems first can give you confidence to deal with the bigger shit.   Also, feeling confident that you can solve problems will help you feel less stressed out.

Be flexible. Sometimes it’s just not really worth the effort.  Give in once in a while or meet people halfway, even if you don’t really want to.

Get your shit in order - think ahead about how you’re going to spend your time. Write a to-do list, annoying yes, but they help!  Figure out what’s the most important to do and do those things first.

Know your limits. When it comes to school, work, family and friends figure out what you can actually do, and don’t overload yourself. There are only so many hours in the day – be realistic! – and seriously don’t be afraid to tell someone NO if it requires your time and energy.

Slow Down

Take some deep breaths.   If you're feeling stressed out, stop and take a few deep breaths – it will help you slow down your breathing and even relaxes your muscles.

Stretch - seriously I’m not joking, stretching can also help relax your muscles and take away tension.

Go get yourself a massage - having someone massage the muscles in the back of your neck and upper back can help you feel less tense.

Give yourself time to do something you actually want to do. Many times we have so many things that we have to do, but we repeatedly don't make any time to do the things that we would really enjoy.   It could be as simple as listening to band, reading a book, or going to a movie. Think of this as a direct order - don’t feel guilty!

Make Sure You Don’t Neglect Your Body

Sleep - get enough of it. Enough sleep helps you get back to yourself from the stresses the day may have thrown at you. In addition, being well-rested helps you think better so that you can better handle problems as they present themselves.

Try to eat right. As hard as it may seem, eating things like fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains will help you battle stress.  Don’t be duped by the high you get from caffeine drinks or junk foods. That energy burst will wear off, and you’ll probably feel more tired than you did to start with.

Get off your ass. Physical activity can not only help relax tense muscles but it can do wonders in sparking a better mood.  Research has proven that physical activity can help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Don’t give in to unhealthy way to deal with your stress.  Things like drinking too much alcohol, using drugs, smoking, or overeating.

Share How You’re Feeling with Others

Share why you’re stressed out - talking honestly about your struggles with friends or family can now and again actually help you feel better.   They might even help you notice your problems in a new light and offer resolution that you may not have thought of.

Reach out for help from a professional if and when you need it.   If you’re feeling that you can no longer handle things, talk to your doctor. They can suggest things like counselling, which can give you better ways to cope with stress.  

Help others - sometimes a good way of making you feel less stressed is by helping others. Volunteering in your community can also provide a way to make new friends and feel better.

These were just a few suggestions, we always want to know what you think helps – So we asked our followers via our Social Networks (Facebook & Twitter) - “What do you do to help you handle stress in a positive way and keep it from making you sick?”  Check out a few of their responses, and feel free to add your own below!