Recent studies have found that most American workers are stressed out most of the time. When ranking their stress levels on a scale of one to five, 25% of the workers surveyed said four. 60% of workers said that they were stressed out three or more days out of their working week. There are many causes of stress. Some of these workers are overworked, undervalued and worried about work-related issues. Some are stressed out about their home lives and finances, and many are stressed about the issues facing our nation and humanity on the whole such as war, mass shootings, political unrest and an unstable economy. That’s a lot for anyone to be worried about at any given time.
As you can see, a little stress is relatively common and most of the time nothing to worry about. It comes and goes. But, left untreated it can grow into something much more serious. A bad day where you are feeling a little stressed out can suddenly become a bad week or even month. You can’t always remember why you were stressed out in the first place and everything seems too much. You can find yourself struggling to sleep, kept awake by your worries and stresses. You may have physical symptoms or find yourself suffering from more serious mental health issues. All of which can make your stress worse.
So, stress is serious, and it’s essential that you find ways to cope with it. This is different for all of us, so it’s essential that you find your ways to control your stress, without letting it beat you. Here’s a look at some things that you could try.
1. Get a Pet
Pets can be a great way to control stress. They can give you something other than yourself to focus on; they’ll love you back, reassuring you that your efforts are worth it, and that love is a positive. An animal like a dog can get you out more, help you to get more exercise and also give you a way to meet new people. They can decrease your blood pressure and levels of anxiety and help you to stay calm in stressful situations. It is possible to get an animal that’s been specifically trained to help so take a look at how to get an emotional support animal if you think it could help. Don’t worry if you’re not a dog fan; other animals can be just as very effective in the right circumstances.
Exercise is one of the most natural and most effective ways to beat your stress. But, what works for you will depend on what you enjoy. Some people find running can be incredibly relaxing. It gives them a chance to think their problems through and clear their heads away from the distractions of everyday life, while focusing on the repetitive movements of their body, hearing only the sounds of their feet hitting the ground and their heart beating in their chest. But, if you can’t stand running, this won’t work, forcing yourself to do something that you hate will just increase your stress levels. Swimming can help similarly, or if you prefer try hitting the gym and pushing yourself hard, burning off your negative energy.
3. Take a Break
One of the most common causes of stress is work. We work for long hours, face pressure to do well and come home thinking about work. We stay up late at night working from home, worry about what we’ve got to do the next day and then leave the office early the following day. We find it hard to switch off and never get a real break. Even days off and vacations can be consumed with work worries. To beat stress, it’s essential that you let yourself take a break.
Find a way to switch off when you get home in the evening. Spend some time talking about your day with your partner or a friend, let all of your stress out, and then draw a line underneath it. Take a shower and get changed, read a book, binge watch your favorite TV show or go for a run. Find something that helps you separate work and home and stick with it. Then, take time off to do something for yourself whenever you can, leaving work behind.
Laughing is an excellent way to lower your stress and anxiety levels. It can reduce your blood pressure, boost your immunity, make you happier and even help you to live longer. Sometimes, when you are stressed out, it’s hard to laugh. So, spend more time with your friends, doing things that you love. If you can’t get out, regularly invite them around for dinner, order takeout food and spend the evening having fun in a relaxed atmosphere.