7 Tips to Manage Your Stress

A personalized approach to coping with anxiety

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photo credit: Jean Henrique Wichinoski via photopin cc.

More Americans are stressed than ever, according to the American Psychological Association's (APA) annual Stress in America™  survey. Some research exists that some people may be more anxious because trauma in their ancestors' lives, which makes most people predisposed to anxiety given history's prevalence of trauma. 

In addition to measuring the stress levels of Americans every year, the APA additionally offers seven tips to manage your stress, which are described below.

1. Understand what stress looks like for you

In other words, how do you think, feel and behave when you are stressed as opposed to when you are not stressed? Even though stress shares many similarities among people who experience it, individuals are all unique and what looks like a stressful day for one person may look like a walk in the park to another. Know your unique experience of what stress is like for you so that you will be better equipped to deal with it as necessary.

2. Understand why you are stressed out

Determine what is stressing you out. When you are able to identify a source of stress, you will be better able to manage your stress since you can link it to something in your life. Knowing the source of stress may also better help you deal with the problem at hand if you have any control over it.

3. Know your warning signs of stress

Everyone's experience of stress can be unique. To better manage your stress, catch it before it catches you by being very aware of your warning signs.

Pay attention to your body and mind identify their signals of stress. Some example warning signs include poor sleep, appetite problems, restlessness, worried thoughts, stomach aches, and problems breathing. 

4. Know how you deal with stress

Sometimes, the way people deal with stress can only make it worse.

Many people cope with anxiety by drinking alcohol, for example, but consuming alcoholic beverages can sometimes only exacerbate your anxiety. Knowing your go-to moves when you are hit with stress is key so that you can determine whether these behaviors are helping you or hurting you in the long run. 

5. Manage stress in a healthy way

Once you determine your typical ways of dealing with stress, you can continue them if they are helpful, or replace them with healthier ways of managing stress. Mindfulness meditation, exercise, and talking to a therapist are all excellent ways of dealing with stress. If you have experienced trauma and suffer from Post-traumatic stress disorder, research demonstrates how talk therapy can change your brain. Managing stress in a healthy way will help you keep it to a minimum.

6. Practice self-care

A little bit of selfishness can go a long way to help you manage stress. Taking good care of yourself is better for you and everyone around you. Self-care means eating well, sleeping enough, exercising and doing whatever you need to do to be your best.

 

7. Ask for help

The worst thing you can probably do for yourself is deal with your stress alone. Talk to your family and friends and even better, find a therapist who is trained to help you manage your stress. We are social creatures and we do best when connected to others. If your stress feels like more than you can manage, reach out for support.

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