Top Five Stress Busters

Here’s a short article I wrote about how to handle stress, which you might find useful at some point in your life.

Do you feel easily irritated or annoyed recently?  Is there a significant change in your eating or sleeping habits?  Are you feeling listless or having trouble concentrating?  Hopefully, you haven’t answered “yes” to all of these questions or else you would be on the verge of being stressed out.

It’s easy to manage stress once you’ve identified it but the thing is, people experience it differently.  Its signs and symptoms vary from one person to the next.  You just have to be attuned to your body and know whether you’re acting normal or stressed out.  But don’t worry, you can easily relieve stress by doing the following things:

1.    Manage Your Time

Sometimes you may feel that you have so many things to do and so little time for it.  Yes, it all might be overwhelming and stressful so it would be a good idea to be more organized and learn to prioritize your tasks.  Make a to-do list if it helps.  It would also give you a sense of accomplishment when you tick off each item on your list.  And if you’re becoming too stressed with so much work, why don’t you try getting a virtual assistant instead of waiting for a nervous breakdown to happen?  Delegating tasks to others is an effective way of reducing stress.

2.    Have a Support System

Have you ever felt so tense or anxious that you just want to let it all out?  Well, instead of hurling expletives at an innocent bystander, you would be better off talking about your concerns with a close friend or family member.  Communicating with someone can help you calm down and take the pressure away.

3.    Exercise Everyday

Bring out your sweat pants and go to the gym!  Getting fit is a nice way to loosen up and alleviate stress – a 30-minute run on the treadmill or a boxing session might do the trick.  When you do strenuous exercise, your body releases endorphins, which actually act as natural pain relievers and make you feel good as well.

4.    Reflect and Unwind

When was the last time you did nothing at all?  Sometimes it helps to just take a break for a while, think of nothing and do nothing.  This would clear your mind and help you de-stress.  Or you could choose to relax by getting a massage, listening to music, or even do some retail therapy.  These would all uplift your mood.

5.    Veer Away from Vices

Taking advantage of that “Happy Hour” won’t really do you much good.  Although having a drink or two after a hard day’s work could temporarily reduce your stress, it would actually leave you feeling bad since alcohol has an effect of giving you a depressed feeling.  So stay away from vices like alcohol and drugs to guarantee you a stress-free life.

Remember, once you notice that you’re getting somewhat stressed, just try out some of these stress busters to see which one works best for you.

(Published in, September 25, 2009)