Learning to navigate stress can be tricky, especially if you haven’t attempted it before. Stress is inevitable, but its never-ending presence can be managed with the right strategies. It is crucial for your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Reports indicate that 28% of people manage stress effectively, making you wonder what they’re doing right. It all boils down to building resilience in the face of tough situations. Here are some practical strategies to do just that.
1. Understand stress and its impact on your body
Science explains that stress is not entirely negative. It is a natural response to demanding situations that allow you to face any life circumstance. The downside is when stress is unmanaged and becomes chronic. It would help to build resistance against that, but before that, it’s crucial to understand how stress impacts your body. The body releases cortisol and adrenaline in stressful situations to get you ready for what may come next. These stress hormones are responsible for the flight or fight mode you may have read about as the body’s natural response to a critical situation.
Flight or fight simply means running away or sticking around to face the source of the stress. For example, if you ever find yourself in the presence of a wild animal, your body immediately releases these two hormones to help you fight back or have increased energy to flee. These hormones are only useful in the short term. Unfortunately, chronic stress causes cortisol and adrenaline to stay longer in your body than required. That increases your risk of anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, and heart disease. Understanding and knowing the impact of stress compels you to take more proactive steps towards resilience, so feel free to consider this.
2. Regular exercise and excellent nutrition
The key tip is regular exercise and nothing contrary. The truth is that sparingly working out will not positively impact your body. Regular exercise, on the other hand, has immense benefits on your overall well-being. During physical activity, your body releases endorphins from the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. These hormone secretions from the brain fight the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, subsequently diminishing the latter’s levels in your body. Endorphins are your body’s natural mood lifters, so you can be sure that half an hour of regular exercise makes you happy. You could say the same about good nutrition. Eating is not only about satiating your hunger. There is more to eating good food and doing so consistently. Your body requires certain nutrients to keep it functioning optimally. A regular diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains keeps your body healthy for longer. A healthy diet also incorporates ample antioxidants to ensure that accumulated toxins are flushed from the body. Chronic stress thrives among people who don’t exercise regularly or commit to excellent nutrition at all times. The imbalance created in the body becomes the perfect breeding ground for chronic stress.
3. Practice mindfulness
How often do you pay full attention to the present moment and in everything you do? People who commit to mindfulness say it is a deliberately adopted habit in the early stages until it becomes a lifestyle. You are constantly aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations at that stage. It becomes your second nature, allowing you to practice mindfulness effortlessly. This technique is often integrated into mind body performance coaching to help people manage stress better. This kind of coaching relies on several strategies, including resilience, to promote emotional regulation, clarity of thought, and relaxation. It builds the foundation to strengthen people against the long-term effects of stress. The cognitive-behavioral techniques embedded into this coaching technique optimize your mental and physical performance. That also contributes to practicing mindfulness effortlessly and without resistance.
4. Effective time management and prioritization
Reports indicate that several people experience persistent stress because of the failure to prioritize their day effectively. That is usually a result of poor time management practices. Stress often results when you begin to feel overwhelmed by the many responsibilities and tasks you must complete in a period. Admittedly, there are days when you don’t feel like getting out of bed to do anything, but when it persists, you will find procrastination appealing. That is not good news for you or anyone who holds off on crucial tasks. Fortunately, there is a way to go around this. First, break down your tasks into manageable steps that don’t overwhelm you. Next, prioritize and categorize these steps based on their urgency and importance. That is an effective way to manage your time while caring for everything that needs your attention. Doing this helps you gain control over your daily schedule without cramming so much into a few hours. This is a resilience-building technique that contributes to reducing daily stress.
5. Build and maintain strong social support systems
Have you ever heard that humans are social creatures? Friends, family, and trusted colleagues are crucial to strong social support systems. They provide a safe space to share your deepest emotions, burdens, and experiences. They give a deeper meaning to the saying – a problem shared is half solved. Unmanaged stress often causes people to become reclusive and unwilling to form connections.
Meanwhile, the gradual detachment from social settings becomes a breeding ground for chronic stress. This point is not advocating talking to everybody about your problems. On the contrary, it advocates having a trusted network of friends and family willing to listen and not judge your emotions. This social connection helps you alleviate pent-up stress with the potential to spiral out of control. Strong social support connections contribute to developing new perspectives and a more positive outlook on life. A therapist or counselor can be a significant part of your support system. Regular appointments help you build resilience to life’s pressures likely to strain your mental, emotional, and physical health.
You can build resilience through small, healthy changes made towards reducing stress. Committing to each is even more important until they produce the desired results.