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5 Natural Ways to Manage Stress

Learn natural ways to manage stress and live happier and more fulfilling lives

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Image from Unsplash

Stress is part of our normal of life. We all experience it once in a while. It might be stress from work or business, stress from family, financial difficulties, health issues, marital issues, and so on. However, it is important that we manage stress in order to live a happier and more fulfilling life.

While we might not be able to completely avoid stress, we can effectively manage it. Managing stress requires making a conscious effort. You have to realize that you need to take control of your wellbeing. Stress reduces the quality of our lives, ruining our relationship with ourselves and others.

You need to understand that it is okay to get some rest. Yes, your work might be demanding but your health is important too. It is easy to get caught up with all the affairs of life that you forget to take care of what is important.

One minute we are up and running from one task to another as though we are running on an unlimited source of energy, we go days without eating well, getting enough sleep, and just think that everything will be okay. Then one day, we realize that we can’t do anything. It’s seems like our brain just shut down. We are mentally unavailable anymore.

Often times, we seem to forget that certain measures were put in place to regulate our system. When we overwork ourselves and deny ourselves of basic needs such as enough rest, sleep, etc. We are going against the normal makeup of our system and the consequences of this could be deadly if not brought under control.

When we refuse to get enough rest, our system forces us to do so. It reminds us that we are not superhuman. But we don’t have to push ourselves to the limit. We don’t have to go on and on till our system revolts against us, we can regulate ourselves. Take breaks when you ought to, relax and have fun. The world isn’t running away. You can still catch up. You won’t catch up if you drop dead from stress.

How do you know you are getting stressed out?

According to the American institute of stress, some common symptoms of stress may include:

  • Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
  • Light headedness, faintness, dizziness
  • Diminished sexual desire or performance
  • Forgetfulness, disorganization, confusion
  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • Depression, frequent or wild mood swings
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Increased frustration, irritability, edginess
  • Increased number of minor accidents
  • Weight gain or loss without diet
  • Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed

Stress can, and should be managed effectively. Dealing with stress doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be as simple as avoiding your triggers, taking a well-deserved break, getting quality sleep, etc.

Below are 5 effective ways to manage stress

1. Know your triggers

An effective way to manage stress is by knowing your triggers and avoiding them. If you can’t avoid them, you should change your approach to them. What makes you stressed out? Is it work? You might need to re-evaluate your work-life. Is it financial issues? You need to find better ways to deal with your finances.

Maybe it’s from social media. I have had to go off some social media sites for a while to relieve stress. This is because I noticed that whenever I was on social media platforms, I felt drained. So many disturbing posts on my news feed. It was like everything was going wrong everywhere. I couldn’t handle it. I had to give myself a break.

The truth is that it is easy to break down in the midst of all that is going on in the world now. However, your mental health is important and should be well taken care of. Sometimes it is okay to take a break from everything.

Earlier this week, I was so engrossed in a lot of work that I neglected to take care of myself. I had been going to bed late and waking up early. After a few days, I gassed out. I couldn’t take the stress anymore.

All that pushing myself on and on had finally taken its toll on me. I was exhausted and unable to do any work. That entire day passed on without my being able to know what I had done. I could just remember slipping in and out of sleep. Sleep that I had derived myself from for so long.

Does the news make you stressed? Then don’t watch the news. Switch channels.

Do social media updates affect you? Take a break.

Tune off your mind from negative things happening around you. You are in charge of your life. It is your responsibility to take care of your mental wellbeing. No one else will do it for you.

2. Engage in stress relieving activities

Stress may be as a result of too many draining events happening in your life. If you realize that you are getting too busy and hardly find time for yourself, rest your mind and body. Shut down. Sometimes you need to shut down.

Learn to say no. Say no to activities that leave you stressed out. You don’t have to do every task by yourself. Learn to manage yourself. Find time to engage in fun activities. Engaging in fun activities is a great way to relieve stress.

Below are some relieving activities that you can engage in to help you manage stress:

  • Take up hobbies.
  • Have fun.
  • Go to the movies with friends
  • Laugh.
  • Listen to music.
  • Play an instrument
  • Read a novel
  • Make out time for friends and relatives.
  • Spend time with loved ones.
  • Take a walk.
  • Share your experiences.
  • Eat healthy meals.

While you do not have to engage in all these activities, you can find which one helps you relieve stress better and engage in it.

3. Sleep

Get quality sleep. It is easy to get caught up in so many activities that we forget the need to get enough sleep. Quick naps do not make up for quality sleep. You need quality sleep. Quality sleep is important for our overall health.

Lack of sleep has been linked to mental health disturbances such as stress, depression, anxiety, etc. Lack of sleep also lowers our immune system and makes us vulnerable to diseases. Inadequate sleep makes you irritable.

To get quality sleep, it is advised that:

  • You stick to a sleep schedule.
  • Avoid caffeine before bed time.
  • Turn off your devices.
  • Eat light meals before bed.    
  • Exercise during the day.
  • Turn off the light.

Sleep is a good way to relax your nerves. If you are having difficulty sleeping, it is important that you visit your doctor.

4. Exercise

Exercise has been found to be very effective in dealing with stress. Regular exercise is a great way to relax both your mind and body. Research shows that people who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety.

During exercise, your body’s stress hormones are lowered while endorphins, hormones that make you feel good, are released.  

You don’t have to engage in strenuous exercises. It can be simple exercises like running, cycling, swimming. Just find time to do it. It is important that you have a daily exercise routine.

Daily exercise also improves your quality of sleep. Remember that quality sleep is important in managing stress.

Exercise is a good way to keep you alert and fit. At least 30 minutes of daily exercise is recommended.

5. Meditation

Meditation is another very effective way to relieve stress. Meditating has been shown to relax our mind and body. Meditation is a common way to relax and manage stress.

Meditation has been practiced for years now. Meditation can last from a few minutes to several hours. You can also add meditation to your daily routine.

Practicing meditation helps you to manage stress effectively. Meditation requires time and practice. However, there is no perfect way to practice meditation. You just have to choose what works for you.

It is important that we actively seek out ways to manage stress. Meditating is relatively easy. Try meditating to get your mind off things.

Meditation generally involves focused attention, deep breathing, quiet setting, comfortable position and an open attitude.

Types of meditation include:

  • Guided meditation. 
  • Mantra meditation. 
  • Mindfulness meditation.
  • Qi gong. 
  • Tai chi.
  • Transcendental Meditation. 
  • Yoga.

Whichever type of meditation you decide on, the goal is to get you relaxed while relieving stress.

Here you have it. These are 5 natural ways to effectively manage stress. It is important that you find what works for you and stick to it.

However, if you are being overwhelmed by stress, it is recommended that you visit a healthcare professional.

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