Stress isn’t all bad—it’s your body’s way of letting you know that something’s not right. It can keep you motivated and help you feel safe. But it’s a delicate balance. When you have too much on your plate, you can quickly feel overwhelmed. Learning how to manage your stress can help you improve your overall health and well-being.
Getting your stress under control can lead to better performance, higher productivity levels and better physical health! You’ll also feel more relaxed and in control of your body.
Here are tips from the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Heart and Stroke Foundation that can help you achieve a Zen attitude towards stress.
Keep calm and identify the problem
The first step to conquering your stress is learning to recognize when you’re stressed and identifying the triggers. Here are some possible sources of stress:
- School finals or midterms
- Interpersonal relationships
- Health issues
- Worries about money
Sometimes, surface problems might be hiding deeper problems. The sooner you can figure out what’s really bothering you, the sooner you can act on it. This kind of self-knowledge can help you become the best version of yourself!
Simplify your life
Maybe you’re juggling too much in your personal life or professional life. Or maybe you’re taking on too many extracurricular activities at school. Saying no to others is never easy, but when you try to meet everyone else’s needs, you might end up ignoring your own. If this is the case, take a step back and find some time for yourself.
Find inner peace
While you’re getting to the source of your stress, it’s also a good idea to practise self-acceptance and relaxation techniques. Yoga, meditation and mindfulness are all excellent ways to calm your mind so you can approach problems with a clear head. Over time, these practices can also help you improve the way you handle stressful situations.
Be physically active
Get moving! Physical activity great for your health—and it’s an excellent mood booster and stress reliever too! Exercising can clear your mind, increase your energy and reduce tension. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy or difficult. It can be anything from playing tennis to taking a walk around your neighbourhood—whatever gets you moving.
Keep your mind occupied
It’s easier to manage your stress when you don’t let your negative thoughts overwhelm you. If you start spiraling, try to keep yourself busy doing things you enjoy. Find a hobby or start a project that you’ve been wanting to do. Setting and reaching your goals can be a powerful motivator. Remember to use the SMART approach:
Choose a specific goal. It’s a good idea to be as detailed as you can.
Make sure your goal is quantifiable and clear. Create a list and give yourself a timeline to stay on track!
Make sure to set goals that are within your reach. If you pick something that’s too difficult, you might be setting yourself up to fail before you even begin.
Your goal should be something that motivates you and that you’re willing to work for.
Give yourself a specific and realistic timeline to achieve your goal.
Take the pressure off
Over time, you’ll start to understand what types of situations make you stressed, and you’ll find your own ways to overcome them. By making small changes and staying positive, you can improve your response to stressful situations and start living a healthier lifestyle.