Rhonda's Top 7 Tips to Nip Stress in the Bud Now!

RhondaSmithLCSWTipsToNipStress

Stress can be both physically and emotionally overwhelming and has been linked to many medical and mental health issues. Here are 7 tips to help you nip stress in the bud:

1) Connect with others – Seek out support from family, friends and pets.

2) Manage your time – Take the time to write out a to-do list. As you complete the tasks on your list, cross them off and pat yourself on the back.

3) Avoid unhealthy coping – Just say no to relying on alcohol, drugs, or smoking as they only provide temporary relief without addressing the source of your stress.

4) Get some exercise – Hiking, salsa dancing, boxing. Whatever you prefer, pick something you love and get moving.

5) Mental imagery – Take some time to visualize yourself conquering a difficult situation. What would that look like and how would you feel?

6) Get some rest – Sleep deprivation can lead to irritability and increase overall stress. Wind down 1 hour prior to bedtime by doing things that relax you like reading a soothing book or drinking a cup of hot tea.

7) Set goals – Jot down a few short or long term goals for yourself and post them up where you can see them each morning.

Try one or all of these tips.  Your mind and body will thank you for it!

Is Hidden Stress Hindering You?

While it’s normal to experience low levels of stress, severe and prolonged exposure can lead to serious physical and emotional issues. While trouble at work or family problems are common, here are some less notable situations that may be sending you into a tailspin:

1) Over committing – We’ve all been guilty of it from time to time, but saying yes to completing a task that you know you do not have time or energy for is bad news all around. This kind of pressure we place on ourselves will not only stress us out but can lead to letting others down, which in turn causes even more stress! It’s a horrible cycle that must be broken and it is essential that you make your physical and emotional state a priority. So, instead of committing to an appointment, errand, event, or task that you know you will struggle to complete, have the courage to just say no.

2) Holding Grudges – While it’s not uncommon to be upset by someone else’s actions, holding grudges keeps you in a constant state of anger, preventing you from experiencing any peace or contentment. People who hold onto these situations often relive the event in their minds time and time again, obsessing about what was said, what could have been said, what should have been done, etc. Prolonged anger leads to stress and its effects can have both physical and emotional implications. The next time you feel resentment building, focus on acknowledging your anger and the thoughts you are thinking when you become angry. Once you begin to breakdown your own thoughts and beliefs, you will feel some emotional relief, making it possible for you to forgive the other person for your OWN well-being.

3) Don’t be tardy – Being habitually late can place an unnecessary amount of stress on your plate. From the rush out of the house to racing through traffic, showing up late can be downright unnerving. So, take the time to set your alarm 20 minutes earlier. You’ll save yourself the headache (and angry stares) when you arrive to your destination on time.

4) Toxic Friendships – It’s tough when you have invested so much time and energy into a friendship, but not all friendships are meant to last a lifetime. There can be times when maintaining these relationships take an extreme emotional toll. Take a step back and assess your stress level while interacting with friends to determine whether the friendship is worth keeping. If so, accept them for who they are and how they enhance your life, understanding that each individual has strengths and weaknesses within a friendship. If not, cherish the good times you had, the lessons you learned and move on.

As 2016 comes to a close, commit to making 2017 less stressful by keeping an eye out for the hidden stressors in your life.