You can significantly reduce the level of stress you feel with some exercise. Working out three or more times a week is recommended to increase longevity and overall health as well as reducing stress, and five times or more is even better.
Caffeine is a drug that can disrupt sleep, interfere with hormones in the body, and cause people to feel moody and exacerbate stress responses. Too much caffeine can cause a dependence where you feel you need caffeine to have enough energy to function, and when the caffeine wears off, you're even more tired and need more. Four or more cups of coffee can put you at risk of developing a physical dependence that leads to withdrawal symptoms like headache and intense cravings if caffeine use is discontinued.
If you are getting 6 hours of sleep or less, you are not getting enough sleep, and may have built up a 'sleep deficit' that makes it more difficult to focus on tasks, handle everyday stressors, and fight off illness. You may even be at a significantly greater risk of getting into a car accident or making other errors associated with impaired functioning. You may want to work on time management and structure your lifestyle to include more night sleep, or at least a brief afternoon nap.
Unfortunately, poor nutrition can lead to excess weight, mood swings, and increased stress. If you are careful to limit sugar, salt and fat, and include plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains and other healthy foods in your diet, you will enjoy increased health and longevity. Youšll also experience a stronger immune system and fewer sugar-induced mood swings, making it easier to respond stress, and reducing the amount of stress you experience due to illness or poor overall health. You also may have more energy, so you can be more productive in your life, leaving you the ability to do more things that you enjoy. It may seem difficult to make changes at first, but they will pay off in many areas of your life.
It's important to have at least one person you can talk to about your feelings and the things that are going on in your life, someone you can really be yourself with. Also, having a supportive network of people you can rely on for help can reduce the stress you feel and give you resources to handle what comes. Taking the time to nurture relationships and meet new people to grow your circle will pay off in your life.
I don't have many conflicts with people, but I think it's because I donšt stand up for myself and ask for what I need. I'm afraid of making people upset with me, so I put their needs ahead of my own somewhat regularly.
If you find yourself dealing with a lot of conflict with others, you would probably benefit from some assertiveness training and conflict resolution skills. Assertiveness isn't just getting your needs met, but learning to do so in a way that respects other people's needs as well. Learning these skills could reduce the level of conflict you experience in your relationships and increase your ability to maintain a supportive network of friends, both of which can significantly reduce the level of stress in your life.
If you don't experience a lot of conflict, but tend to do what others want--at your own expence--you may think you're doing okay in your people skills because you don't experience a high level of interpersonal conflict, but you may be feeling a high degree of intra personal conflict because you're not speaking up for yourself and getting your own needs met. The problem with this is that, not only are you not getting what you need, you're probably growing resentful inside, and this may cause you to finally lash out at the very people with whom you're trying to avoid conflict. You would probably benefit from some assertiveness training, which would teach you to get your own needs met in a way that is respectful of others as well. These skills could enable you to nurture yourself and maintain relationships that are truly mutually supportive, both of which can significantly reduce the level of stress in your life.
If you find yourself rushing around, missing appointments, and taking on too much, you could really benefit from incorporating better time management into your life. Proper management of time can keep your stress level down as you don't have to experience the feeling of being rushed, worrying about being late, forgetting appointments (and dealing with people's frustration about that), and other stresses related to poor time management. The effort you put into time management could really pay off for you in surprising ways.
If you find yourself losing things, searching for things, paying bills late or otherwise scrambling in your life because of disorganization, you can save money and time by changing this. Being organized can reduce the amount of stress you feel in your daily life, and make it easier to get things done.
Enjoying the work of your life, which usually occupies the bulk of a person's time and energy, is important. Doing something that truly nurtures you that you would choose to do were there no financial incentives is a blessing that also brings much less stress than enduring a situation that grates on you. If you don't severely dislike what you do, you may find that you're adequately de-stressed by making minor changes at work or being sure to spend your non-working hours in activities that nurture your soul.
If your lifestyle isn't balanced, you could find great stress-reduction benefits in taking a thorough inventory of your life and how you spend your time, and making changes. First determine which areas are lacking, and then work on building up those areas. Whether its building your social network, finding a regular stress-reduction activity or hobby that you enjoy, or putting some extra effort into your work life, you can find resources for change on this site.
With all the stresses in the outside world, your home should be your sanctuary from stress. Unfortunately, home relaxation is difficult to attain when clutter and disorganization abound, as it does in many of our homes.
Money worries are a big cause of overall stress. If you find yourself worrying about how to pay the bills, stressing because you don't have savings or are in debt, longing for things you can't afford (or buying them and going more deeply into debt) or dealing with other consequences of a precarious financial situation, you're not alone. Financial stress is a widespread and serious problem for Americans. Find resources to deal with this, and lower your overall stress level.
Sex can be a great stress reliever, with the physical and emotional release, social support, and release of endorphins. However, at times stress can affect one's libido. When excessive stress leads to low sex drive, sex sometimes goes by the wayside.
Healthy Lifestyle Quiz
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