We all go through seasons where life is on the go-go-go and we are so stressed that it’s difficult to even think straight. However, if that stress is not managed properly and becomes prolonged, it can cause problems that we may not even recognize as a side effect of stress.
Stress often makes me feel overwhelmed and tired. I have a hard time getting started on anything and feel like I’m spinning my wheels. Can you relate?
Of course everyone expresses stress from time to time. But if you let daily things pile up and end up with prolonged feelings of stress and anxiety, it can take a toll on your health.
Here’s what Mayo Clinic says about the effects stress has on your body and behavior:
Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work. But stress may actually be the culprit.
Effects of Stress According to Mayo Clinic
Common effects of stress on your body
- Muscle tension or pain
- Chest pain
- Change in sex drive
- Stomach upset
- Sleep problems
Common effects of stress on your mood
- Lack of motivation or focus
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Irritability or anger
- Sadness or depression
Common effects of stress on your behavior
- Overeating or undereating
- Angry outbursts
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Tobacco use
- Social withdrawal
- Exercising less often
Yikes! Did any of those stress symptoms hit home with you? I recognize a few that I’d like to get control over before the effects of stress move on to health issues that Mayo Clinic says can lead to:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
With so many stressors we all have in our lives, it’s important to manage stress before it takes a toll on your health.
Is All Stress Bad?
Stress is a normal response of the body. If you’re out for a walk and see a bear, stress is your friend as it’ll kick in your survival skills. Luckily, most of us don’t have bears chasing us.
A stress researcher at Columbia Business School reported that stress is our body preparing for action. So a little stress is ok as long you’re self-aware that symptoms of stress is your body preparing for something.
For example, a little stress before a test is normal and may even help you perform better on the test.
It’s when stress becomes overwhelming and affects your daily life when you need to take steps to properly manage stress to keep it under control.
Tips & Strategies to Reduce Daily Stress
For ideas to reduce stress, I called in for some help from fellow bloggers who shared their expert tips and strategies to help you reduce daily stress. The team came up with actionable yet simple ideas that anyone can incorporate into their lifestyle.
Discover how to reduce stress so your life can be more calm. Do it for your health!
PIN FOR LATER!
Ellen Burgan (me!) from IfItBringsYouJoy.com
Research shows that positive, optimistic people tend to handle stress better and live longer healthier lives. Viewing life through an optimistic, positive lens will put you in a better position to nurture happiness and manage stress before it has a chance to grow. (Related Post: Optimism: It’s a Choice.)
One way to grow your positive attitude is by taking time in the evening to write 3 positives that happened in your day. Seems so simple, but you’ll soon be looking for the positives in your daily life and more easily finding them. As your positivity grows, you’ll strengthen your ability to manage stress.
Download my Daily Positivity Journal page to get started on building your positive attitude today.
Alli from DancingThroughTheRain.com
Journaling is a great way to get the stress out. When you can take your worries and concerns out of your body and put them down on paper, your mind is able to release the need to constantly remember what you are upset about.
Whether it is trouble in your relationship or issues at work, getting it out of your body is a huge key to relieving your daily stress. Try it! It works!
Amber from ThriftyGuardian.com
Have a plan for every hour of every day. Many people are taken aback at the idea of scheduling their life, thinking they’ll be left feeling confined and “too” structured.
Quite the opposite happens, though – with scheduling, you lose the stress of having to think of “what’s next.” Not only that, but you’ll be less panicked at the notion of potentially forgetting something important.
Through structure you’ll find freedom.
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Products to Help Relive Stress
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Jennifer from UnfoldAndBegin.com
Take time for you. I’m a big fan of self-care in the form of massages and mani-pedis.
And If you can’t afford to go out and get them done, then carve out alone time at home or with friends to do the mani-pedi.
But if you can afford a regular massage, then put that on your schedule. There are a lot of places now that allow you to sign up for a discounted subscription of monthly massage or even monthly mani-pedis.
I used to work a high-stress job where I was putting in 50 plus hours each week. I had weekly massages at that point. But my husband and I now go for a monthly massage.
Rachael from RachaelStray.com
For me it’s try to get organised the night before as much as possible so you can start your day as stress-free as possible.
I make lunch for work while I make our tea at night. I get my uniform out and hung up including tights and underwear all ready just before I go to bed. My bag is all packed and ready to pick up too.
The easier my morning is the better for me.
Gaye from CalmHealthySexy.com
I have two favorite tips for reducing stress in your daily life. The first is to take some time to identify the things that are causing you stress, then eliminate as many of them as possible. Now you’re probably thinking, “Oh, I can’t eliminate any of the things that are causing stress in my life.” But the reality is that most of us can eliminate some of those things, we just haven’t decided to do it.
But, even if we’re vigilant about cutting out some of the things that cause us stress, life is stressful. And at certain times, it’s extremely stressful. So we have to learn to deal with it. Which leads to my second favorite tip – get up and move your body every day.
Exercise is nature’s antidote to stress – it takes your mind off your problems (I’ve seen it referred to as “meditation in motion”), boosts endorphins and other feel-good brain chemicals, and reduces mild anxiety and depression. And it leads to better sleep, which in turn helps you feel less stressed and more ready to face the day.
So do what you can to reduce the things that cause stress in your life, but whether your stress is high or low, take 30 minutes every day to walk briskly, jog, dance, bike, do yoga, or play soccer with your kids. Your mind, body, and stress level will thank you.
Carrie from CleanEatingKitchen.com
One of the strategies I have been using to manage anxiety and stress is to write in a “worry journal” every evening. I’ve been doing this for over a year now, and it’s helped a lot.
Here’s exactly how to create a worry journal.
Ruth from RuthLovettSmith.com
To reduce daily stress I follow the 5 by 5 rule.
If the issue won’t matter in 5 years, spend no more than 5 minutes thinking about it. Then move on.
It’s amazing how this simple rule helps you to focus on what really matters.
Holly from PinkFortitude.com
When I was going through an extremely difficult and stressful time, I tried to handle it. I was working full time, taking care of my family, growing Pink Fortitude, and dealing with a health crisis.
I remember coming home late from work, going right into making dinner and family time. I had all of 15 minutes to myself before bedtime, so I ran downstairs to draw a bath.
I know what you’re thinking. I’m so busy and stressed, I don’t have time to de-stress with these silly activities. My advice – find what works best for you and stick to it.
It’s better to get a grip on stress now, rather when your body shuts down or you are staring at a health crisis.
Brittany Ann from EquippingGodlywomen.com
The best way I’ve found to reduce stress for me has been to figure out what is causing me stress, and then find ways to prevent it.
Is getting out the door in the morning stressful? Then what can I do the night before to make things easier? Is the kids’ noise level stressing me out? Then, I can plan in advance things for them to do.
Too often we deal with stress, when analyzing it and removing the source would be so much more helpful!
Toni from BecomingSchultz.com
As a stay at home mom with two toddlers and another on the way the easiest way for me to de-stress is to get goofy with my kids.
Whether this means having a dance party, tickling, or currently “dragon hunting.” Just letting go of my adult duties and remembering to have fun with my kids helps all of us be happier and have a better day.
Cassie from WhiteSandsAndCoolBreezes.com
Taking a deep breath now and then is crucial to reducing daily stress! Breathe.
It doesn’t cost anything and it doesn’t take any extra time out of your day – you’re doing it already (probably just not mindfully). And in the long run your body and brain with thank you.
So, go outside and take a breath. Step away from what is stressing you out and take a breath. Try it right now and, I promise, you won’t be disappointed!!
Nandita from NandyzSoulShine.com
When something is stressing you out, go for what I call the why-and-who method.
Ask yourself why are you doing that particular task or why do you need to show up? Who would it affect the most if you just dug your heels and said no?
The answers would either motivate you or show that they don’t actually add anything to your life, making it easier to distance yourself from them.
Candi from FootHillsMama.com
I have found that starting my day with an ice cold glass of water and NO SCREEN TIME for at least 15 minutes allows me to go into the day feeling much less stress.
When my mind isn’t bombarded with emails, texts, and to-dos, I have more time to focus on being thankful for the day and look forward to what I can accomplish.
Stress, I have it oozing out of me, so when I come up with an idea that works and defeats some of our stressors, I feel like Superhero!
My weapon of choice: a backpack. I organize the kids’ hobbies with backpacks. Looking for soccer socks? In the soccer backpack. Looking for your basketball jersey? It’s in the basketball backpack. No missing leotard because it’s in the dance backpack! I wash necessary items and I immediately put it in the correct backpack. They all have their own hanging hook.
We don’t rush before sporting events anymore, no yelling or crying (usually me, occasional tears from the kids) because we only have one sock or no tights. I even throw snacks in the bag and they just need to grab their water bottles (organized in the frig). What did you just say child of mine? Basketball starts tomorrow? Sweet, we are ready!!
Need More Help With Stress?
- Simple Relaxation Techniques to Beat Daily Stress
- Meditation: What It Is | Why You Should Do It | How To Start
- 31 Simple & Free Self-Care Activities
- Follow If It Brings You Joy on Pinterest which includes a board dedicated to Stress Relief.
Because stress can really cause big havoc on your health, here is one final piece advice from my trusted health resource, Mayo Clinic.
If you’re not sure if stress is the cause or if you’ve taken steps to control your stress but your symptoms continue, see your doctor. Your doctor may want to check for other potential causes. Or, consider seeing a professional counselor or therapist, who can help you identify sources of your stress and learn new coping tools.
Ready to Stress Less?
Thoughts to ponder…
- What would your life be like if you weren’t stressed out?
- What emotions would replace your stress?
- What might you create in your life if you weren’t stressed out?
Please drop me a comment to share your tip to manage stress. What works for one person may not work for another, so the more ideas we share, the better! And I also thank you for stopping by If It Brings You Joy, it means the world to me.
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