6 Best Ways to Manage Stress & Thrive
Expert-Recommended Tips for Reducing Stress & Anxiety
Make Yourself the #1 Priority
By making the word “no” your friend, you remedy stress both now and in the future; you also gain respect from others for setting realistic boundaries and expectations for yourself.
Face Your Fears
A lot of times the root of stress lies in the fear of the unknown. To cope, experts recommend writing a detailed list of all the things that are stressing you out. “Approach your fears as if you were a scientist,” suggests Dr. Camilo Ortiz, clinical psychologist and associate professor of clinical psychology.
This is a powerful tip: Take a moment to sit down in a quiet place and write down each fear you are dealing with. Then write down all the factual evidence that the fear is true. After that, write down all the facts that support why your fear is irrational. You’ll then be better equipped to reason through the emotions associated with these stressors. Sometimes simply having more information and thinking your fears through will give you all you need to cope with the stress in your life.
If you’re worrying about an upcoming big event—let’s say paying for graduate school—breaking the stressor down into small steps can be very helpful. Set a budget for yourself, a timeline, and a loose schedule that includes “me” time. It’s a whole lot easier to deal with a giant goal when you know all the little steps you need to achieve it.
Accept Your Emotions
The truth is, even if you’re the most happy-go-lucky person on the planet, you're still going to encounter stressful situations. Don’t run away from these stressors; rather, accept them for what they are: events that are shaping you into a better person.
“We live in a society that suggests that feeling uncomfortable emotions means something is wrong,” says Jasmin Terrany, licensed psychotherapist. “It is through our discomfort that we learn and grow.”
Take the stress as it comes, but try not to dwell on it. If something is stressing you out, it might be a cue that you should eliminate that negative energy from your life or work to turn it into a positive. Oftentimes, journaling can help with this.
ChickRx experts and members overwhelmingly agree that keeping a journal helps to fend off unwanted anxiety. Forget the pre-teen stereotype and grab a favorite old notebook to write it all out. Putting your feelings into words is a great way to be with your emotions and learn to address them head-on. After all, if Oprah journals, it must be good for something!
Sweat, Baby, Sweat
Even when you’re grappling with a filled calendar, it’s important to find time to fit exercise into your schedule and get those happy endorphins going.
“A huge coping tool is exercise—even if it is 30 minutes a day—it clears the mind and can make even the most daunting tasks seem possible,” says Dr. Ramani Durvasula, licensed clinical psychologist.
So go for a run, a swim, or even a nice long walk with a friend. When your mind and body are in the right place, it’s a whole lot easier to tackle any form of stress.
Every task can seem overpowering when your home or work environment looks like a scene from “Horders.”
“Get organized. Try not to live amidst clutter which can make you feel even more overwhelmed,” recommends Dr. Durvasula.
Clean out that desk, straighten your planner, and make an effort to keep your sleeping area tidy—there’s nothing like waking up in a nice, clean bedroom to start your day off refreshed.
The next time you’re feeling buried, one or two of these tips might just be your salvation. And if all else fails, there’s always a bubble bath and a glass of wine, right?
What other tips do you have for managing stress and anxiety? Share your thoughts below!
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