Americans are one of the most stressed populations in the world. A recent study reported that 55% of Americans are stressed each day, and 63% of US workers are ready to quit their jobs to avoid work-related stress. Stress impacts every part of our lives, but numerous tips for managing stress are easy to incorporate into your daily life.
Stress is a part of everyday life, from minor challenges to major crises. While you can’t always control your circumstances, you can control how you respond to them. When stress becomes chronic, it can hurt your health and overall well-being. That’s why it’s essential to learn practical methods for managing stress. There are many ways to help relieve and manage stress, and finding the right techniques that work for you is crucial.
Nine Ways to Reduce and Manage Stress
1. Be More Active
Any physical activity can be a natural stress reliever. Physical activity increases the body’s feel-good endorphins and is an excellent stress reliever. Thirty minutes a day of moderate exercise is recommended. You can skip joining a gym and still reap the rewards of being active. Walking, jogging, swimming, biking, yoga, and even taking the stairs instead of the elevator can lower stress and improve your health.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet is essential to taking care of yourself and managing stress. When people are hungry, stress is more likely to increase. Three meals and a couple of healthy snacks daily are best for most people. Set a goal to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains daily. Talk to a nutritionist, dietician, health care provider, or chiropractor for guidance on finding the best diet for you.
3. Avoid Unhealthy Habits
Some people attempt to manage their stress by drinking too much caffeine or alcohol, smoking, overeating, or using illegal substances. These habits can harm your health and increase stress on the body and mind. Avoiding unhealthy habits promotes better health and wellness and does not create additional stressors.
4. Socialize More
Stress can make you want to isolate yourself from family and friends. Instead, reaching out to people and making social connections can help lower stress levels. Face-to-face interactions are best, but a phone call can be an excellent way to stay in contact. Sharing life’s ups and downs with a relative or close friend is a perfect way to help each other manage stress and cope with challenges. Enjoy a coffee break and a few laughs with a co-worker or friend to lower stress during work hours.
5. Set Limits and Learn to Say No
Know your limits, and don’t over-schedule yourself. Learning to say no is a valuable strategy for putting yourself first and managing stress levels. Wanting to please and help everyone is a common problem, but taking care of your well-being should be the priority. Many parents have overbooked calendars between work, family obligations, and shuttling children to school and activities. The added stress of an overbooked calendar can be remedied by saying, “I’d love to, but I really must say no.”
6. Find a Hobby You Enjoy
Taking time out of your daily schedule to enjoy a favorite hobby can be an excellent way to lower stress. Listening to music or playing a musical instrument are both excellent stress relievers. Anything that gives your mind and body a chance to relax is time well spent. Drawing, gardening, reading, and baking are just a few examples of hobbies that some people find helpful for reducing stress and increasing relaxation. Any hobby that increases your physical activity is also a great choice.
7. Try Massage
The benefits of massage are well established. A one-hour massage lowers cortisol; a hormone produced when the body is stressed. Massage also releases serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone neurotransmitter and is often called the “happy chemical” because it reduces feelings of sadness or depression. By lowering cortisol and increasing serotonin, massage increases the body’s natural ability to fight pain, anxiety, and feelings of sadness.
8. Get Plenty of Sleep
Stress can keep you from getting the good quality sleep you need. Your body and mind require adequate sleep to function at their best. A good night’s sleep can become harder and harder to achieve when you are under stress. Lack of sleep can cause changes in your mood, decrease your energy level, increase your inability to concentrate, and increase stress levels.
A few tips for getting a better night’s sleep include:
- Maintain a consistent bedtime routine. Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time – even on the weekends!
- Ensure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature.
- End screen time at least one hour before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large meals before bedtime.
- Try listening to calming music or a sleep sound machine.
- Deep breathing exercises may also be beneficial.
9. Be Open to Therapy or Counseling
When life’s stressors challenge your ability to cope and managing stress on your own isn’t working, you may need to seek help from a therapist or counselor. Professional counselors or therapists can often help you identify the sources of your stress and offer you new and effective coping tools.
Chiropractic Care Can Help
Stress can have wide-ranging effects on emotions, mood, and behavior. But what many people don’t realize is that stress directly impacts various systems, organs, and tissues throughout their bodies. The nervous, musculoskeletal, immune and cardiovascular systems are particularly vulnerable to chronic stress.
Chiropractic treatments stimulate the body’s “happy hormones” cortisol, oxytocin, and neurotensin. These hormones are the body’s natural way to help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Less pain, better sleep, and reduced stress and anxiety lead to a better quality of life and more enjoyment of the things you love.
Regular chiropractic care has been proven to have many benefits in keeping the body functioning at its optimal level. Instead of being worried about the side effects of taking medications for pain, stress, or sleep, choosing chiropractic adjustments gives you peace of mind using a safe and all-natural option that promotes wellness without harmful side effects.
Call the Bluffs Chiropractic & Family Wellness Team
If you think chiropractic care might be the right solution for you, call The Bluffs Chiropractic & Family Wellness team today. After a thorough chiropractic assessment, we’ll develop an individualized treatment plan to meet your needs. Chiropractic treatments can help improve joint movement and relax tight and spasmed muscles without using pain medications or invasive procedures.
If you’re ready to take the next step in achieving relief and overall wellness, contact The Bluffs Chiropractic & Family Wellness team today. Dr. Joshua Lippincott has been serving patients for over 12 years and is passionate about helping people achieve their best possible health. Contact us online or call (636) 326-2525 to schedule your initial consultation.