The American Psychology Association released a study last year about stress that proved to be quite shocking for most people reading it. So many American citizens are stressed, and by the looks of it, we are stressed about everything. The report said that:
- The 2016 presidential election caused stress for over half of Americans
- 62% of Americans are stressed about money
- 61% of Americans are stressed about work
- 63% of Americans are worried about the future of America
- 6 in 10 Americans are stressed about the social divides in the country
- In general, women are more stressed now than they were a few years ago
- 43% of Americans are stressed about healthcare
- 31% of Americans are stressed about hate crimes
- 31% of Americans are stressed about crime in general
The list actual goes on, and on, and on unsurprisingly because we are all really stressed, and most of us need to catch a bit of a breath and a moment of calm so that life can continue with some sort of quality to it. Because that is the real issue. Ongoing stress decreases overall quality of life. It makes us irritable, it makes us annoyed, angry and pretty down at times. It even has an impact on our physical well being.
The Mayo Clinic say that stress can affect all different parts of our physical well being, and common physical symptoms of stress include but are not limited to:
- Muscle tension or pain
- Chest pain
- Change in sex drive
- Stomach upset
- Sleep problems
We know it makes us feel terrible, and can affect our body, our mind, our personal life, our work life, and even our ability to enjoy the nicer parts of life. So, what do we do about it? If you are struggling with stress, but you think it could be serious, your first step is to speak to a healthcare provider who can speak to you about potential mental health conditions you may be suffering from. Professional help is the first step. If however, you’re struggling with generalised stress these tips could help. Here’s how to completely restyle your lie for less stress and more chill:
What you eat and drink has an effect on your mood and therefore your ability to cope with stress. Eating right can help you think more clearly, enjoy a better mood, and give you more energy. Take a look at this article and handy video by UK mental health charity MIND to help you give your diet a happy overhaul.
Get More Sleep
A lack of sleep is bad for your physical and mental health. Short term it can leave you groggy, grumpy and generally irritable and so less able to deal with stress. Long term sleep deprivation is thought to contribute to heart disease and other physical problems. Getting your sleep restful and getting a good amount of that restful sleep will help you be more able to deal with stress and anything else tricky life throws at you. This article about better mood and sleep by the Better Health organisation in Australia is a really good starting point for improving your sleep, with lots of handy tips and tricks to try.
Nail Time Management
Juggling a ton of balls is going to get stressful. That stress could impact your entire life because you’re essentially trying to balance every aspect of your life on your own. Life is a balancing act for most of us but if there are too many balls in the air, they can easily all come crashing down. There are a few ways you can minimise this epic time management task you have given yourself:
- Delegate some of the management to others – can your partner sort out childcare? Could your friends arrange the next meetup place and time if you give them your free dates? Delegate tasks so you don’t have to deal with them yourself.
- Use a time management app or a task manager app so you only have to think about tasks as and when they demand your attention. Freeing up your head space for more chill, less stress.
- Be less rigid and more in the moment. Making plans is great, but leave room for spontaneity so you’re not over planning and managing your life to the point that all your life is, is planning.
It could also be worth handing over some very time consuming tasks to professionals. For example: your accounts could be done by an accountant, or you could hire a vacation rental management company to actively manage your vacation rental for you. The tasks that suck the time away from you in a big way need to be completely overhauled so that they no longer take up so much of your time, and energy.
Prioritise De-Stressing Sessions
Stress is totally normal, but if you let it build up it causes so many nasty issues. Sometimes, we just need time to allow that stress to get out. Practises like yoga, meditation, mindfulness, cardio exercise, walking, a bubble bath and even weekends away or days at the beach all help. If you lead a stressful life you can decrease the stress but, we should always seek to be able to deal with stress well because stress will always be there. Including practises like yoga or meditation into your daily life will help you find more balance and headspace so you’re much more able to handle day to day stress.
It’s not stress that kills us, it’s our reaction to it – Hans Selye
Stress will always be a given, and a central part of modern life. Even somebody living off-grid has the stress of generating electricity during winter or, the stress of an unexpectedly sick animal that needs help. The point is, nobody can be free from stress, but everybody has control over how they prepare for it, and how they deal with it. Minimise the stresses you can minimise, and minimise your reaction to all the other stress that happens. You are in control, and you can enjoy a lot less stress and more chill with some very simple changes.