How To Control Stress? 15 Methods To Learn To Manage It

Don’t know how to deal with daily stress? What can we do to reduce stress? Discover the most effective psychological tools to manage this stress and its effects.

How to deal with stress

We can all experience this feeling of stress at some point in our lives. This stress looks different for each of us, what produces stress for one person may not be so for another, for example, the intensity and duration of our stress response will depend on many factors ranging from our personality to our immune system. support. However, what is common to all is that there are tools that can help us know how to manage stress when that sensation becomes very unpleasant, or influences our daily life.

How to control stress?

Although we can often perceive stress as something that we experience in an unpleasant way for us, the reality is that this feeling is an evolutionary need. An optimal level of activation will help us carry out day-to-day activities and challenges, however, when this stress or activation is high, it can harm us, even generating serious consequences for our mental health. Luckily, there are strategies that can help fight stress as well as to deal with all its consequences. Let’s see here strategies that can help us:

  1. Find a balance in your day: To manage stress, it is important to try to structure our time so that every day we can have some time for ourselves, to stop, enjoy, feel. There is a social belief of “The more time I dedicate to my work/studies, the more productive I am.“, which is a mistake. To be productive we need time to move, rest well, listen to ourselves… This will make the activation level optimal.
  2. Be kinder to yourself: People tend to be too critical of themselves. This type of relationship with ourselves can make us feel worse and increase our stress. As Kristin Neff expresses in her book, if we change criticism for compassion, in the end we have better results, we increase self-esteem and we avoid that overactivation that harms us so much. Therefore, instead of being so critical, try to be much more understanding and deal with the situations that come your way. generate stress treating you as if you were your best friend.
  3. Lean on people you trust: If you are going through a time of great stress, having a friend or family member can help you deal with these feelings. The reality is that sharing your emotions and expressing your concerns is a method that will allow you reduce stress
  4. Keep a journal: Set aside time to reflect on your day. Having a personal journal can help you better deal with negative thoughts as well as those emotions that you may not know how to manage. This can be a useful tool to help you better understand your stressors and be able to relieve stress from day to day. Keys to reduce stress
  5. Eat a balanced diet: To combat stress, food is crucial. For example, skipping meals can lower blood sugar, which can lead to mood swings and fatigue. Poor diet and/or junk food also have effects on our physical and emotional health. Many researchers talk about the close relationship between a balanced meal and a good mood.
  6. Exercise regularly: When we exercise we secrete many hormones, including some hormones that we usually associate with happiness such as: endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. So it not only helps our physical health but also helps us reduce stress levels.
  7. Have a good rest: The power of a good rest goes beyond what we imagine. Sleeping correctly, that is, respecting the recommended seven or nine hours and practicing the best possible sleep hygiene, can help us manage stress levels better
  8. Practice relaxation exercises: Introducing moments of mindfulness, meditation, or relaxation into our daily lives can help us reduce and regulate the stress of the day, and help us prevent it from even appearing in the long run.
  9. Divide and conquer: Write down what causes you stress, divide it into the areas that are necessary. Put next to the level of stress that causes you, from 1, almost nothing, to 5, a lot of stress. With this ready, start with the ones that cause you the most stress and generate different solutions or action plans that come to mind. Little by little you will see how dividing it and starting to move will lower your stress, and with less stress you will accumulate fewer difficulties that add to that stress.
  10. Hug, kiss or shake hands: Something as simple as a caress can help us reduce stress of our daily life. The explanation behind this effect is that human contact slows down the release of cortisol (the so-called stress hormone), and increases the flow of endorphins, a chemical that makes us feel good. Additionally, the feeling of connection with another person can also give you a different perspective. When you put a little love in your life, avoiding stress or reducing it is much easier. Reduce stress
  11. Spend time in nature: There is much research that emphasizes the psychological benefits of spending more time in natural environments. Walking in green spaces allows us to reduce blood pressure as well as the chemicals that contribute to our experience of stress. In fact, it has been shown that even looking out the window at nature can help us relieve stress
  12. Improve your body posture: According to studies, slouching can lower our self-esteem as well as worsen our mood. The brain and the body adjust in both directions depending on the emotion, that is, when we are stressed we adopt a more tense body posture, for example, and the other way around this relationship also occurs, if we have a tense, stiff, hunched posture, our Out of coherence, the brain begins to secrete cortisol. Therefore, being upright, stretching, and having an open body position can help us regulate that stress.
  13. Set limits: A good treatment for stress is precisely to try to set limits on those tasks that may not require such urgency. Therefore, it is essential to try to identify which commitments are priorities and reduce everything that does not require immediacy. If you are already at your limit, learn to stop accepting more requests. The key to knowing how to control stress is precisely to know what our limits are and respect them.
  14. Leave aside the screens: It has been shown that people who constantly check notifications tend to have not only attention deficit and a more harmful posture for us, but also a higher level of stress. Having time to pay attention to screens, and time in which you forget that they exist, is essential to disconnect and avoid excitation of our nervous system.
  15. Ask for help: Sometimes putting all this into motion is not enough and it is time to work on how we are living our daily lives. Going to a psychologist can help us get to know ourselves, recognize what causes us stress and where it comes from, know how to deal with it and what skills we have, and learn different tools and techniques that can significantly improve your quality of life.
You may be interested:  Selective Attention: Definition, Examples and Theories That Explain it

With our way of live life stress It seems to accompany us on most occasions. For this reason, we must learn to know how to deal with these feelings, since at some point or another they will reappear.

Signed by: Alba Sanz, psychologist Centro Ahora