Stress can impact you emotionally and physically. The long term, and even short term, effects on your health, well being and lifestyle can be devastating. Learning to recognize the stress symptoms and have some readily available tools to handle stress is critical.  Stress can increase your anxiety and make your fears even seem real.  ​Suffering from chronic stress is something that can affect one's physical and psychological health. Stress can also cause digestive problems, anxiety disorders, and other health issues.  Finding a way to reduce and release stress is critical to enjoying your day to day life.

The biggest, and sometimes most difficult step, is to take action.  Yes, action - even though it's likely that you won't want to. Sometimes, if you tackle the physical symptoms, it will help with the emotional side, as well. So the next time you feel the stress building up, do yourself a favor and try these simple stress management techniques. These are some of the several ways to reduce stress and make one feel calmer and more relaxed.

Stress Management ​Activities

Stretching

When you feel the tension in your muscles, it’s a good idea to get moving. Don’t try anything aggressive. Some simple stretches can work wonders. A good place to start is your neck, shoulders and your back. Remember to breathe as you stretch and never overstretch. If you experience any discomfort, stop right away. And if you don’t feel any stretch, you need to reach a little farther.

To stretch your neck, sit in a straight-back chair with your feet flat on the floor. Sit up straight so that you feel like you are lengthening your body. Next try tilting your head, gently, from side to side. Point your right ear toward the right shoulder.  Inhale as you lift your head and move it toward the opposite shoulder. Exhale. Now turn your head to look over your left shoulder, being sure not to move either shoulder. Next, try the other shoulder.

For the shoulder stretch, again sit in an upright chair, feet on the floor, lengthening your body. As you inhale, lift both of your shoulders up toward your ears like an exaggerated shrug. As you exhale, lower your shoulders as far as you can.

To get the stress out of your back, sit in the straight-back chair with your feet flat on the floor, but slightly apart. Turn your feet out like a penguin. This keeps the stress off your knees. Sit back in the chair, again lengthening your body. Then, exhale and bend forward at your hips going through your legs. If you can reach, place your hands on the floor. If your back won’t allow you to stretch that far, place your hands on your knees while you stretch. Inhale as you come back up

Visualize

Another way to fight stress is to go to a peaceful place in your mind. Close your eyes and imagine a peaceful place. Now picture yourself in that peaceful place. What do you see? What makes it so peaceful? What word comes to mind? Repeat that word over and over again like a mantra. If a word doesn’t come easily to mind, try repeating the word "peace" or "soothing" or "calm". Focus on this word and let your mind simply relax. Try to maintain this peaceful state for as long as you can. Remember, the place you’ve conjured up in your mind is a peaceful place where you want to stay. When you come out of this peaceful state, sit quietly for a moment. Gradually come back to the present.

Breathe

You can also tackle stress just by breathing deeply. Your breath and focusing on your breathing is one of the best and fastest ways to bring yourself back to a calmer, more relaxed space. 

​To start, find a comfortable chair in a quiet place. Focus your attention on a spot below your navel. Put your hand  there if it helps you find it and focus. Breathing in through your nose, slowly breathe air into this spot. Feel your stomach filling with air and the air moving ​through your lungs. Now, slowly, breathe out the air through your mouth. Start by emptying your lungs first and moving slowly back down to your navel. Rest a moment before taking another big breath. When you’re ready, repeat the process. You should feel more and more relaxed with each deep breath you take.

These techniques work, but they are short-term fixes for whatever stress you might be feeling or living with daily. There is more you can do to better manage the stress in your life. To start with, pay attention to what you are doing on a daily basis.  Drugs and alcohol are only going to increase the likelhood and severity of your stress.  ​So try to eliminate drugs and alcohol from your system. People use them because they mask the stress but, in fact, they can make your body even more responsive to stress. And when you mask a problem, you’re not as quick to get to the real issue and resolve it.

Another idea is to build what are called stress breaks into your day. For example, take a real lunch break. Get away from your desk, eat with a friend and do not talk about work. Later that afternoon, take a 5-10 minute walk. When other employees leave the office for a smoke break or a snack, you could take a walk around the parking lot.  Allow your mind to wander and not focus on work or look at your phone but, rather, whatever you are looking at in your surroundings. 

And when the weekend rolls around, take it easy. Do not pack Saturday and Sunday so full of activities that you need a day off to recover from your days off.  Too many of us cram a ton of "life" stuff into the weekend leaving us more exhausted than when we went into the weekend.  Yes, there are some things that you will have to do but make sure that there's at least as much time or more that is simply hours of relaxing and activities that make you feel calm and enjoyable.  Finally, schedule your time off. You get vacation time from work or school for a reason. A rested employee or student is a better employee or student. Even if you can’t get away for a week or two, schedule a long weekend or grant yourself a mental health day.

​It's also best to have some structure or routine in your week.  It helps to cut down on your stress levels.  Think about your week ahead and take the steps you need to stay healthy. If it’s a week where you’re out several evenings, plan some easy meals for at home. Don’t start any major projects and plan to ​relax over the weekend so that you can recharge. Over time, you’ll find that the best way to manage stress is by being good to yourself.

Meditation

Meditation is a mental exercise aimed at relaxing and getting control over your ​focus and attention. You choose what to focus on, instead of being subject to the unpredictable turn of environmental events or the randomness of our mind's running free. This is best done in a silent place and involves set breathing methods.

There are several types of meditation and several ways that you can utilize this practice to help you maintain your balance, calm and outlook even when under a lot of stress.  Best of all, many of them don't require that you turn in your style an become a Buddhist monk! They are simple, easy techniques that you can incorporate into your daily life.

Using Alternative Medicine

Stress, either mental or physical, generates a high demand for blood and nutrients due to the elevated metabolism of lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates in the brain and muscle tissues. As a result, the blood and nutrient supply to the liver and other major organs are reduced.

Additionally, the elevated body metabolism will produce excessive waste that requires filtering by the liver. Compromised blood supply combined with an increased workload creates a strong challenge to the liver. If this condition runs for an extended period, the liver often becomes fatigued and less efficient.

The liver is the predominant organ for blood detoxification, and less effective detoxification of the blood produces a series of stress reactions including insomnia, headache, migraine, nausea, mood swings, bad temper, hand tremor, drowsiness (hepatic encephalopathy), anxiety, anxiousness, and or rashes. Prolonged exposure to such conditions may also lead to depression. In addition to the stress, alcohol, medications, and chemicals are also harmful to the liver. Chronic use of these substances can also make the liver work at a compromised level.

Exploring with your doctor or a homeopath the state or you health and options is an excellent tool to enhance your overall well being and help you eliminate some of the physical symptoms of stress in your body.

Stress Relievers

​Deep Breathing Exercises 

Another stress reliever technique is deep breathing. The average person is rarely breathing deeply enough to enhance their well being and allowing themselves to stay calm. Deep natural, breathing techniques can be very helpful to relieve stress and anxiety. Proper oxygen circulation is essential for a healthy mind and body. ​Our emotions affect our breathing. When we get anxious or nervous, the breathing becomes rapid and irregular. 

When we are relaxed, our breathing is healthy and balanced. Deep breathing exercise can help calm the mind and body and are a good stress relieving technique. Find a quiet place to do your breathing exercise, do deep breathing exercise while sitting comfortably or lying on the floor. Inhale through your nose, your abdomen should rise while inhaling then exhale through your mouth and your abdomen should fall while exhaling.

Yoga

Any form of exercise is a positive step to improving your health!  One that is also great in the stress relieving department is the technique of yoga because it can help you achieve balance physically and emotionally.  There are courses online as well as in your local area that can introduce you to the various styles and techniques of yoga.  In addition, whether you are a teen or a senior, there is a style of yoga that can work well for your abilities. ​

Self-hypnosis

​Hypnosis has been known to be an excellent tool for some to use for quitting smoking as well as for weight loss.  In addition, self-hypnosis can work well for other areas, including anxiety, stress reduction and depression.  

One can find practitioners locally as well as online that offer hypnosis in different areas. Make sure that they are licensed practitioners and offer assistance in the areas that you are looking for.  

Work Related Stress

Increasing work related stress is overwhelmingly a fact of life for many of us.  Compound that with personal stress or home stress, and it can be like being on an emotional roller coaster most of the time. Finding ways to cope and deal is critical!

Though there are several factors that attribute to stress, it's your job or school that is generally one of the biggest causes to stress. But you do not have to let work related stress become part of your life. You can cope up with job stress in few simple yet extraordinarily efficient ways.

To stop being stressed at work, you have to start your day right. As a matter of fact, most people arrive stressed at work. They juggle with their household chores, pop in their breakfast and then dodge traffic to reach work or school on time. As a result, there is a stressful start to the day, which continues through out the day. ​To avoid that and have a more chilled and relaxing day, take steps that will make sure that happens. When you start your day on a positive note, you are less ​likely to be stressed.

Plan out your day the night before.  That includes what you will wear as well as eat before heading off to work.  Got kids or a partner?  Make sure that you factor in whatever you need to do for or with them as well.  And make sure that you get them onboard with the new routine!  No sense taking the time to get yourself on track only to lose it over someone that isn't ready in the morning when it's time to head out the door!

For work or school - get your projects or tasks organized.  Start small - just make sure your work space is organized and move on from there.  Next, organize whatever you are working on so that you stay on top of the items and get things done on time.  Being behind is a great source of stress and anxiety for most of us.

​"Play nice" at work or school.  Yes, there might be someone that is driving you crazy but try to avoid, ignore or discuss it with them or your boss.  Find ways to alleviate the situation and make your work world not have personal issues.

Try not to be a perfectionist all the time; if you would like to keep stress in check. When trying to be perfect at everything that you do; you have a tendency to become too demanding and have a harder time seeing the positives in what you have accomplished to date. This greatly adds on to your stress levels. ​

Stress at work is inevitable. You can't stop it from coming, but you can change the way you handle it. Instead of having a meltdown right in the middle of the office, why not try one of these 5 quick and end easy stress reducers?

  • Take A Break -It's easy to let your feelings take over when everyone around you seems like an idiot! But, remember, your fellow workers are just trying to get through the day the best they can too.
  • Get Support - Sometimes, the thing that is stressing you most is also fraying everyone else's nerves too. Can't take the copier breaking down one more time? Maybe it's time for you and other office staff to request a new one. Worried that you're not going to meet your big deadline?
  • Delegate - Delegate some of the smaller priorities, or ask for help. Oftentimes, we take on more than we can handle unnecessarily, when others in the office are more than willing to roll up their sleeves and help out.  Even if the main responsibility rests with you, sometimes, just having a trustworthy sounding board is enough to get us through and help ease some of the burden.
  • Be Kind to Yourself - The more stress we feel, the harder we seem to be on ourselves. Feeling overwhelmed with that new project? Don't react by telling yourself you can't handle it - chances are you can! Ease some of that stress by reprioritizing and rescheduling deadlines.
  • Find A Solution - Every problem has a solution. You just have to find it. Worrying about a problem or stressing over your lack of control over a work-related issue won't solve anything. Tackling it head on might. No matter what is causing stress in your work life, look for a solution, then find a way to implement it.
  • Remain Positive - The most important thing to remember about stress is this: most of it is temporary. It may seem like things will never change, or get better, but they tend to ebb and flow, getting better, and then getting worse again.

    There will always be stresses at work beyond your control. The key to handling those situations is realizing that sometimes you'll hit a snag, but eventually you'll also break free and find life at work more tolerable once again.

    Stress can impact your career in many ways and sometimes determines the success or failure of your ​career as harsh as that may sound. The better you become at managing your own stress, the more positive the outcome of your work will be. When you're in control of your stress you are able to look at life in a more positive way and not let it get in the way of more important things.

    There are many stress management techniques you can practice when coping with stress at your place of work. ​ We've covered a few of them here and have tons more on our website for you to utilize.

    A large part of reducing job stress is by taking care of yourself. When stress interferes with your ability to work, you should pay attention to your physical and emotional health. Manage your personal life and put some time towards your own needs. As you focus more on yourself, you feel better and stronger, which will help with the effects of stress on the body and with stress relief and stress causes.

    This can help you to become more confident and take on a successful day at work. This doesn't mean you need a total lifestyle overhaul. Even minor changes can make a difference, just to make you feel like you are back in control of your life. Take things one step at a time and, after awhile, you'll notice quite a big change in your stress level, both at home and at work.

​There's really no way to completely avoid stress in life unfortunately.  However, what and how you handle it IS up to you!  And that's what we're starting to focus on here. By taking even the smallest of action steps to help you identify and decrease your own stress, you'll begin the process of healing and feeling better while enjoying you life more.  

And afterall, isn't that something that we would all like to do more?