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4 Tips for Reducing Stress in Your Life

Stress is a part of everyone’s life, young and old.  We stress out about a lot of things: work, relationships, money, and health just to name a few.  While some stress is good and keeps you alert and active, too much can have a negative impact on your life.  How you deal with these situations plays a big part.  It is important to differentiate between what is worth focusing on and what to let go.  Having effective ways of dealing with this stress is also essential.  Turning to drugs or alcohol to temporarily numb these emotions and forget about life’s problems is not an effective strategy and can lead to addiction.  Part of the drug and alcohol rehabilitation process is learning healthy ways to cope with stressful situations.

If stress is weighing down your day, consider the following tips to help reduce its impact:

1. Identify Stressors.  Determine what it is that is causing you to feel stressed out.  Is it due to the demands of your job?  Taking on too many responsibilities?  Associating with certain people?  A particular activity?  Take the time to keep a journal and write down these moments.  Detail where you are, what happened, how you felt, and how you responded.  Look for any patterns and whether the situation is avoidable or changeable.  Though it is impossible to eliminate all stress from one’s life, making small changes to your habits, routines, or lifestyle can help to reduce the impact.

2. Prioritize.  Learn to say no.  If you find that taking on too many responsibilities and projects is causing you stress and anxiety, let others share in the work.  Focus on the most important tasks each day that must get done, then continue working down the list as time allows.  If some things get pushed to tomorrow, that is okay.  Only take on what you can handle and set boundaries for yourself.  Try to avoid people you know have a negative impact on your mood or performance.  Create a working environment for yourself where you are relaxed and able to be productive.

3. Change your Perspective.  Look at the big picture.  Is what you are worried about truly important?  Will it matter tomorrow?  Next month?  Next year?  Sometimes people stress themselves out over situations that seem bigger in their mind.  When they look at it from a different angle or point of view, they are able to approach it in a new way and overcome these challenges.  Learn to accept the things that you cannot change and focus on what you can change.  Set reasonable goals and standards for yourself instead of always trying to go above and beyond.

4. Make Time to Relax.  Too often, people become absorbed in their work and forget to make time for themselves.  If you are feeling stressed, take a break to collect yourself and calm down.  Go for a walk, take some deep breaths, or remove yourself from the situation.  Turn on your favorite music, call up a friend to hang out, or engage in a favorite sport or hobby.  Some people find that activities such as yoga and meditation are effective.  Do something that brings you joy and helps you to focus on the positive things in life.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with stress.  Figure out what works best for you.  Determine effective ways to deal with certain situations should they arise so that you are more prepared.  Take time to talk through your feelings with a friend, family member, or counselor.  Sometimes, just putting these feelings into words can help and gives people new insight.  Learn healthy habits to improve your mental and physical wellbeing.

If you find yourself turning to drugs or alcohol as a coping strategy to make it through the day, contact Chapters Capistrano today to see how we can help.  We can help you learn to take back control of your life and develop healthier ways to deal with stress.