4 proven ways to manage stress and live a healthier life

Contrary to popular belief, stress is a crucial part of our lives and it provides us with a motivator to get things done and helps us stay on track. However, when it starts becoming a regular part of your life, that’s when the alarm bells start going off.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or just a working Joe/Jill just trying to make ends meet, it’s essential that you keep your stress levels under control at all times. 

Many people, unfortunately, underestimate how damaging stress can actually be. From frequent headaches to elevated levels of blood pressure and depression and anxiety, stress is a true silent killer.

In this article, we take a look at how and why it’s vital that you keep your stress levels under control. Here is our advice.

1. Taking a step back

Insane deadlines. An overbearing boss. 16-work days.

Chances are this is a regular occurrence for many of us in the working world. Chasing the almighty dollar means that we often put our physical and mental wellbeing on the line just to make ends meet.

We convince ourselves that all of this is simply a means to an end. In fact, some of us even glorify such abuse and brag about how many hours we’ve gone without sleep. 

All of this, to what end exactly?

Given that more than a few deaths that have been linked to overwork, it’s clear that many of us are simply working ourselves into an early grave.

This highlights the value of taking time off regularly to destress and decompress from the pressures of work. Besides putting in grueling hours at the office, most of us turn to a side hustle of some kind in order to earn some extra cash.

While all of this is well and good, the lack of rest combined with chronic levels of excessive stress can be a killer combination. On the long-term or even short-term, this can lead to depression and an increased likelihood of heart disease.

2. Working out regularly

Let’s face it, none of us particularly enjoy exercise and even the best of us are constantly searching for an excuse to get out of it. Difficult as it may be, however, experts say that exercise is in fact one of the most effective ways of busting stress.

You do not need to be an athlete competing for a place in the upcoming NBA draft 2020. A simple exercise is just accessible to everyone. From yoga to jogging and even lifting weights, physical activity of any kind improves your general well-being while also reducing stress. 

When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins i.e. feel-good hormones that reduce blood pressure and makes you happy. Known as a “runner’s high”, exercise of any kind is able to trigger this response in your body.

Besides making you feel good, exercise has the benefit of making you stronger and fitter which improves your ability to work and think creatively. 

Imagine that; being able to work off all of that stress whilst making yourself much more capable. How’s that for a real bargain?

3. Go for a massage

So, you’ve had a horrible day at work, you lost a major client and one of your best employees is leaving at the end of the week. All you’d like to do is to decompress with Netflix while enjoying a stiff drink.

If this sounds like you, maybe it’s time to change up your routine.

Why not book a massage session with your local therapist and let them iron out all those knots that you’ve been feeling?

Thai. Swedish. Traditional Chinese. Ayurvedic. The only thing that matters is getting a nice, relaxing massage that will work wonders for you.

From treating aches and pains to relieving tension, massage is a proven and effective method of helping you deal with stress. 

Alongside this, if you’ve been having trouble sleeping (a common symptom of chronic stress), a good massage session may be just what you need to help you enjoy healing, restful sleep.

4. Laugh

Laughter is indeed the best medicine. If you didn’t know, laughing boosts your immune system helps relieve tension and improves your mood. 

Strange, but it’s effects have been cataloged and proven over the years. Over the years, we as adults have somehow lost the ability to laugh which undoubtedly contributed to our dour disposition.

Meet up with close friends or family for dinner or drinks and enjoy one another’s company. Tell jokes, live in the moment and appreciate what you have. At the end of the day, you’ll be left feeling much better.

Stress is a regular part of modern-day living. However, that doesn’t mean that we should allow it to dominate every facet of our lives. In fact, stress needs to be managed and controlled lest it overtakes our lives.

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