Stress is defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional, or psychological strain. Stress is your body’s response to anything that requires attention or action. Everyone experiences stress at some point to some degree. There are two types of stress, acute and chronic. Acute stress is anything that causes an immediate threat and is short-term such as being stuck in a traffic jam, arguing with your spouse or friend, or getting criticized by your boss. Chronic stress is long-term and is when you experience frequent or ongoing stressors that cause your body to remain in a constant state of physiological arousal such as having a high-pressure job, being in a challenging relationship, or dealing with financial difficulties. Chronic stress cannot always be eliminated and so it is important to develop positive coping strategies to prevent or deal with chronic stress so that you are able to relax and enjoy life.
10 Ways to Cope with Chronic Stress
Use these tips to prevent or reduce chronic stress
- Understand your signs: If you are able to recognize your stress signals you will be better able to manage them.
- Speak to friends and family: speaking to another person that you trust can motivate you and help you to take action.
- Exercise regularly: exercising regularly increases your endorphins, chemicals in your brain that help boost your mood and reduce stress. Try running, cycling, walking, or playing sports.
- Improve your sleep quality: getting too little sleep or poor-quality sleep can contribute to your stress. Make sure you get 7-8 hours of good sleep each night.
- Practice meditation, mindfulness, or yoga: practicing these can help you be in tune with your body in a peaceful environment which helps to reduce your stress levels.
- Adopt a hobby: Engaging in activities you enjoy can help reduce your stress levels. Try crocheting, reading, painting, or woodworking.
- Re-balance your life: Make sure that work is not the only thing you make time for. If you find yourself at work more than you should be, make sure to schedule time outside of the office to enjoy doing things you like by yourself or with other people.
- Go on a Vacation: Getting outside of your normal routine and stressors can help you reset. This reduces your stress and helps you to be happier and more productive when you come back home.
- Set limits: Make sure that you only obligate yourself to so many tasks or activities. Taking on too many can cause burnout and increase your stress levels.
- Seek Professional Help: If you find yourself with constant negative thoughts that you cannot control or feel like your stress is too much for you to handle, seek help that you need such as a counselor, therapist, or coach.
Written: by Taylor Jalomo
Stoll, M. (2021). 10 Simple Ways to Cope With Stress. Sutter Health. Retrieved from 10 Simple Ways to Cope with Stress | Sutter Health