Nearly one-third of Americans report suffering from extreme stress, and these numbers are on the rise, with approximately half of Americans experiencing increased stress levels over the last five years. Because everyone experiences stress to some degree, it is universally important to develop effective stress management tools.
Without these tools’ individuals may experience chronic stress which leads to poor mental and physical health, followed by an increased risk for anxiety or depression.
Not all Stress is Bad
Stress manifests itself differently in everyone. It is caused by various triggers and each individual copes uniquely. Not all stress is considered bad. Good stress or “eustress” can be motivating and exciting. It’s a rush of adrenaline that can push individuals to excel, reach goals, and stand out in tense situations.
Chronic stress, however, is bad stress. This puts continued strain on the body and interferes with an individual’s ability to perform tasks and function normally. Luckily, there are stress management strategies that help tackle these situations. Some of these strategies include:
- Identifying the cause of stress and finding proactive ways to reduce these triggers
- Building supportive relationships that offer emotional support and an alternative perspective
- Setting aside time for hobbies, relaxation, or mindfulness
- Creating a list and prioritizing responsibilities
Practice Managing Stress Daily
Below is a two-week calendar that lists one small and simple way to reduce stress daily. Aim to complete four items each week and repeat throughout the month of April.
Monday— Take a walk.
Tuesday— Light a candle.
Wednesday— Plan quality time with friends and family.
Thursday— Schedule quiet time.
Friday— Spend 1 hour without electronics.
Sunday— Be positive.
Monday— Spend time with an animal.
Tuesday— Make time for a hobby.
Wednesday— Make sleep a priority.
Thursday— Take adequate work breaks.
Friday— Get outisde for lunch.
Saturday— Practice meditation.
Sunday— Get nostalgic with old family photos.