Easy Ways to Start Managing Your Stress Better

Easy Ways to Start Managing Your Stress Better

Do you ever feel like you’re on a perpetual treadmill, desperately trying to keep up and inundated by constant demands for your time? 

It’s nearly impossible to avoid stress in this fast-paced world, but without good management techniques, it can also take a toll on your health, wellness, and quality of life.

Dr. Terry L. Franklin knows that people face countless stressors on a daily basis. While feeling stressed may not be a problem from time to time, constant exposure leads to numerous chronic conditions, such as:

Fortunately, adopting some stress management techniques can significantly change how you and your body respond to stressors. The result? Fewer health risks and the potential for a longer, healthier life.

Breathe — deeply

Believe it or not, the easiest place to start involves breathing, and you can do this tip anywhere, even during a stressful meeting with your boss.

Every time you take deep, slow breaths, you can soothe an activated sympathetic nervous system. This part of your body manages your fight-or-flight response in times of stress — or anything your system perceives as a threat.

To try deep breathing for yourself, inhale through your nose for the count of five, feeling your chest and lower belly expand as your lungs fill. Hold the breath for the count of two. Then, release slowly through your mouth while counting to five. And repeat.

For the best results, spend at least 10-20 minutes deep breathing each day, even if it’s only a few minutes at a time. 

Try meditation

Another surefire way to relieve stress involves meditation. And don’t worry — there are numerous types, including those you perform while moving. That means anyone can benefit from meditation, even those who claim they just can’t sit still long enough.

Types of meditation practices can include:

No matter which form of meditation you practice, you learn how to bring yourself back into the moment. This process helps create a sense of peace, home, and balance because it helps you refocus your attention on calming things instead of the stresses of everyday life.

Take care of your body

It’s hard to take good care of yourself when stressed or strapped for time. But your body needs good nutrition and plenty of exercise to feel and function in peak condition. Plus, physical activity is a known stress reliever that releases powerful feel-good endorphins that improve mood.

Dr. Franklin can help assess your diet to see if you’re falling short on certain vitamins, like a B complex, C, and E. These essential nutrients often get depleted because of stress, increasing your chances of health complications in the long run.

Limit screen time, especially social media

You may love your phone, tablet, or computer, but they can also increase your everyday stress, especially if you keep up with current events and social media. 

While you don’t have to avoid these things entirely, limit the amount of time you spend on devices. Trust us — those news feeds aren’t going anywhere. But you can significantly reduce your stress levels by opting for other pastimes, like reading a book, spending time outside, or catching up with a friend.

If you can’t resist your screens, cut yourself off several hours before bed, since they can interfere with quality sleep.

Make real-life connections

Did you know that having a sense of community plays a crucial role in healthy stress management? These relationships help foster feelings of support and connection. They can also provide opportunities for social engagement or outings — activities that can bust stress in no time.

Not sure where to connect with others? Dr. Franklin suggests starting with community or faith-based organizations. They often have groups you can join or activities planned where you can meet people with similar interests. 

Finally, if you’re overwhelmed by stress, you don’t have to face it alone. Dr. Franklin can provide recommendations personalized to your health and specific needs, including wellness care and lifestyle education.

Are you ready to manage stress better? Contact our office in Monterey, California, to schedule a consultation with Dr. Franklin today.

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