We all suffer from stress from time to time. Now that summer is over the holidays will be upon us and the days will be getting shorter. That can be a recipe for stress for many people. The lack of sunlight and vitamin D can be a trigger for SAD or seasonal affective disorder but there are ways you can manage stress.

We all have stress in our lives. Whether it’s the stress we face each day in traffic or the stress we experience stuck in a job we’d rather not have – we all have it. It’s how we deal with stress, how we manages stress, that can make all the difference in the world. Stress is a state of mind. You can’t see it, you can’t hold it and you can’t smell it or taste it. It is within us and can be quite powerful if we don’t take the necessary steps to manage it.

Managing Stress

  1. Shake it off – Jump around and release the tension in your body. We tend to harbor stress in our jaw, our shoulders and our lower back so stretch those muscles for some relief. Open your mouth as wide as you can and hold it there for 10 seconds and release. This is a great exercise to do while stuck in traffic. Roll your shoulders and even consider giving yoga a try.
  2. Breath – Deep breathing fills your blood with oxygen which is calming. Breath deeply in and let the air out slowly to achieve almost immediate calm. Breath from your abdomen, not from your chest. Take in deep breaths and let them out slowly, but comfortably. Repeat throughout the day. This breathing app is a great way to practice mindfulness breathing each day.
  3. Don’t be a victim – Most people will ask themselves, and others, what they did to deserve the poor outcome. When you take the role of victim you’re actually increasing your stress. If you don’t get the job offer don’t wallow in self pity, think instead of all the other job opportunities that are available to you.
  4. Repeat a mantra – It sounds all new-agey but repeating a mantra over and over again is an effective way to calm down and reduce anxiety. A mantra can be anything that is repeated. It can be a real life word or something made up because you like the sound of it. The idea is to repeat it until you find your balance. If you want to learn more about mantras, check out this article.
  5. Get a pet – Cuddle time with your favorite furry friend can be one of the best stress reducers around. Whether you’re a cat person, dog person or even iguana person, cuddling with a beloved pet can reduce stress, anxiety and blood pressure in just minutes.

These are just a few stress management tips that can help you get through challenging times. If you’re facing something more debilitating than just regular stress and are in need of immediate help please call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255, or 911. Remember, you don’t have to go it alone.