Stress is undeniably a part of life; all people will experience it at some point in time. However, stress, particularly ongoing stress, can have a widespread and damaging impact on a person’s wellbeing.
When stress becomes severe enough, the symptoms are often considered mental health disorders. People who struggle with stress may notice their physical health, emotional behavior, and even their ability to think clearly become affected.
Mindfulness based stress reduction is the practice of focusing your mental energy on what is happening in the immediate present, the act of purposefully setting your attention to now, and making decisions or taking action with your full intention.
Tips to Manage Daily Stress
At HPA/LiveWell in Albany, NY, therapists draw on mental health resources to develop strategies like these four tips below, which can be used to help manage daily stress.
- Practice conscious self care every day. Whether you have one hour or ten minutes to spare, set aside daily time with the specific purpose of enjoying an activity that makes you feel peaceful. Working on a craft, reading a chapter in a book, writing in a journal and meditating are all self care tactics that can be used to reduce stress.
- Implement small changes to your physical routine. Physical activity reduces stress; it is a well-proven piece of mental health information. Small, purposeful adjustments are the key to increasing movement without making big life changes. Taking the stairs in the office, even just for the first few floors, walking one extra lap around the block with the dog, or stopping on the way home to stroll a local park, are easy ways to can use your body to help manage stress. Source: Anxiety and Depression Association of America
- Create a peaceful meal environment. Whether you are eating on your own or with others, keep the focus of your meals on the food in front of you. By eliminating reading, scrolling through your phone, or watching television, you are being mindful of your meal, and preserving a sense of control and awareness around your body.
- Be okay with saying “no”. If you find yourself attending social events out of obligation, feeling resentful of your employer due to an increasing workload, or gritting your teeth through the word “yes”, it might be time to reflect on mindfulness. Recognizing your limits and setting appropriate boundaries are important components of using mindfulness to reduce stress. Limiting the amount of stress you bring in to your life will inevitably help prevent it from increasing.
While these four suggestions are a great place to start, stress can be difficult to manage alone. If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness based stress reduction, therapists at HPA/LiveWell in Albany, NY can provide mental health resources, therapy, and more. Learn more about the services provided, along with other mental health online resources here, or by calling (518) 218-1188.