Stress raises certain hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. In the short term, this can be helpful, triggering the “fight or flight” response that helps you deal with immediate threats. Over time, however, chronic stress could increase your risk for a slew of health issues, including heart disease. Follow some of the steps below to decrease stress:
- Figure out what causes stress. Write a list of your triggers and devise problem-solving strategies for the things you’ve itemized.
- Have a quick coping mechanism. When you need a moment, figure out a quick action you can do to stay calm, like listening to music, deep breathing or a few stretches.
- Address the physical causes of stress. Sometimes, we’re stressed out because of unmet physical needs that are actually in our grasp to fulfill: getting more sleep, eating a balanced diet, or exercising more.
- Get outside. Spending more time outdoors can boost your mood and happiness. You don’t always need to plan a long hike. Sitting in the park or walking around your neighborhood works.
- Talk about it. Reach out to loved ones to talk about your stressors. If you feel overwhelmed by stress, consider speaking to a mental health professional.