Self-Help for Dealing with Stress

Stress invades people’s lives all the time, even daily for some. Life gets hard and it’s difficult to juggle all the things life throws at us. It’s important that we get our stress levels under control because frequent elevated levels of stress are toxic to the human body and can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. It’s easier than you may think to help yourself decrease your stress levels. Just follow these simple steps.

1. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and do not decrease your levels of stress; they increase them. Alcohol is a depressant in large amounts and a stimulant in small amounts, making it bad for you to take as a way of relieving stress. Instead of reaching towards the alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, grab some water or herbal tea. These are hydrating and provide you with stress relief.

2. Try taking part in physical activity. Stress releases hormones in your body known as adrenaline and cortisol. Releasing some of these hormones can help your stress levels to go down.

3. Get more sleep. Not getting enough sleep is a direct correlation to high stress levels. However, stress sometimes prevents us from relaxing enough to fall asleep. If you are having this issue, try taking a warm bath or reading before bedtime. Another good tip is going to bed at roughly the same time every night. This creates a routine for you to follow, naturally decreasing your stress.

4. Try relaxation techniques. Every day, try a different stress-reducing technique. You can try self-hypnosis as this is very simple and easy to do anywhere. You could also attempt saying one word repeatedly to yourself that holds meaning for you. Don’t worry if these relaxation tips don’t work right off the bat. Relaxation is a skill that takes time to master.

5. Talk to someone you trust and who can help. Letting someone know how you feel is a great way to reduce your stress. Many people have said that it’s like a weight being lifted off their shoulders. Stress can cloud our mind and prevent us from thinking clearly. Talking through your situation with someone can help you figure out a solution to what you’re stressing about.

6. Keep a stress diary. Keeping a diary and writing down your thoughts and emotions will help you become more aware of what you’re feeling. Write down the date and place the stressful event occurred. Also include what you were doing and how you felt, both emotionally and physically. Writing everything down will enable you to avoid another stressful situation and you’ll discover some new coping mechanisms.

7. Manage your time. Many people experience stress when they run out of time to do important things. With a schedule to follow you can ensure that you get all of your important tasks done in a timely manner. Having all your work done on time will help to decrease some stress.

8. Learn to say “No”. It’s easy to believe that you have all the time in the world and can juggle one more thing in your life. But sometimes you need to remember that you have so many other important things that needs to be juggled. There’s only a certain amount of hours in a day, making it hard to get multiple things done.

Take care of yourself. Stress invades everyone’s lives but dealing with stress is manageable. Know that everything will get better and the thing that’s causing you so much stress won’t be a worry to you down the road.

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Self-Help Tips for Dealing with Anxiety

Self-Help Tips for Dealing with Anxiety

Everybody experiences anxiety from time to time in their life. You can’t always just breathe through an anxiety attack either. Anxiety attacks people in different ways. Some have trouble breathing, their heart races, with flushed skin and chest pain. If you have frequent anxiety attacks, try these self-help tips for dealing with them.

1. Exaggerate your biggest fear – Talk to a friend about your biggest fear, whether it be giving a presentation to your class or riding a roller coaster. Make it as dramatic as possible with lots of descriptive words and plenty of your raw emotions. Then when it comes time for you to do that thing that scares you, it won’t be as horrifying because you’ve already ruled out all the possible horrible things that can happen to you. After talking to your friend about this a couple times, your stories and exaggerations will start to become very silly and something you can laugh about together.

2. Distract yourself – In your scary situation, just don’t think about where you are or what you’re doing. Seems easier said than done, but with practice it ‘ll almost be like you aren’t even in the situation that causes your anxiety.

3. Exercise – Stress and anxiety both release the same hormone: adrenaline. When you exercise, you are releasing this hormone, making your anxiety levels go down.

4. Do not consume too much caffeine or alcohol. Both are stimulants and will only make your anxiety worse. Instead, turn to drinks like milk and water. Some general foods that are good to bring down your anxiety levels include nuts, berries, yogurts, legumes, and dark orange vegetables.

5. Meditate – Calm yourself down and simply focus on your breathing; nothing else. Tune out everything going on around you and count each breath you take.

6. Break down the days into minutes. Instead of stressing yourself out about what you’re going to do in the next three hours, focus on the seconds and minutes you are living in right now. This will help to eliminate some worries and anxiety you may have for a certain part of your day.

7. Use visual anchors. If you feel yourself getting anxious, find something that brings a sense of calm to you and just focus on it. For example, if you find yourself stuck in traffic, you can look up at the clouds to help you feel calm.

8. Repeat a mantra. Simply repeat over and over in your head a phrase that brings calmness and peace within yourself. A sample phrase would be, I am enough or I can do this. Building yourself up is often a technique people use to relieve some of their anxiety.

9. Write a love letter to yourself. This is just like what you’d do if you were repeating a mantra. Write down on a piece of paper all of the things you love about yourself. Then when you’re having an anxiety attack, read the letter. This, once again, will help relieve some anxiety.

You aren’t alone in this world. Millions of people suffer from anxiety. These tips given may not all work for you and that’s okay. There are other tips out there for you to try, as well as doctors and other professionals to talk to.

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Self-Help Tips for Dealing with Phobias

Self-Help Tips for Dealing with Phobias

Everyone has a fear of something. Not everyone necessarily has a phobia, though. A phobia is defined as the intense and irrational fear of an object or situation. Some people have such intense phobias that they can feel uncomfortable very easily. For example, if you have a fear of heights, you may feel uneasy just being near tall buildings and windows. Some common phobias include:

* Heights
* Insects (usually spiders)
* Thunder and lightning
* Roller coasters
* Animals (usually dogs, snakes, sharks)

To help yourself through your phobias, here is a list of self-help tips to try.

1. Slowly Attempt to Face Your Fear

Exposure is one of the best ways to conquer your fear. The trick is to start off small.

For example, if you have a fear of dogs, it might be wise to start off by looking at pictures of dogs. When exposing yourself to your fear, you might want to have a person with you to support you. Then, once you’ve been able to get through looking at the pictures of the dogs, you can move on to having a friend bring over their dog. Then, leave the dog outside for you to watch through a window. Slowly lessen the distance between you and the dog. Then, when you’re comfortable enough, try petting the dog but leave him on a leash.

With time, you’ll soon begin to feel a little less nervous around the thing that makes you scared. You just have to give it time.

2. Practice Relaxation Techniques

Try taking deep breaths at the beginning of every day. This will not only calm down your overall anxiety, but it will also give you a new way to stay calm in any nerve-wracking situations you may come upon in the future.

3. Change Your Thought Process

This can be difficult, but once mastered it can really help you through your phobia. Many times when you find yourself in a difficult situation, your mind will begin to exaggerate the event, making you more scared and nervous. As you pay attention to how you talk and think during a scary situation, you will notice a significant difference in the amount of anxiety you feel towards your phobia.

Remember that phobias take time and patience to overcome. You can’t expect to get immediate results. However, if practicing these tips every day, you should experience a change. Keep a record of progress so that whenever you begin to feel overwhelmed, you can look back and see the changes you’ve made in your life.

If you are experiencing any phobias that are preventing you from enjoying your everyday life, talk to a doctor or professional. They’ll be able to help you along your journey and give you different tips that are best to be used when facing a harder phobia to get over. You may even want to talk to your doctor about taking medication if your phobia truly does get out of hand and prevents you from enjoying your life. If you feel this may be the best option for you, consult with your doctor.

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Self-Help Tips for Dealing with a Low Mood

Self-Help Tips for Dealing with a Low Mood

Many people suffer from depression and low moods. It’s often hard to overcome, but remember that change takes time. When trying to take control of your feelings, remember to be patient. Listed below are some tips you can use to try to lift your feelings of depression.

1. Stay in touch. Don’t withdraw from your life and your loved ones. When talking to others, it has been proven that it can improve your mood. Talk to the people you care about the most. Let them know how you feel because they may be the biggest key in you getting the healing that you need.

2. Be more active. Take up any form of exercise. Studies have shown that exercise helps to lift your mood.

3. Face your fears. Whatever is making you feel so low, face it, but in small amounts. Running away from something difficult can actually just make your mood drop even more. Depression can make people lose their confidence, but don’t let it take that away from you. Battle through it and tell your depression who’s boss.

4. Don’t drink too much alcohol. Alcohol in large amounts is a depressant, which will only make you feel more depressed. You may turn to drinking to cope or hide from your depression, but in actuality only makes it worse.

5. Try to have a healthier diet. When depressed, many people don’t feel like eating. This makes them in danger of being underweight. On the flip side, though, some people find comfort in food, which then puts them in danger of being overweight.

6. Have a routine. Keeping your body on a regular schedule has shown to decrease stress and low moods. Ensure that you go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time. Without a routine you can fall into a slump and notice a new level of sadness. Another negative to not having a routine is that it impacts your eating. You may stop cooking regular meals, eat snacks throughout the entire day, or miss meals because you stay in bed all day.

These tips may not work for everyone. However, if you notice that your depression is getting out of hand and you can’t handle things on your own, it may be time that you get help from a professional. They’ll be able to provide you with an attack plan to help battle your depression.

If you feel as though the tips given won’t help, or that your depression is on a high level, then you may want to consider talking to your doctor about medication to help balance your moods. There are also helplines available to anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable getting help from their doctor, or whose depression has gotten so out of hand that they’ve thought about harming themselves.

Whatever the situation, there are people available whenever you need the help. No one will judge you; they’re simply there to help you get the support that you need.

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