We all have stress, and we all have our own ways of handling that stress. But some of these coping strategies are much healthier than others. If you’re guilty of turning to food, sleep, substances, or other distractions when your stress level increases, don’t worry--you’re not alone! But in this article, we’ll share some of the best healthy and productive ways to cope with stress in your daily life. 

 

A Healthy Lifestyle

Perhaps not surprisingly, the type of lifestyle you live plays a huge part in your stress levels. When you lead a healthy life overall, your stress is more controlled and easier to handle. Here are a few ways to make your lifestyle healthier:

  •  Get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Sleep deprivation plays a huge role in stress, so be sure to get plenty of shut-eye. It’s also a great idea to avoid using technology for an hour or two before bed so that you don’t disrupt your body’s melatonin production, and to go to bed and get up around the same time every day.
  •  Exercise several times a week. You don’t have to complete crazy workouts or become a bodybuilder to reap the benefits of regular exercise. As long as your workout of choice elevates your heart rate, it’ll be helpful in reducing stress and tension, as well as providing plenty of other physical and mental health benefits.
  •  Eat a healthy diet. Think of your food as fuel for your body; it provides the energy you need to complete your responsibilities and other activities throughout the day. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Try to limit unhealthy snacks and fast food; eat them in moderation! For more information on healthy and unhealthy eating habits, check out Mind Diagnostics.
  •  Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water has many amazing benefits for you both physically and mentally--and not getting enough water can cause all sorts of health issues. So be sure to enjoy several glasses of water throughout the day!
  •  Engage in self-care. Be aware of how you feel physically and emotionally, and set aside time for activities that help you relax and recharge. Self-care looks different for everyone, so figure out what works best for you!

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Effective Coping Strategies

Along with a healthy lifestyle, it’s a great idea to have several effective coping strategies available to handle particularly stressful situations that arise in your day-to-day life. Here are several options to consider:

 

  • Do breathing exercises: There are tons of different breathing exercises out there intended to calm you down and relieve stress. Most of them involve holding inhales and exhales for a certain amount of time. But you can also just take several deep breaths to let your brain and body know that they can relax.
  •  Exercise: While it’s part of a healthy lifestyle, exercise is also a great coping strategy. Not only does it relieve tension and stress, but it releases endorphins that give your mood an instant boost.
  •  Spend time outdoors: Going out and enjoying nature, or even just looking at a photo of a nature scene, can be very calming and help you handle your stress effectively.
  •  Connect with others: Nurturing a connection with family, friends, or pets is a wonderful way to destress and make life feel much more manageable.
  •  Find a creative outlet: Perhaps you enjoy drawing, writing, sculpting, dancing, or singing, or maybe you enjoy other creative activities! A creative outlet allows a safe way to express any feelings you’re experiencing while also creating something beautiful.
  •  Journal: Writing in a journal gets thoughts out of your head and onto paper, giving you a private and risk-free way to express your thoughts and feelings.

            

Main Takeaways

The best ways to manage stress are to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to employ healthy coping strategies! By combining these two stress management techniques, you’ll be able to handle your stress more effectively than ever before.