Stress is something that is inevitable. Stress can come from work, the house, just about anywhere, and the more it builds up, the less you feel like you are in control. There are lots of ways to relieve stress, but I’m going to focus on 4 tips that have been deemed highly effective.

    1. Exercise regularly

Regular physical activity is vital in reducing the effects of stress. Whether you take a walk, run/job, or play your favorite sport, getting your body moving (and your heart rate up) on a regular basis (3x a week recommended) will help your body and mind to better tolerate stressful situations in life. Plus, psychical activity provides added benefits for weight loss, improved sleep, improved mood, improved concentration, and overall good health.

    1. Proper Diet

High levels of stress can be hard on one’s body, and can even drain one’s emotional and physical energy. In fact, stress has been shown to even reduce the body’s ability to heal after a physical injury, and to fend of illness. A balanced, nutrient rich, diet consisting of several servings of vegetable a day, as well as staying well hydrated will help one’s body to best handle stress. Note: Remember to never skip meals because doing so will leave your body with no energy; without energy, it’s harder to deal with stressful tasks.

    1. Cut out Caffeine and Reduce Sugar Intake

Nowadays, with a coffee shop/café on ever corner, people increasingly turn to coffee, soda, and snack foods to find relief from stress. Remember, increased stress means lower energy, so it makes sense that one would reach for another cup of java, or baked sweeties with lots of simple sugars. However, while caffeine provides some temporary relief, it is at a cost! For instance, caffeine sets us on a roller coaster of highs and lows throughout the day, and can even deprive one of restful sleep at night. This makes one more susceptible to stress in general.

    1. Get a healthy amount of Sleep

Stress puts us on an unfortunate downward spiral. Stress can keep one up at night and (ironically), a lack of sleep decreases one’s ability to manage stress. Sleep is needed to recharge our bodies, and gives us the ability to handle stress in our lives. Note: Your body recognizes sleep patterns, so it’s best to go to bed at the same time every night (and try to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night). If you have trouble sleeping, try reading a good book, or just read this article a few times and you’ll be out like a light!

Stress is indeed something that impedes your professional and personal life because the more it builds up, the less you feel like you are in control. If you want to get rid of stress, follow the tips above, or contact a Thriveworks counselor (Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta). Call Thriveworks at 1-855-4-THRIVE.