It's a fact of life: Everyone experiences stress. But when it goes unmanaged, daily stress can harm your health and reduce your quality of life. Fortunately, stress doesn't have to overcome or overwhelm you. Gain control and live better with these stress-reducing suggestions.
- Make a list. Write a to-do list, breaking down tasks into smaller steps. Prioritize the items and tackle them one at a time.
- Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet. Avoid — or limit — alcohol and caffeine.
- Set realistic goals. Don't expect perfection from projects or people — including yourself.
- Mind your schedule. Don't take on too many responsibilities or agree to attend too many social events. If you're overwhelmed, eliminate some obligations or share the work.
- Talk it out. Call on the support and guidance of good friends and family.
- Exercise regularly. Thirty minutes of physical activity a day can help fight stress.
- Set aside time every day for stress management. Meditation, deep-breathing exercises, yoga and guided imagery are all good techniques to try.
- Have fun. Spend time each day doing a hobby or other activity that you enjoy.
- Resolve conflicts. Work toward repairing — or coming to terms with — any broken or difficult relationships.
- Visualize success. Imagine how difficult situations might be resolved in a less stressful way.
By managing — and reducing — the stress in your life, you can make better, healthier decisions and improve your overall wellness.