You’ve heard the old saying, “Time is money.” It turns out that may actually be true: Researchers have found a direct link between income and stress says Paul Haarman. People who make less than $25,000 per year tend to experience more stress than those making $50,000 or more, noted an American Psychological Association (APA) study.
Money isn’t the only thing that influences stress. Other factors include how much time people have to take care of themselves, their relationships with others and how much control they believe they have over their lives, said psychologists.
Here are 10 things you can do to lower your stress levels now:
Take a class or go back to school —
“Learning new skills and having something to look forward to on the horizon provides a sense of purpose and meaning,” said John Kim, MD, psychiatrist and author of “Walking on Eggshells.”
Learn about what’s stressing you out —
That way you will know what needs to be changed and it will make those changes easier because you understand them better.
Change your environment —
Sometimes it’s as easy as changing your surroundings. Try to remove clutter from your home and work space, said Amy Wood, PsyD, a licensed psychologist in Washington. If you have a cluttered environment at home or work, it can be a constant trigger for stress.
Create a technology plan —
Don’t let technology rule every moment of the day. “It’s important to have downtime to recharge,” said Carolyn Nahrgang, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Tampa explains Paul Haarman. Turn off e-mail notifications on your cell phone and computer during non-work hours and create an evening routine where you turn gadgets (cell phones, laptops) off when it’s time for bed so they won’t disturb you when you’re trying to sleep.
It relieves stress, improves health and helps you think more clearly. So keep moving! “Exercise is a powerful antidote to the effects of stress,” said Matthew Buman, PhD, professor of exercise science at Arizona State University in Phoenix.
Give yourself a pep talk —
“Even if you don’t feel like its true, tell yourself positive things like ‘I can handle this’ or ‘I will find an answer,'” said Wood. It may not be easy, but positive thinking has been shown to improve mood immediately and over time.
Just because something is stressful doesn’t mean it isn’t funny too! “Laughing reduces stress by increasing blood flow throughout the body,” said Wood. “It also reduces the impact of stress hormones in your body.”
Learn to say no —
“One reason why people may feel stressed is they’ve taken on too many commitments,” said Wood. “People need to know when to say no.” Setting boundaries with people in your life can help you decrease stress, especially if you find yourself overextended.
Research has shown that meditation can help reduce blood pressure and anxiety levels. Try practicing mindfulness meditation where you focus solely on breathing for 10 minutes daily or use guided imagery by focusing on a place that makes you happy and helps you relax, Nahrgang suggested says Paul Haarman.
Practice acceptance —
“If something painful happens, it’s important to be able to accept it, not judge it,” said Nahrgang. “Acceptance is the first step towards adaptation.”
Get help —
“Just because someone is stressed doesn’t mean they need to fix it themselves,” said Wood. “A mental health professional can be a useful resource for people who are struggling with stress management or other issues.” Talk to your doctor or contact a therapist if you experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, eating disorders or substance abuse, especially if these persist for more than two weeks.
If you used the entire article then I congratulate you, however if not that’s alright too says Paul Haarman. All in all stress can be relieve with some useful techniques and tools that are easy to access. I hope this was helpful for you!
“A lot of the things you can do to help yourself feel less stressed are very complicated and require work, but if you can make them happen, they will pay off in your quality of life,” said Buman. “You owe it to yourself.”
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, eating disorders or substance abuse, especially if these persist for more than two weeks, seek help.