We all have stress in our lives, and we all have times when that stress can seem overwhelming. Stress can seem to attack us from many directions and what is stressful for one person may not cause any stress for someone else. Whether you want to learn how to reduce stress or how to relieve stress, learning how to deal with stress is an ongoing process.
There is no one method for relieving stress that works for everyone, just as there is no one cause of stress (stressor). Some stressors are emotional, such as changes in job status or family issues that cause worry or fear. Other stressors are physical such as pain caused by surgery. Experiencing one type of stress can also trigger another type, as when worry causes stomach pains.
Learning how to reduce stress starts with recognizing the causes of tension in your life and how you react to them. Some stressors have obvious starting and ending points, such as a big assignment at work with a critical deadline. Recognizing that the stress will be over soon may help you deal with it until it is gone. You may also be able to cut back on other sources of stress by making time for yourself until the big stressor is past.
Other causes of stress are less obvious, but can pile up in the back of your mind like a stack of unpaid bills or an issue in a relationship that you need to resolve. You can begin to reduce your stress by thinking about issues or sources of tension in your life, then deciding what if anything you should do about them.
If you are unsure what to do, try talking about what is bothering you with people you respect. They may have an idea to solve the problem or to reduce your stress about it. And sometimes just sharing how you feel can make you feel less alone as you work to find a solution. For some people, just the act of working toward a solution can help ease stress as they take steps toward accomplishing a positive goal.
Whatever the cause of your stress, you will be better able to handle it when you are well-rested. So make sure you give yourself time to relax before bed. Allow enough time for a good night’s sleep, especially if you know you have a stressful day ahead.