According to WebMD, 75% percent to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related illnesses and complaints. Mental stress can contribute to headaches, high blood pressure, skin conditions, heart-related issues, depression, and anxiety.
Fortunately, mental stress can be reduced by using positive coping strategies. While reading each strategy, jot down your added thoughts and what you can start with NOW! Luckily, many of these coping strategies do not cost a penny.
1.Meditation- Meditation increases happiness, creativity, and helps to develop intuition. For only a few minutes a day, regular practice of mediation can help decrease tension related illnesses and complaints. For beginners, meditation may seem difficult at first, however, becomes easier as you practice. You can learn on your own by visiting http://www.wikihow.com/Meditate-for-Beginners or join a meditation or yoga class nearby. Joining a class has an added bonus of the possibility to meet people with something definite in common!
2. Make a Daily "To-Do" List- Stress can come on faster if things to do each day begin piling up. 24 hours begin to seem like too few hours in a day! Create a to-do list everyday and stick to it. From a daily to-do list, create a list of goals to accomplish in the next few weeks, months, years, etc. For example, losing 20 pounds can be a goal to reach by the end of the year. To reach that goal, you will want to eat healthier and exercise more often. By concentrating on those small tasks to reach the big goal, the goal seems easier to tackle.
3. Don't Withdraw- Withdrawing from family and friends because of stress may lead to further stress, anxiety, and depression. It is good to go out with friends and family on a regular basis. If you have someone who is willing to listen, talk about what is stressing you out and remember that you do have friends who care. Try to get outside (if possible) as often as you can and move around!
4. Make Time for YOU- Whether you enjoy cooking, painting, drawing, photography, hiking, crafting, exercising, or anything else, make time in your schedule (daily if possible) to engage in what you love to do. If you wait to try to "find" the time for yourself, you might never get there. Remind yourself that YOU and YOUR happiness and health matter!
5. Laugh- It's not just a saying--laughter is actually good for you! Steve Wilson, MA, CSP, psychologist, and laugh therapist stated "I believe that if people can get more laughter in their lives, they are a lot better off." While definitive research towards the true health benefits of laughter is lacking, some potential effects include increased blood flow, promote relaxation and sleep, lowers blood-sugar levels, and may raise the level of infection-fighting antibodies and cells.
Stress doesn't have to run your life! Managing mental stress is much easier than you believe. Don't delay in using coping skills to manage stress, since stress can actually make you sick! Find more ways for managing mental stress here: http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/pages/tip-99-coping-skills.aspx