Manage Stress for a Happier, Healthier Life

By Ernest Schmidt, LCSW

Although we all know that stress management can help us lead happier lives, many people don’t take the steps needed to manage their stress because it’s too much work or they’re having trouble getting started. You might be aware of the many steps that you can take to help manage your stress, including:

“The bottom line is to just get started”

  • regular physical exercise
  • healthy eating habits
  • getting the right amount of sleep
  • learning how to communicate better
  • managing your time wisely
  • setting appropriate goals

Depression Counseling and CBT Therapy in Palo AltoIf this list of stress management techniques seems overwhelming, take a step back and choose one or two that you think you can stick with. Once you master those and start seeing results, you can add more if you’d like. The bottom line is to just get started, and keep your eye on the outcome: a life that isn’t consumed with stress.

Keep in mind that while you can achieve a healthier, happier life, you’ll never get rid of stress completely. Life without stress doesn’t exist, but you can manage stress in a way that will have a huge impact on your overall happiness and even your health.

Getting past stress management hurdles

Understanding stress management skills isn’t typically the problem; if you want to learn how to manage your stress, you can browse any bookstore or online search engine and find countless books and articles on the subject. The biggest hurdle is deciding to put the coping skills to use in your life and actually getting started. All of the information in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t practice what you learn. The key is to use what you’ve learned to make positive changes in your life.

Finding ways to implement stress management techniques

“Coping with stress doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy to be effective.”

If you continue to find yourself unable to cope with stress, you’re not alone. It seems like everyone has the same problem, changing our set habits is where we all seem to struggle. You might want to consider reaching out to a licensed therapist or psychologist. Such professionals are trained to help people find ways to implement stress management ideas into their lives. By understanding your personal motivation and individual circumstances they can often guide you toward success. They can also work with you to overcome the excuses or the obstacles you’re facing that prevent you from making the needed changes. Coping with stress doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy to be effective, but you do have to do something different if you’re not finding relief. You have to change what you are doing and remind yourself of the benefits of dealing appropriately with stress.

Final thoughts on managing your stress

If the stress management ideas in this article seem basic and simple, it’s because they are. Actually, that is the most important point, living a happier, healthier lifestyle is not rocket science. It’s likely that you have the know-how of scaling down the stress in your life but just aren’t quite sure how to start or what you should do to implement these techniques in your life. Or maybe you aren’t fully committed to making lifestyle changes. Just know that once you do make that commitment, you will find that stress is no longer an unbeatable force in your life.

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