Stress, it turns out, is an important bodily function that provides far more benefits than one would initially suspect. Unfortunately, much of the chronic and passive stress that people experience on a daily basis is entirely unnecessary (and irritating).
While just a few millennia ago the only worries a human had was avoiding physical dangers and finding food, these days practically anything can be a source of extreme stress. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to avoid feeling overstressed and reduce your overall anxiety level. Some of these may be quite obvious whilst others, significantly less intuitive.
Actions to Avoid Stress
The first and best thing you can do is actually a lifestyle change; or rather, a good habit to learn. Identify your primary stress trigger (the things that absolutely and consistently cause you to stress out). If you can properly discern what these triggers are, you will be able to see them coming from far away and consequently avoid them.
Everyone has their own triggers, and some are more specific than others. Properly identifying them can let you take a proactive approach towards both avoiding them and ensuring that they never present themselves in the first place.
Be productive. One of the most significant causes of stress is dealing with problems that are entirely preventable. Putting off deadlines, waiting until the last minute, and not acting responsibly can all lead to an extreme amount of stress in the long run.
Ironically, one of the biggest reasons that people act in such a manner is to avoid stress in the short term. You need to realize that just like with your general health, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to avoiding negative and unnecessary stress.
One of the best ways to lower your overall stress level is one that cannot be emphasized enough; exercise. Not only has exercise been shown to help with mild depression and anxiety levels, it is also a great way to proactively avoid stress. When you perform physical activity, your body releases endorphins which are essentially the brain’s “feel good” neurotransmitters.
This leads to a better overall mood, better sleep, and a better mental state, all of which directly lead to a drastic reduction in stress. The exercise does not even need to be drastic. A simple twenty minute walk every morning will do wonders for your stress level.
Finally, keep your body as clean as possible. Practically any substance abuse (or even use) can lead to elevated stress levels. When you spend a weekend drinking alcohol, your body becomes accustomed to its depressive effects and will experience significant amounts of stress when its use is ceased. This effect applies to any drug, whether it is illicit or perfectly legal.
If you are a regular coffee drinker, you will experience stress when your body does not receive its required dose of caffeine. Smoke cigarettes? If you quit or even take a temporary pause, you are naturally going to experience acute stress. It is best to live a lifestyle that will not throw you stress “curve balls” if you simply run out of a particular substance or item.