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Last Updated on February 16, 2020 by Diane Hoffmaster
Stress can make our lives difficult. It causes our health to decline, our anxiety to skyrocket, and wreaks havoc on personal relationships. As we move into the new year, I want to get rid of stress in my life wherever I can. I thought I would share a few anxiety busting tips that may help us all live a more stress free life. Of course, we need to understand our own personal stress triggers in order to do that. And stress reduction techniques will be different for everyone. However, maybe some of these stress reduction tips will help guide you on your journey to peaceful living!
Understanding the Different Types of Stress
Stress might be something everyone experiences, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get help. However, before you can find a good way to relax, you need to know the source of the stress. There are many different types of stress sin your life, from financial to relationship stress.
Acute and Chronic Stress
First of all, two common types of stress are acute and chronic stress. All other types of stress will fit into one of these categories. Acute stress is more about individual situations that will lead to you feeling stressed out, such as your car breaking down or a relationship ending. With chronic stress, it is something you experience on a regular basis. This might be from work, finances, or other problems in your life that tend to keep happening over and over again. Chronic stress can also be related to a simple overwhelming feeling that you can’t quite keep up with everything in your life.
Personal and Relationship Stress
A very common reason to be stressed is due to your personal life, particularly with a relationship, family, or children. This type of stress can be acute, but is often related to chronic stress. You want your kids to be safe and grow up healthy, so this leads to being stressed about them almost constantly. Acute forms of stress include divorce, an accident, or feeling like your personal life is not quite what you would like it to be.
Work and Financial Stress
A very common area of stress in your life might be related to your job or your finances. This can be from having a great job but not having enough time for anything but work, to where you bring your work home with you. Another way your job can stress you out is if you simply don’t enjoy it or you don’t get along well with co-workers. You might have financial stress like struggling to pay your bills, not advancing enough in your career, or being faced with last-minute expenses and no clue how to take care of them.
Time stress is a little more specific to the time you have each day to get things done. This can also be either chronic or acute stress. You might find that you are so busy there is rarely enough time to get things done on a daily basis. You could also have time stress related to work or financial stress. Check out my article on staying organized to reduce stress for help with this.
How to Identify Stress Triggers
Stress is something everyone deals with. Identify your personal stress triggers in order to get rid of stress. They might be situations, people, or events that lead you to feeling stressed out and anxious.
- Journaling: A common way to figure out what is causing you stress is by using a bullet journal. Record all of your thoughts and feelings each day. Look back on it when you have a stressful day. Pinpoint people or situations that led to your increased stress on those days. Look back on your journal entries often to try and find a pattern to discover what was causing your stress.
- Consider Physical Changes: Your body can show signs of stress, even though you might not realize this is what is going on. Do you notice that after dealing with a certain person, you get really bad headaches or muscle tension? This is your body’s response to the stress that this particular person causes. When you are having a bad day at work or your car breaks down, do you suddenly have stomach aches or other digestion issues? These are other physical signs of the stress. Try to figure out what was going on just before you got those migraine headaches to figure out what was causing your stress.
- Notice Behavioral Changes: Look at how your behavior changes over time. Then narrow down why you think you are behaving in a different manner. Are you are suddenly not sleeping very well or are sleeping too much? Think about what was happening on those days of insomnia. Narrow it down to something that is causing you stress. Some other behavior changes to use when finding your stress triggers are anger or resentment towards others, lashing out, being irritable, eating more or less than you used to, or having changes in your work performance.
Easy Ways to Relieve Stress at Home
While it is not uncommon to experience stress, possibly even on a daily basis, it is also possible to find relief. Here are some natural ways to get rid of stress and add more happiness to your life.
Avoid These Unhealthy Methods
Before you start looking at the healthy ways to relieve stress at home, be aware of the ways you should avoid helping with stress. While these habits might seem like they are helping, you are actually heightening your stress overall. Make sure you don’t turn to the following unhealthy coping mechanisms to get rid of stress. Learn how to reduce stress naturally for better health.
- Drinking alcohol
- Smoking cigarettes
- Binging on junk food
- Avoiding responsibilities
- Sleeping too much or not enough
- Turning to drugs or pills
- Making erratic or dangerous choices
- Keeping busy to avoid your problems
Move Your Body More to Get Rid of Stress
One excellent way to get rid of stress on a regular basis is by getting your body moving. This keeps your mind occupied, releases endorphins and serotonin in your brain, and can be a healthy way to distract yourself from your problems. Even if you are not accustomed to working out a lot, there are ways to ease into a new workout routine.
Exercise is one of my favorite natural stress relievers. If you have a swimming pool, you can start swimming laps just a few at a time, then increase it every day. You can start taking your dog for a longer walk during the day or dancing in the living room with your kids. Find other stress relieving activities that really get your body moving!
While it might seem difficult, meditation can be easy if you just give it a chance. It does take some practice, but before too long you will discover just how helpful it is. It not only helps to relieve stress, but can help with anxiety, depression, and other problems you experience in your life. An easy way to start meditating is by using visualization. Sit in a quiet room with your body relaxed and your eyes closed. Just spend a few minutes trying to visualize something that calms you, such as a running creek or waves crashing in the ocean. All you think about is that scene and nothing else for those few minutes.
Get Rid of Stress with a Lavender Bath
Baths in general can be relaxing, but there are certain essential oils that can be very beneficial in helping you get rid of stress. Lavender is one of the best ones for relaxation and stress relief. All you need to do is add a few drops of lavender oil to your bath then enjoy the calm you feel. You can also try lavender bath salts or bubble bath for the same effect.
Look into Stress Relief Products
Want to learn how to reduce stress naturally? There are many stress relieving products on the market today. Some natural stress relievers that may interest you include these items:
- Relaxing stress relief tea
- Classical Music
- Relaxing Nature Sounds Machine
- Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser
- Stress Relief Body Wash
When to Get Professional Help For Your Stress
When do you see out a professional to help you get rid of stress? Getting professional help might seem like something only people with major relationship problems or mental health disorders get, but just about everyone can benefit from it. If your stress is getting to where you can’t take control of it and it is severely affecting your life, now is the time to seek help.
Why You Need Professional Help for Stress Relief
First of all, it helps to know exactly why someone might need to seek a counselor or therapist to help them get rid of stress. While it is true that there are many natural and healthy ways to relieve stress on your own, sometimes it tends to be a bit much. For example, if you are going through a major life event, such as a divorce, the emotional and financial stress can be overwhelming to where you can barely take care of yourself, let alone your kids. In this situation, seeking professional help is ideal.
Signs You Should Seek Additional Help
You should also know that stress can have a large impact on your overall health. It can cause mental and emotional health issues, including anger, resentment, depression, and anxiety. It also increases your risk of abusing drugs and alcohol. In addition, some physical effects include migraines, stomach pains, increased or decreased appetite, and insomnia. If you are struggling with any of these effects, it is a good reason to get professional help to get rid of stress.
How a Therapist Can Help You
There are many ways a therapist can help you get rid of stress. If you are crunched for time, consider online mental health therapy. Here are just a few of the different methods they use:
- Family counseling – When your stress is the result of home or family issues, therapy with your entire family is highly recommended. The professional can work with you each individually, with you and your significant other, and with the entire family. This is often combined with talk therapy, where you can release some of the feelings or thoughts you have been holding back.
- Pain coping therapy – If your stress is due to suffering from physical pain, especially chronic pain, then a therapist can help with that as well. While you should still see a medical doctor, the mental health professional helps you cope on a daily basis with the pain, instead of giving you options to relieve that pain. They help with the stress that often comes from physical ailments.
- General stress management – Everyone has different levels and sources of stress, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t severe enough for help. Therapists can also help with general stress, whether you are having a hard time with your kids leaving the nest, you are struggling with a career choice, or you have more serious problems that are causing your stress.
Remember, stress isn't just something adults have to deal with. Check out my article on teens and stress to see if your child may need stress relief as well. You can check out WebMD for more information about how to reduce stress.
Will you be tackling stress this year for improved mental health?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.