In an ultra fast paced world, where competing demands often conflict in our lives, stress can wreak havoc especially on our health. Stress is an ailment that we need to learn to handle well, since stress has the ability to affect us on many levels, physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

Stress manifests in our lives in many ways, resulting in a wide array of various symptoms. Over the long term, stress has been linked to many serious illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer. As a consequence, stress management is incredibly important to maintain our health.

Here are some of the ways you can fight the impact of stress:

1. Nature:

Taking time out in nature is one of the least expensive, and most accessible ways to relieve, and treat stress. Nature has a calming and restorative influence, fighting the factors which deplete our energy. Nature can be a great mood enhancer, helping you fight sadness, depression and anxiety.   

2. Meditation:

Meditating is one of the best ways to cope with increasing stress levels. Creating a daily meditation ritual, can assist with relaxation, finding clarity, self-discipline, and lowering blood pressure. Meditation has many documented long term health effects, if practiced daily.

You can meditate with or without music, and there are many types of meditations that you can use. Meditating can help you empty your mind of its thoughts. Regular practice is most important in order to reap the full benefits.  

3. Exercising:

From running to yoga, aerobics or tennis exercise is a great way to release energy, and reduce your stress levels. Exercise boosts serotonin which improves mood and enhances our feelings of wellness. Plus, exercise has many other fantastic benefits, such as fat burning and fighting illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease.

4. Learning to say no:  

Learning to look after one’s self, means learning to say no to requests that impose on your time, and boundaries. Learning the art of saying no, will decrease your stress levels and prevent you from taking on too many things that you simply do not have the time to complete.

5. Indulging in a hobby:

A hobby that you love can take you away from your worries, and concerns. With so many options to select from, finding something you love won’t be hard to do. Undertaking a hobby during your free time can help you relax while growing your skills.  Photography, scrap booking, sewing, or hiking are a few ways that you can spend your time fighting stress. You can also turn a hobby into a side hustle and start a small business.

6. Coffee Break:

Taking ten minutes for a relaxing coffee break can help you unwind. Rewarding yourself is important in managing, and combating the effects of stress.

7. Journal:

Keeping a journal of events and thoughts that create feelings of stress can assist you in identifying stressors and ultimately decreasing stress. Becoming aware of these stressors can help you reduce or remove them entirely from your life.

8. Breathing exercises:

When we are overwhelmed by stress, our breathing becomes shallow, short, and less stable. As we breathe more from the upper chest rather than the diaphragm our stress levels can rise.

Shortness of breath increases anxiety, which in turn, increases the shallow breathing, becoming a vicious cycle of anxiety and short breathing.

Breathing exercises such as breathing from the diaphragm can help you decrease stress. Focusing on taking take deep breaths, stabilizes the breathing rate and relaxes the muscles around the abdomen. Breathing from the diaphragm breathing will help you decrease shallow breathing and reduce your anxiety and stress.

9. Retreats:

From silent retreats to yoga retreats, these getaways can last for one day to several. Retreats are a great way to take you into a new environment and allow you to focus completely on relaxation, health and well-being.

Vipassana Meditation centers are available worldwide and offer free silent retreats, for those that need some time out.

10. Eating Well

Eating well provides fuel and the correct sustenance for your body and mind. This allows you to combat the symptoms and often slow encroachment of stress, by using the correct combination of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

Eating nutritious foods cannot be underestimated in our ability to handle and respond well to stress in our lives.