Search for #stress on any social media site, and you’ll find a continually updated stream of posts.
When I completed my informal research, I saw a new tweet using “#stress” every minute! People are stressed about picking their outfits, workplace drama and final exams, among countless other worries.
Stress can’t always be predicted. It tends to come with certain events, but at other times it just pops up and weighs us down. You know what I’m talking about — the last minute project at work or the oil change light flashing on right before a road trip.
You can’t control these things, but you can control your reaction to the stressors. Since stress is so strongly connected to health, handling stress can really make a difference in your health and fitness goals. Let’s look at a few ways to manage stress:
1. Take a deep breath
When the stress hits, take a minute to focus on your breath. Deep breathing calms you and tames the body’s gut reaction to stress. Focus your breathing even further by relaxing different muscle groups of the body with each exhale. This exercise lets you release tension.
2. Face the stressor
To manage stress, you have to identify the root of the problem. Reflect on your mood and emotions, paying attention to stress. Writing down your feelings can help you sort out the exact problem. When you know what the issue is, make a plan for handling it.
3. Form a set of stress-busters
The way you manage stress might be very different than the way I like to fight stress. Everyone has unique ways to handle stressors. Start by trying a few techniques. You may feel relaxed after a walk, lifting weights, crafting or playing with your dog. Create a set of your best stress-busting techniques and have them ready when you feel the stress creeping in.
4. Be active
Physical activity not only builds your immunity and boosts your health, but it has a profound effect on stress. Boxing and kickboxing workouts have an extra dose of stress-fighting power; The focus required for good technique sends your stress out the window even faster.