The responsibilities and obligations we juggle daily, not to mention the relationships we have with friends and family, can put us under a lot of pressure and cause a lot of stress. Although we can’t control stress in the same ways we control diets, we can control how we process stress. We can’t tell our metabolisms to break down that extra slice of pizza before it reaches our waists, but we can help our bodies relax when, say, that last-minute work project crops up unexpectedly.
Most people don’t treat stress the way it should be treated, which leads to serious problems. Too much stress does more than take an emotional toll; it also wreaks havoc on the body’s internal processes and causes a host of health issues that could otherwise be avoided. Physical illness, naturally, can lead to more stress — and the cycle can become nearly inescapable unless you take a proactive approach to coping with stress.
Just about everyone could use some basic tips and strategies for fighting everyday stress. It may seem as though you’ll have to wait for your next vacation to unwind and relax, but many of the most effective stress-busting techniques are easy to work into your everyday routine and can make a world of difference in how you feel.
For example, walking for a few minutes during your lunch break can help your brain boost its production of stress-relieving endorphins. Exercise and social activities can help, too. For more tips on how to manage stress, check out the checklist below — so you can work toward making sure stress doesn’t weigh you down.