• By Dana Sparks

Home Remedies: Cope with stress so it doesn’t control you

September 12, 2018

a man resting his head on his hands, holding a pen at work and looking sad, depressed or stressed in the officeIf you find your home and work schedules full and life is causing you stress, be aware that it can take a toll on your health. Too much stress can affect your mood, making you anxious or restless. It can lead to negative behaviors, such as overeating or eating poorly. And it can attack your body, causing headaches, fatigue and other health problems.

Some stress is unavoidable, but you can learn to cope with it so stress doesn't control you.

Consider the four As of stress relief: Avoid, Alter, Accept, Adapt.

  • Avoid situations you know to trigger your stress.
  • Alter your perception to make the situation better.
  • Accept the things you can't change.
  • Adapt your standards and expectations to create less stressful situations.

Here are some ways to manage stress you can't avoid:

GET ACTIVE

Watching television, surfing the Internet or playing video games might seem relaxing, but they are passive activities that can actually increase stress in the long run. To de-stress, try getting active instead. Get up, go for a walk, wash the car, do a little gardening — anything that gets you moving can help. Getting physical activity every day can help relieve stress.

CHANGE YOUR MINDSET

Here are some ways to clear your head when life begins to overwhelm you:

  • Practice relaxation and positive thinking. This can alter your perception and calm you.
  • Practice gratitude. By focusing on the good, rather than the stress, you can see things more positively and change your perception.
  • Participate in activities that you enjoy.
  • Learn how your body reacts to stress and teach yourself to take deep breaths, slow your heart rate and remain positive.
  • Figure out what stresses you and deal with it before it has a chance to set you off.
  • Spend time with supportive people. Talk to those you trust about things that bother you.
  • Write in a journal if you need a more private outlet than confiding in someone else.
  • Understand your emotions. Are you really stressed, or just upset about something? Identifying the issue is the first step in fixing a problem.

MANAGE YOUR TIME, MAINTAIN PERSPECTIVE

If work is causing you stress, sharpen your time-management skills and maintain perspective:

  • Set realistic goals, expectations and deadlines
  • Make a priority list. Prepare a list of tasks to complete, and rank them.
  • Protect your time. Block time on your calendar to work without interruptions.
  • Get other points of view. Talk to trusted colleagues about your situation and listen to them.
  • Take a break. A few minutes of personal time can be refreshing.
  • Have an outlet. Set aside time for an activity that you enjoy.
  • Take care of yourself. Get physical activity, sleep, and eat a healthy diet.

This article is written by Mayo Clinic staff. Find more health and medical information on mayoclinic.org.

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