5 Stress Coping Mechanisms

Connect with others.

  1. Connect with others. Social connections bring a host of benefits to our lives and improve our happiness and health. One Harvard researcher actually found that good relationships are the biggest predictor of happiness and health.  The support and empathy that social connections provide make us more resilient to stress. Dedicate time to the most important people in your life. Consider making some new connections if you feel your current connections don’t provide enough help. Enroll in a class, join a book club, or volunteer to meet people with similar interests.
  2. Get enough sleep. When your life gets crazy, sleep may feel like a waste of time. There’s too much to do, right? Wrong! You’ll be better prepared to success at all the things you have to do if you get enough sleep, not to mention a lot healthier too. Sleep experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
  3. Spend time in nature. Japanese researchers call therapeutic time outdoors “nature bathing”. Their studies have shown that time in nature lowers blood pressure, eases muscle tension, increases relaxation, and ultimately decreases stress. Take at least a weekly walk in the closest park to destress.
  4. Eat well. Stress hormones give us the munchies. A survey showed that nearly half of Americans overeat or eat unhealthy food to cope with stress. This trend is unfortunate because healthy food can actually help combat stress levels. For example, leafy greens contain folate, which produces dopamine, the pleasure-inducing brain chemical. Check out 11 other superfoods for stress relief. 
  5. Get help from a professional. If stress is preventing you from functioning well and enjoying life, meeting with a mental health professional may do you some good. A professional will help you develop problem solving strategies, figure out your goals, and change destructive behaviors and thought patterns.

 

       Source: Mental Health America


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