10 Ways to Ease Stress

26 Sep

ImageBy: Adrienne Gavula, MSW, LSW
Relationship Manager, NASW Ohio Chapter

I recently visited students at Cleveland State University to talk about the benefits of NASW membership, and while there, a professor gave me a handout for students about ways to ease stress. I found the list insightful, so I’d like to share it with you. The list was taken from Cleveland Clinic.

Eat and drink sensibly. Alcohol and food abuse may seem to reduce stress, but it actually adds to it.

Assert yourself. You do not have to meet others’ expectations or demands. It’s okay to say “No.” Remember, being assertive allows you to stand up for your rights and beliefs while respecting those of others.

Stop smoking or other bad habits. Aside from the obvious health risks of cigarettes, nicotine acts as a stimulant and brings on more stress symptoms. Give yourself the gift of dropping unhealthy habits.

Exercise regularly. Choose non-competitive exercise and set reasonable goals. Aerobic exercise has been shown to release endorphins (natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude).

Study and practice relaxation techniques. Relax every day. Choose from a variety of different techniques. Combine opposites; a time for deep relaxation and a time for aerobic exercise is a sure way to protect your body from the effects of stress.

Take responsibility. Control what you can and leave behind what you cannot control.

Reduce stressors (cause of stress). Many people find that life is filled with too many demands and too little time. For the most part, these demands are ones we have chosen. Effective time-management skills involve asking for help when appropriate, setting priorities, pacing yourself, and taking time out for yourself.

Examine your values and live by them. The more your actions reflect your beliefs, the better you will feel, no matter how busy your life is. Use your values when choosing your activities.

Set realistic goals and expectations. It’s okay, and healthy, to realize you cannot be 100% successful at everything at once.

Sell yourself to yourself. When you are feeling overwhelmed, remind yourself of what you do well. Have a healthy sense of self-esteem.

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One Response to “10 Ways to Ease Stress”

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