How to reduce stress - XTEND
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Stress can be a powerful and overwhelming feeling. Knowing what your triggers are, how it affects you and what you can do to manage it will help minimise the impact. To get you started we’ve compiled a list of nine things you can do to help reduce stress and ease your mind.

It’s important to remember that everyone deserves some relaxation! Taking the time to do so will serve you better long-term.

  1. Exercise – One of the absolute best things you can do for yourself! Exercise lowers your stress hormones, helps improve your quality of sleep and builds up your confidence by providing you with a sense of accomplishment.
  2. Do something that you love – Remember to smile and laugh! Laughing decreases your levels of stress hormones and creates general feelings of happiness.[1]
  3. Take a step back and consider it – Reflect on what you’re stressing about. In the grand scheme of things, is it important? Will you still be thinking about it in a week? In a month? Next year? Try to put things in perspective and recognise whether the stressor is rational or not.
  4. Make a to-do list – If you have a big project you need to tackle, make a to-do list and segment the steps down until you realise exactly what you need to do. It will help you feel more in control.
  5. Write down everything that’s stressing you out – This can be a healthy release. Additionally, sometimes seeing it on paper in front of you will make you realise it’s not as big of a deal as you thought.
  6. Spend time with family and friends and get support – Speaking with someone can help relieve some of the pressure. Chances are, whomever you’re talking to will be able to reassure you and remind you it’s ok to be stressed and you’ll get through it.
  7. Resolve any personal conflicts – A single stressor alone can have less severe impacts than when they begin to pile up. Try solving one small thing, whether it’s a dispute with a friend or a task you haven’t started on. Taking the first step to solve something tends to make you feel better.
  8. Try meditation or mindfulness exercises – Mindfulness helps you feel present and focus on what’s in front of you. Stress is often rooted in worries about the future, which is out of your control.
  9. Prioritise ‘you’ time and say no to additional activities if you think it will be too much – Try to control what you can and look after yourself. Don’t feel guilty saying no if it means you will be in a better headspace.

It’s vital we remember to always be kind to ourselves. Don’t over-exert and listen to both your body and your mind!