Stress can really wreak havoc with your body, both mentally and physically.

It can cause tiredness, headaches, and sleep problems. It can affect your mood by creating a lack of motivation to do things, anxiety, and a feeling of being overwhelmed. It can impact your behavior, causing overeating, social withdrawal, and an inhibited desire to exercise.

Not all stress is bad necessarily, but it’s important to take stress management seriously. Here are some habits you can create to reduce and manage your stress.

Try Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques, also called relaxation response techniques, can come in a variety of forms, but the primary goal is for you to settle your mind and body in order to release tension and help some of the negative effects of stress dissipate.
Two main examples of relaxation techniques are yoga and meditation. Throughout both practices, you combine breathing with positive, focused attention to create calm and happy thoughts.

You don’t have to do yoga or meditation to practice relaxation, though. Daily deep breathing, guided imagery, or deep stretching are all ways to focus on breathing and think happy thoughts.

Exercise Regularly

You don’t need to go run a marathon or lift heavy weights—you just need to keep moving. Regular exercise offers multiple benefits, the main one being boosting your mood. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals that make you feel more relaxed and help release tension.

Regular exercise also helps you sleep better and gives you a different task to focus on for a short period of time. If you are more of a high-level stress person, you may find an exercise that has a cardio or force component to it helpful, like cardio kickboxing.

Set Goals and Priorities

When many people get stressed, it can easily be linked back to being overwhelmed. Maybe you’re a college student working three jobs with schoolwork to do. Maybe you’re a parent trying to juggle work and home life. Maybe you’re just a busy person with a lot on your plate. Whatever the case, it’s important to get your priorities straight and make some goals.

First things first: It’s OK to say no. If you don’t have time to do something, be honest with yourself about that. Tell the appropriate person that you won’t be able to complete the task. Overextending yourself and doing too much can put a huge level of stress on your body, especially mentally. In the end, you probably won’t do the task well anyway.

Make a daily mental or physical list of what needs to be done and what can wait. By doing this, you give yourself some organization and see what you can afford to do and not to do.

Stay Social

If you’re stressed, the worst thing you can do is isolate yourself from friends, family, and significant others. Those are the people you need by your side when you’re not doing so well and need a pick me up.

If you have a significant other, they should be the first person you update about what’s going on in your life. Use them as a sounding board; ask them if they think you’re doing too much. The people around you usually notice if you’re overextending yourself before you do.

Try to regularly visit family members and friends and keep them updated on what’s going on. If you have to, plan dates for things well in advance and stick to going out on those days. It’s good to step away from everything now and then so you can come back fresh and with a better mindset.

We’re Here to Help

At South Orange Chiropractic Center, we’re committed to helping people improve their health and productivity through massage, chiropractic care, or acupuncture. We offer a variety of services that can help you— especially your body— manage stress.

If you would like to explore those options, don’t hesitate to head over to our contact page to make an appointment today.