How to Win Control Over the Stress in Your Life

4 steps to calm down and avoid anxiety

Stress is the natural response of your mind and body during times of high-demand. This reaction helps you deal with everything your job, family and surroundings throw at you. It is actually a good thing — as long as it isn't turned on all the time. For some, the stress reaction can't be turned off because there doesn't seem to be a break from all of life's difficulties. Here are some tips on how to reduce stress-levels in your life.

Step 1: Just say no

Instead of committing yourself to countless activities and doing everything your boss tells you to do, try to stand your ground and say "no" once in a while. Any activities that will add stress to your life might not be worth the trouble. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, you should actually look for things to cut out of your life, so you can have time to get the proper amount of rest and relaxation.

Step 2: Live a healthy lifestyle

Diets high in veggies and fruits yield more energy than sugary diets. Stock up on apples, bring baby carrots to the office and choose only whole grain breads for your sandwiches. Likewise, regular exercise will help your body deal with stressful times. Working out improves blood flow and helps get oxygen to the brain, which will help you think more clearly, according to the Franklin Institute, an organization dedicated to inspiring an understanding of and passion for science and technology learning. Also keep in mind the brain and the body function much better when they've gotten plenty of sleep.

Step 3: Form a support system

A healthy social circle can be a great way to reduce stress. Surrounding yourself with people who care about you can help you have an overall feeling of peace. Friends can boost your morale, and meeting up with them can be something to look forward to. The Mayo Clinic also points out that good friends will let you know when you're starting to slip into depression or letting stress get the best of you in other ways — making it easier for you to know when healthy changes are needed.

Step 4: Get counseling

If you simply can't get the stress in your life under control, seek out a professional counselor or therapist who can help you get through it. Sometimes, the stress is so unmanageable you can't even figure out where to begin. A good counselor might be able to do that for you.

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