Keeping calm and carrying on doesn’t need to be difficult when it comes to dealing with chronic stress. Here are five ways to deal with life’s daily pressures that include maintaining friendships and other connections, laughing and helping others through volunteering.
“Staying physically healthy can improve your emotional well-being,” explains the CDC. They recommend eating healthfully (fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and lowfat or no-fat dairy), getting enough sleep (seven or more hours a night), and moving more and sitting less. “Every little bit of physical activity helps. Start small and build up to 2½ hours a week.”
Quiet the Mind
Meditation is a simple way of letting go of stress. Says Melanie Greenberg, author of The Stress-Proof Brain: “It can help you get perspective and distance on your own thoughts…. And that can train your brain over time to be more stress tolerant.” There are plenty of apps and other resources to help get you started.
Experts at the Cleveland Clinic say a good way to alleviate stress is to “stay connected with people who keep you calm, make you happy, provide emotional support and help you with practical things. A friend, family member or neighbor can become a good listener or share responsibilities so that stress doesn’t become overwhelming.”
Per the Mayo Clinic: “A good sense of humor can’t cure all ailments. But it can help you feel better, even if you have to force a fake laugh through your grumpiness. When you laugh, it lightens your mental load. It also causes positive physical changes. Laughter fires up and then cools down your stress response.”
“Evidence shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, often become more [stress] resilient,” explains the U.K.’s National Health Service. “If you don’t have time to volunteer, try to do someone a favor every day.”