A modest amount of stress is a normal part of everyday life from rushing around to dropping a carton of milk. However, reoccurring stress linked to larger life issues, such as an unhealthy relationship or lack of anger management, has the potential to spiral out of control and impact your state of health and overall satisfaction with your life. If you suffer from chronic stress, your heart rate at rest is increased and your body releases cortisol, which can lead to heart attacks, heart disease and episodes of anxiety. Additionally, you may experience insomnia, headaches, gastrointestinal upset, back and neck pain, and a weakened immune system. However, here are 5 ways in which you can effectively manage your stress level to increase your happiness and protect your health:

  1. Exercise: While it may seem counterproductive to get your heart pumping to reduce stress, exercise is beneficial form of physical stress to the body. You can effectively release stress when working out either through cardio exercises, weight lifting or participating in a sports activity.
  2. Yoga: The relaxing, concentrated movements and awareness of breath during an instructor-led yoga class can greatly reduce your stress level.
  3. Coping techniques: An experienced and licensed therapist, like Benjamin Wolf, MSW, LICSW, can teach you how to cope with daily stressors and life changes to reduce your stress level. For example, you will be taught how to adjust your response to the environment and others, which can dramatically alter your life and relationships in a positive way.
  4. Decrease your load: If you feel overwhelmed a great majority of the time with responsibilities, decide which tasks you can hand over to someone else for a short period of time or permanently.
  5. Enjoyable activities: Set time aside each week to be with family and friends while enjoying a fun, relaxing activity to shed the effects of compounding stress, such as going out to dinner, watching a movie, taking a nature walk or creating art. If you are so inclined to venture out on your own for your enjoyable activity, try a massage session to melt away the stress.

At Hope and Healing for Life in St. Paul, MN, Benjamin Wolf, MSW, LICSW, understands how quickly unchecked stress can negatively impact your life. The expert advice and guidance of Benjamin Wolf can provide you with the tools you need to deal with minor stress encountered in day-to-day life, as well as stress that arises from major life changes. Email or call Hope and Healing for Life today at 612-643-1920 to discover how you can liv happier and healthier.