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If you feel stressed, you are most definitely not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. That doesn’t include the population of uncounted individuals struggling to deal with daily stress and tension. If left unattended, high-stress levels can lead to the onset of a wide range of physical and emotional health problems.

With all this in mind, you must commit to taking daily actions to understand and manage your stress.

Young Asian woman with head in hand on the couch looking anxious and stressed | emphasizing the need to have daily stress management techniques

Common Causes of Daily Stress

First, it’s important to note the not-so-obvious factors at play. Life can sometimes feel like a mix of fears, doubts, expectations, attitudes, and events out of your control. Certain events can exacerbate your stress and lead to problems, including:

  • Work-related issues, including loss of a job
  • Financial problems
  • Divorce, separation, or any form of relationship strife
  • Raising kids
  • The death of a loved one
  • Injury, illness, or disability
  • Care-taking for a loved one
  • Relocating

Whatever the cause, it’s imperative that you create strategies to counter the impact of daily stress. Below are 10 daily practices to incorporate into your life that can make handling stress easier.

10 Ways to Help Manage Your Daily Stress

1. Mindfulness

Stress thrives in our thoughts about the past and the future. Right here, in the present moment, you have more calm and more control. A mindfulness practice like meditation or breathing exercises will keep you centered in this way.

2. Regular Sleep Habits

Your mind and body are best equipped to deal with stress when you’re getting a healthy amount of sleep. So aim for the same number of hours per night. Ideally, your bedtime and rising time are consistent too.

African American woman sleeping on her side in bed | emphasizing the need for sleep as a stress management strategy

3. Healthy Eating Choices

Food impacts your mood. That’s why you should educate yourself about making the best choices for you in terms of quantity, quality, and timing.

4. Exercise and Physical Activity

Gym time is about much more than toned abs or strong arms. Study after study shows us how valuable exercise is for mental health too. In particular, daily exercise and physical activity can lessen the negative impact of stress while improving your mood.

5. Hugs

This may have been “forbidden” for a while, but physical contact with a loved one is indispensable. Hugs cause your body to release more oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone.” It is a powerful counterbalance to the unpredictable presence of cortisol, a stress hormone.

6. Be Creative

Expressing yourself creatively can calm your mind and distract you from stressors. When you feel stressed, focus on things like:

  • Art
  • Singing
  • Music
  • Painting
  • Writing

7. Take Breaks From Technology

Your news feed and social media accounts provide a steady supply of stressors. Instead of getting lost in endless scrolls of information, take regular breaks throughout the day. Maybe try getting outside for a quick mental health boost

8. Positive Self-Talk and Affirmations

Practicing self-compassion has a lot of benefits, including reducing stress. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, talk to yourself as you would to your best friend to calm your mind.

9. Social Connections

Sure, you sometimes need some solitude to decompress from a hard day, but isolation is not always your friend in stressful times. So instead, create a support system for yourself, and be a part of someone else’s support team too.

A group of friends looking at one man’s phone and laughing | showing the need for social connection as part of stress management

10. Gratitude

Keep a gratitude journal. Remind yourself of all the daily events that bring a smile to your face, so you’re not focusing on the bad. Stress is inevitable, but so are smiles. So make sure you stay aware of that balance in your life.

Therapist Columbus Ohio

All the best intentions in the world may feel useless if your stress and anxiety have crossed a certain threshold. If these strategies just don’t seem like enough, please make the commitment to contact a mental health professional to get the guidance you need. Working with a therapist is a proven path toward healing and recovery. Contact Blue Boat Counseling to schedule an appointment with one of our highly skilled therapists. We’re here to help you find a path to lowering stress and living your best life.