6 Practical Ways to Prevent and Reduce Stress

I work a 9 to 5 and I live paycheck to paycheck. I also owe over 60k in student loan debt. As the prices continue to rise right before our eyes on the daily, you can imagine how much stress, one money management mistake can create.

I messed up. I acted on impulse and made an investment that I should have waited on. Had I opted to wait 1 month even, this mistake could have been avoided. Instead, I dug myself into a pit and jumped right in – It took a bit of creativity and stepping outside of my comfort zone to pull myself out. However, I was able to resolve the issue without breaking down in the process. I had to work to get to a place where that is even possible for me.

This is the type of circumstance that used to stress me out to a point of having a panic attack. In fact, I’ve gotten caught up in a few stressful situations in my personal life recently and I have navigated through them pretty well, if I may so so myself.

One thing I’ve noticed is that even in the midst of these stressful situations, rather than panic, I have maintained a consistent state of calmness. Knowing that my problems have solutions, I just have to find it. Instead of focusing solely on the problem, I remained solution oriented. I quickly resolved that freaking out over the problem wasn’t going to solve the problem soo, I might as well focus my energy on finding a resolution.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a very solution-focused mindset. And, in stressful situations, I keep calm and quickly get to working on finding a solution. I don’t like to dwell too much on problems itself, if it’s not with the purpose of finding a solution. I believe it’s important to acknowledge the problem for what it is and if you are experiencing negative emotions like sadness, defeat and disappointment, it’s okay to stay in that  state for a period of time. Sometimes, I will give myself a day to just have a pity party. But, after that, I tell myself it’s time to move forward and I do just that. I may still feel some of those emotions, but I make a conscious decision to move to a place of productivity. Please note; this applies to everyday stressors. This does not apply to things like grief, long-term or terminal health issues, etc.

The stick-up for me is when I’m looking for solution and end up hitting wall after wall after wall. After awhile, it takes it tole and I begin to succumb under pressure and I panic.

I’ve gone through a few seasons in my life where I’ve gone through that process with ease and I’ve gone through a few season where it has been a real struggle.. High anxiety, panic attacks and depression that often came a horrible attitude to the point where it’s like I’d purposefully try to make those around me miserable because I was miserable.

Stress has long been a frenemy of mine and stress management is something I’ve prioritized for the past 4 to 5 years now. Managing my stress in a healthy way is extremely is essential for me these days. My peace of mind is my main bag. But, I’d be lying if I told you that I get it right every time. I don’t. Some days are more challenging than others. However, the days of flat out panicking and freaking out are far and few in between these days. I am grateful for the progress that I have made and would like to highlight a few tips that have helped me get better at managing my stress.

Stress doesn’t just affect you psychologically but it can take it’s tole on you physically. This is something I’ve struggled with for years and have had to learn how to live a preventive lifestyle doing practical things everyday to reduce the effects of stress. This is what has helped me:

1) Start your day with prayer and meditation. Eat a healthy and fulfilling breakfast. Grab your coffee or tea. start your day with positive affirmations. Set the tone for your day!

2) Don’t forget to take your vitamins, supplements that boost your mood, take a walk, enjoy nature – get some sun.

3) Watch, listen or watch and listen to ASMR on YouTube. If you need to take a quick breather during a stressful day – try ASMR. If you’ve had a stressful, have a lot on your mind and you’re having trouble falling asleep – try ASMR.

4) Intentionally create balance in your day. Instead of overworking yourself, use a planner and schedule your breaks, set and alarm if you need to. Try time-blocking as well. It is a game-changer.

5) Journal. Sit for 15 minutes with a pen and paper and write out everything that is on your mind. This really helps to bring clarity and release.

6) Meditate a minimum of 10 minutes each morning and night. Clear your mind. Release toxic thoughts and energy. Don’t play with your sleep. Prioritize getting a quality night’s rest. This helps your body heal, recover and positions you to be more focused, alert and aligned to face the day’s challenges that may come your way. If you are sleep deprived or hangry even, it’s not as easy to do that right?

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I know some, if not all of these tips may sound unnecessary. But, I’m telling you, when you do most if not all of these things on a consistent basis, not only will you FEEL better, but you will become stronger in your ability to manage your stress effectively, in a healthy way. These tips are things that you can do to be PROACTIVE about your mental health and stress management.

Share any tips that you have in the comments below! What has helped you to manage your stress?