Stress is something we all deal with at some point in our lives – maybe because it is a normal healthy response in the body to keep us alive and protect us – or maybe because that’s just the way life is. The issue with stress is that we are not meant to be feeling it all day every day. We are meant to feel it as a part of the fight or flight response and then it is meant to calm down. As a society we do not manage stress well – we have not been taught how to do it. Many of the points on this blog are common sense – so why do many of us ignore them or put them aside and think that they do not apply to us? I have experienced extreme stress at different times of my life – sometimes for years at a time – and had no idea how to cope with it or manage it well.

This generation of teenagers right now is experiencing stress at a far younger age than ever before. Kids as young as 7 or 8 are being recognized as struggling with this feeling and not knowing how to cope with it. More than ever we need to learn to manage stress well, so we can do our best whether that be at school, in the workplace or most importantly with our family.

There are 2 different kinds of stress: Internal and External

External stress is what we know stress to be – relationships, work, exams, friends or family. These include everything OUTSIDE of our body and mostly outside of our control. Internal stress is what we feel inside of our body and the good thing about that is that it is in our control. The issue with internal stress basically comes down to INFLAMMATION (and then subsequently cortisol). When internal stress is high then it is harder to manage the external stress…so we need to reduce inflammation inside of our bodies as best we can. Briefly (As I will go into detail at a later date)…these 10 tips will help reduce internal stress and help us manage external stress:

  1. Eat Well
    Ensure our food is nutrient dense and not eating foods that cause intolerances.
  2. Exercise Regularly
    We should be exercising every day – AT LEAST 15-20 minutes.
  3. Maintain Good Sleep
    Every night we need 8-10 hours of sleep.
  4. Talk to Someone
    Talking provides an avenue to sort out problems and get the advice we sometimes need.
  5. Get Good at Managing Time
    Learn what works for us and use it to our advantage (calendars/ lists, diaries)
  6. Be Positive
    Learn to filter out negative thoughts and focus on positive thinking (including gratitude)
  7. Relaxation
    Figure out what relaxes you and ensure that it is happening regularly (include quiet time – meditation of some type)
  8. Take Time Out
    Do what you love (as long as it’s healthy for us)
  9. Accept the Things You Cannot Change
    We can’t change people – so don’t try
  10. Avoid Drugs, Alcohol, and Caffeine
    These will impact hormones strongly so avoid while dealing with stress

This is an issue that will not fix itself. If we are stressed, we must act practically and choose to work on these 10 points to be able to better manage stress.