Evidence-Based Ways to Manage Stress and Strengthen Mental Health

Stress is something that affects everyone – regardless of their age. 

In fact, millennials report the highest average stress levels of all other generations, according to a Stress in America report published by the American Psychological Association. 

We know that stress has a real impact on our lives – and it’s not usually positive.

Stress can make us sick, tired, and depressed, further compounding the original stressors we were faced with.

Though it takes discipline and requires good habits, by managing our stress levels, we can live overall healthier and happier lives.  

 

Finding a Therapist

Finding someone to talk to, like a licensed therapist or counsellor, is an important step in stress management.

While therapists are licensed to treat people with mental illnesses, they are also licensed to help with any of life’s challenges.

This article will walk you through the different types of mental health therapy available to you – and you’ll see there are different therapists for different needs.

A licensed therapist or counsellor will listen to your situation and can help you with stress management tools that you can put into practice in your day-to-day life. 

Today, you can even connect with a licensed therapist or counsellor online if your schedule doesn’t allow for in-person appointments.

You can get the help and advice you need from the comfort of home. 

 

Move Your Body

Exercise – no matter how strenuous – is an incredibly powerful stress reliever.

There are many reasons why, as outlined in this article from the Mayo Clinic: it boosts your endorphins, it helps stress escape your body, and it improves your mood.

Daily exercise is a great outlet for pent-up stress. 

As for how to move your body – do what you love!

Set a schedule or a routine, pick your favourite exercise that you know you will enjoy and then commit to both the exercise routine and to yourself.

Taking some time every day to move your body is one of the most important things you can do to protect your mental health and manage your stress levels. 

 

Limit Technology Time 

A relatively new phenomena – but one we know all too much about is the negative impact of screen time on our lives.

From our daily hours spent staring at a computer, phone, or the television, we are exposed to an overabundance of screens every day.

Studies have proven that screen time can cause heighted anxieties and stress. 

Limiting screen time can be very challenging in today’s world, but there are some best practices you can use to find a healthy relationship with screens, like: 

  • Setting up screen limits using the features on your phone
  • Setting a timer for any social media or other internet breaks 
  • Find other hobbies to fill the down time, like reading a book

 

Get Outdoors 

Getting outdoors is often sold as one way to reset your move or your energy. 

You’ve probably heard that there is a “healing power” of mother nature and the great outdoors – and while it’s a common phrase, there is a scientific fact to that sentiment. 

Researchers at Harvard University found that people who spent time outside had lower activity in the part of their brain that is active during rumination.

The calming sounds of nature and the overall surroundings led to less worry. 

Researchers also found that people had similar brain activity just from listening to recordings of nature-like sounds, so if you can’t get outside try a sound machine. 

Stress is an inevitable part of life for many people and its persistent presence can make you sick, tired, and depressed.

The good news is, there are so many ways you can manage stress in your day-to-day life, and you do not have to be defined by your stress level.  

 

About the author: 

Marie Miguel
Marie Miguel

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MyTherapist.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

 

Photos: Shutterstock


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