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Managing and Reducing Your Daily Stress

July 2022

Karen Ensle EdD, RDN, FAND, CFCS
Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County

Stress is a physiological and psychological response to situations the body and mind find to be overwhelming. There are many ways people reduce the overall stress of day-to-day activities. Manage your stress with these five tips.

  1. Practice guided meditation. Meditation is a great way to distract yourself from the stress of day-to-day life. There are many guided meditations available on the internet that can help you find five minutes of centered relaxation. Try What Are the Benefits of Mindfulness? for suggestions.
  2. Practice deep breathing. Deep breathing is a great way to reduce the activation of your sympathetic nervous system, which controls the body's response to a perceived threat. Deep breaths taken in to a count of five seconds, held for two seconds and released to a count of five seconds, can help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps reduce the overall stress and anxiety you may be experiencing.
  3. Maintain physical exercise and good nutrition. Physical exercise and eating a nutritious diet are two important components in how you respond to stress. When your body is healthy, your mind can be healthy and vice versa. Physical exercise is proven to be a great stress reliever and helps to improve your overall quality of life. Nutrition is important as stress can deplete certain vitamins, such as A, B-Complex, C and E. Maintaining proper nutrition not only helps your body feel better, but your mind as well, which allows you to better combat stress.
  4. Manage social media time. Spending time on social media sites can become stressful, not only by what we might see, but also because the time you are spending on social media might be best spent visiting with friends, being outside and going for a walk or reading a great book.
  5. Connect with others. Humans are social beings. You need to have connections with people to feel supported. Finding a sense of community—whether at work, or at home. Read Workplace Wellness: Stress Less on the Job with FCHS for more tips. Get active with a community organization, or meet new friends through shared activities, such as organized sports. It is important for your well-being to socialize and spend time with others. Enjoying a shared activity allows you to foster relationships that can be supportive in difficult and good times.

Try these small steps to reduce your stress today!