The greater Phoenix and Scottsdale areas are viewed by many as the perfect place to live. Between the wonderful winter weather and the abundant options for outdoor recreation, Arizona can often feel like paradise. But even in paradise, life can become stressful.
In a 2015 study by the American Psychological Association, seventy-eight percent of people surveyed reported suffering from at least one symptom of stress. The study also reported that stress levels are on the rise. How can you work to reduce stress in your life and increase your level of peace? Here are five tips.
Learn to Recognize Your Personal Signs of Stress
Signs of stress differ from person to person, as each one of us handles stress differently. Some examples of signs of stress include:
- Digestive problems
- Irritability or a lack of patience
- A change in appetite
- Unexplained pain in muscles or joints
- Mood swings
- Low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness
There are many other signs of stress as well, and each person shows signs of stress in a different way. By learning to recognize the physical and emotional symptoms that you experience when your stress level is high, you can begin to work to change your situation and reduce your stress level.
Identify What Causes Stress in Your Life
The second step to reducing stress in your life is to identify which triggers cause stress in your life. Stress can be caused by problems at work, by unhealthy relationships, by stressful events such as moving or a divorce, by financial problems or by many other of the issues of life.
If you are feeling stressed, work to think about the different areas of your life and write down which of them is causing you to feel overwhelmed or unhappy.
Determine Which Stress Management Techniques Work Best for You
Once you’ve determined the causes of your stress, you can begin to develop stress management techniques that will help you to reduce your stress level. Physical and emotional stress management techniques such as exercise, meditation and getting plenty of rest help many people effectively reduce stress. Changing the situations that are at the root of your stress can be helpful too. It’s important to take this step slowly, as many times people have several different stressors.
For instance, if your job is causing you stress, determine what aspects of your job are the most stressful and see if there is a way to manage those aspects of your job in a healthier way. If money problems are causing you stress, work to develop a plan to put yourself in a better financial position by paying down debt and increasing savings.
By determining stress management techniques that help you cope, you can better handle stressful situations that come your way.
Develop Good Self-Care Habits as a Rule
Stress is often reduced by taking good care of yourself. Make it a habit to eat a healthy diet, to limit alcohol, sugar and processed food intake and to exercise regularly. Develop a regular sleeping schedule where you are getting at least seven hours of sleep per night.
Spend some free time enjoying hobbies that you love. Take vacations on a regular basis. Limit screen time and make room for quiet activities such as reading or talking with loved ones. The better you take care of yourself, the better you’ll be able to handle stressful situations.
Reach Out for Support
If the steps above aren’t doing enough to reduce your stress level, a professional counselor or psychologist can often help. The greater Phoenix and Scottsdale areas have many qualified health professionals with experience in helping people overcome stress and its symptoms to lead a more peaceful and enjoyable life.