stressWe all deal with factors in life that are causes for stress, and we’ve all heard about how stress can be a killer, metaphorically and literally.

There are various reasons why one may feel stress in their life, from a job to a toxic relationship, the factors are insurmountable. And in today’s world of the “go, go, go” mentality, understanding how to manage or alleviate stress can lead you to live a happier and healthier life.

Stress can cause fatigue, an inability to concentrate, and even the sensation of constantly feeling ill, according to the American Psychological Association.

Other factors that are a result from stress are overeating, smoking, and developing other bad habits that are considered unhealthy. In some extreme cases stress has even been found to cause depression, lower the immune system, and increase one’s risk for heart disease, according to the American Psychological Association.

But there are ways one can reduce or manage the stress in their life that will lead to feeling better mentally and emotionally, as well as providing long-term health benefits.

Addressing what is causing your stress is one way to help handle the feeling of being overwhelmed. Many people take on more than they can at work or with family and friends, and learning how to say ‘no’ can be a huge learning curve. Although you would like to be everyone’s savior, learning to say ‘no’ when you feel you can’t take any more on will help you feel less overwhelmed, and more in control of your daily tasks.

Eliminating people or tasks that cause stress can also be beneficial. Whether it’s a co-worker who always manages to dump their work on you, or a friend who only calls when they have a crisis, learning how to distance yourself from toxic relationships will help your stress levels. The more you surround yourself with positive people who build you up, the less stress you will feel from your personal or professional relationships.

Stress can also be a cause for anger, and exercise can help with not only staying healthy, but with de-stressing as well. Making time for a run, a boxing class or yoga can not only help you manage stress in a healthy way, but also allows you to have much needed ‘you time.’ Taking time out of a busy day or work week to spend time with yourself can help you feel centered and ready to tackle the next week.

Speaking to a therapist can also help with coping with stress. Sometimes having a person who is unassociated with your group of stress-freefriends, your family members, and your co-workers is helpful, and having a person to vent to without receiving any bias can also be a bonus. Overall, getting your concerns off your chest is always a healthier way of coping with stress instead of holding all your emotions in.

No matter what the stresses are and how you choose to manage them, know that dealing with the stress is better than ignoring it and thinking it will go away on its own. Stress will creep up on us when we least expect it, and knowing healthy ways to cope versus the unhealthy alternatives will keep your mind, spirit, and body sane and healthy.