Life is chaotic, and living a stress-free life isn’t possible.
But stress isn’t all bad.
There are many positive effects once we learn to manage it. For example, it can help us avoid danger, adjust to new situations, and cope with challenges.
Experiencing stress is a natural response by our body. One of the hormones released during stressful situations – adrenaline- can make us more alert, improve our focus, and even help us to work harder. Learning how to cope with and mitigate the negative effects of stress will allow us to take advantage of all the positives.
The key is to avoid allowing the stress to become overwhelming.
If you find yourself trying to bring your stress levels down, look to incorporate some of these stress management tips.
Get Outside and Connect with Nature
Getting outside has tons of health benefits. Going for a quick walk in the fresh air is like hitting the reset button. It helps to settle your nervous system and promote blood flow. Not only that but exposing yourself to the sun comes with many benefits; the production of vitamin D, the natural regulation of melatonin, and the boosting of serotonin levels, to name a few.
Reach Out to Others
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to use your teammates. Sending a quick text or making a quick phone call are easy ways to work through a problem and get some perspective.
Put On a Record
Listening to music can do wonders for alleviating stress. Not only does it act as a nice mental distraction, but it can also reduce muscle tension and decrease built-up stress hormones. Besides, turning the volume to eleven increases the likelihood that you’ll sing along, and dancing can be cathartic.
Move, Move, Move
Any form of physical activity can act as a stress reliever. Simply moving your body in a meaningful way can cause the release of dopamine and serotonin, both of which are mood-enhancing hormones produced to enhance our mental state.
Catch Some Zs
Sleep can do so much for us and affects mood, energy level, and concentration. It is the time our body uses to recharge and recover. Unfortunately, stress can make it hard to fall asleep, so set up a routine to ensure you get enough. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule and environment are two simple but effective habits.
Improve Your Nutrition
Properly fuelling your body is life’s cheat code, and eating the right way can help to improve all aspects of your life. Getting the appropriate macro- and micro-nutrients will help your performance and boost your mood and decision-making.
Keep a Journal
Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be a great way to release tension and help you recognize if you are overly stressed. We suggest journalling for many of our pro hockey players to help them deal with the stress of a season. It can sometimes seem silly, but the best thing to do is start writing and see what happens. You can write whatever you want. It’s not for anyone else, just you.