10 Stress Busters to Use Right Now

Stress is something we all deal with, and as men have a harder time taking care of themselves and their stress, here’s a list of 10 guy-friendly stress reducers to apply right now:
  1. Not overworking to the point of exhaustion. Ask yourself, “Are there parts of work I can do less of for my own health and happiness?”
  2. Eat right: There are foods that will aggravate stress, and foods that will sedate stress. Try cutting down or quitting caffeinated and sugary drinks and foods that increase stress levels. Try eating more complex carbohydrates, lean meats and fish, and vegetables and fruits.
  3. Getting daily exercise: This is a tough one, because it’s really hard to make a regular schedule to exercise and get to the gym. It can be work in itself. This is a lifestyle change, not an instantaneous  “hit the gym once in a while” thing, so pace yourself. Stress happens over time, and your stress combat plan should develop over the long term.
  4. Practice relaxation: Yoga, meditation, even mindful breathing are all superior techniques to help reduce stress.
  5. Network development: Many times, guys don’t have anyone to talk to. They might not talk with their other male friends, and their wife or girlfriend may be stressed in her own way. Making the outlet to talk and creating a support network is essential to stress management. Without it, we end up stuffing stress, letting it fester and building it up over time to create much worse problems.
  6. Develop routines: stress is a part of everyday life, and those that have the plans most easily executed will come out on top of their stress. See the lifestyle changes you’re making as integral to your lifestyle, not a temporary thing or fad. If you set your sights on stress management as a high value for you, you’ll start to choose behaviors that reflect that value.
  7. Practice positive psychology: Thinking positively – while hard for some – trains your brain to see things through a different scope. Choose optimism over negativity.
  8. Reduce alcohol consumption: Alcohol is a depressant, and it also affects your sleep by increasing the body’s stress hormone epinephrine, which stimulates heart rate and stress. Alcohol, in moderation, can take the ease off stress, but, for the long term, it’s not the best solution.
  9. Say ‘no’ more: Too many guys are just as guilty of not saying ‘no’ as their female counterparts. When we can’t say ‘no’, we guilt ourselves into accepting more and more from others, whether that’s doing favors, taking on more work, or generally stuffing our own need to do less. Learn to take on less responsibility, and learn to say ‘no’ – the world won’t end if you do.
  10. Manage your time: The inability to manage time erodes our foundation to deal with stress. Not being able to deal efficiently with all that’s thrown at us in a day can shut your whole machine down quickly. Learn to manage your time, and you’ll immediately experience better stress reduction. Use lists, calendars, and your phone. Plan commuting times, cook on Sundays for the week’s worth of lunches, and generally start to visualize your upcoming week, so that you can do what you need to do before it needs to be done.


     

About Jason

As "The Man That Men Will Talk To," Jason Fierstein, MA, LPC is a private practice counselor and psychotherapist for men and couples in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area. He works with struggling men to find happiness in their lives, and with their wives.
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