6 Ways to Reduce Stress and Burnout

Stress is the natural reaction of our bodies to external factors. This is how we used to determine danger and threats while also increasing our chances of survival. Of course, in the past, those psychological responses could have saved our lives and prevented terrible experiences. Yet, these days, people experience stress way more often than that and for a whole different range of reasons. Now, we suffer from anxiety, burnout, and pressure on a daily basis. In addition, people find stress at work, school, relationships, social life, and due to political and social circumstances.

However, our constant interactions with stress factors do little to no good for us. People become more irritable and vulnerable to mental health disorders, mood swings, and poor performances. Overall, there is no argument about the need to reduce stress in our lives. Here are six ways to avoid burnout and reduce pressure and stress. Let’s see what those are.

The signs of stress

Sometimes, we don’t even realize how much stress we are under until the breaking point. It’s not a pleasant position to be in or live in for a long period. Stress exhausts your body and mind, causes you to behave in unusual, unhealthy ways, and leads to work or family issues. Overall, we should learn to recognize early signs of stress so we can take better care of ourselves. These are the common signs you should be able to spot in your behavior when stressed:

  • Withdrawal
  • fear;
  • anxiety;
  • insomnia;
  • irritation;
  • frustration;
  • depression;
  • indecisiveness;
  • addiction (desire to smoke, drink, eat, etc., more than usual);
  • headaches;
  • extreme sweating.
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Overall, a combination of these factors can indicate certain stress levels. Whenever you notice those symptoms, think of what may cause them and how you can tackle them. Here are six strategies to help you cope.

  1. Keep realistic expectations

The studies show that unrealistic expectations are often the primary reason for stress. People simply expect too much from themselves. Thus, they fail to realistically evaluate their time, opportunities, skills, and energy levels before they settle on their workload. Such an error of judgment can lead to grave results. Most people start to feel immense pressure and guilt for not keeping up with their goals.

In reality, though, not all expectations we set are possible to complete. Some will require more time, skills, or help from the outside. People, however, tend to overlook these important factors while rushing to meet their goals under limited time frames. As a result, we feel as if we have failed ourselves and others.

Of course, such an approach is completely wrong. We should always stay realistic about how much we can do vs. how much we would love to do. Thus, we learn to set healthy boundaries on the workload we take upon ourselves and the deadlines we set. People are not robots. We can’t work, work, work with no rest, recharge, break, etc. Besides, we also can have bad days, health issues, or other circumstances stand in our way.

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Thus, we should be more flexible and somewhat humble in our expectations of work successes, personal abilities, and strengths.

  1. Seek community

People who stay alone are more vulnerable to stress, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. We are not meant to be by ourselves at all times. People are social creatures who need support, affection, communication relationships, etc. That’s why having a social circle can help you deal with life stresses. Of course, the quality of communication also matters a lot. You need to have supportive relationships to count on in turbulent times.

In fact, different social connections can expand your perspective on life, explain some of the stress factors you may be having, and positively impact your mood. In addition, being social often means being active and trying new things. Hence, you get to diversify your days and engage in new interesting activities. The novelties in your life will also improve your mental health, redirect your focus, and charge you with positive emotions.

  1. Let go

Often, we feel stressed over factors that are not even under our control. In other words, we simply worry too much. We are in stress over global finances, politics, world injustice, or even such simple things as our colleagues’ poor performance at work. Overall, all of those things that you can’t help but still feel deeply affected by do increase your stress levels. Such an approach will not help you find the peace of mind we all need. Instead, you bury yourself under the hardships of the world that you can’t control or impact.

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The best solution here will be mindfulness and logic. See what you can change. What has caused you that much stress? Focus on those issues and seek solutions. Next, see what you can’t control but still worry about. Find arguments on why you should learn to let go of such situations. Analyze how they make you feel. See how they harm you while you can’t act on them. It’s not a healthy position to maintain.

Learning to let go is not the easiest of skills to build. Yet, it’s absolutely essential if you don’t want to feel overwhelmed. Of course, it doesn’t mean you can’t be touched by it. Still, one should build healthy boundaries between personal life and things that are out of their control. Once you learn to accept your limitations and powers, you won’t be as easily affected by various situations.

  1. Nurture your body

The ways we treat our bodies matters greatly in our ability to fight stress. On average, we become extremely vulnerable to pressure and anxiety when we are on a poor diet, don’t exercise, or don’t have enough sleep. By doing those things, we weaken our body and mind making them an easier target for external factors.

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Diet, in particular, is a crucial point in how we feel. Eating too many sugary products, refined carbohydrates, processed food, and so on can lead to higher irritability levels, insomnia, overweight, and increased blood sugars. In addition, these things will increase your stress levels even in minor situations.

In addition, one should pay close attention to their bad habits. For example, it’s best to reduce habits like smoking, drinking, overeating, etc. These are often used as false coping mechanisms for stress. Of course, such an approach doesn’t lead to any positive results. On the opposite, increasing the practice of certain habits while under pressure can enhance their grip over your life and cause addiction. You are in a vulnerable state of mind. It makes sense to seek comfort and a sense of peace. Yet, bad habits like these will only put you further into a depressive state. Instead, one should seek comfort in taking better care of their body and mind. Hence, you can try to replace those bad habits with positive ones, like exercising, eating healthy, meditating, going on long walks, etc. Such habits will help you fight stress instead of temporarily pushing it to the back of your mind for it to return even stronger.

  1. Indulge yourself
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Sometimes, the best we can do to fight stress is to be kind to ourselves. Indeed, treating yourself with care and kindness can go a long way. It’s especially true for a mental health journey. One must understand how much better they deserve to allow good things to happen. Thus, people who struggle with stress should learn to take breaks, rest, and indulge themselves.

These random or planned acts of kindness can be anything you want. Anything that will help you go through the day and feel better about yourself will do. For example, you can take a day off from work and stay home, watching old movies. Students can delegate some of their assignments by contacting professional writers, saying, “Can you write my paper for me cheap, please?” Instead of working several days straight before the deadline, they can now rest and do something for themselves.

Overall, stress comes when we push ourselves too hard without hitting a break. In fact, sometimes, simple breathing techniques and brief breaks between work or studying can do wonders for your mental health. So, don’t be hesitant to take them.

  1. Ask for help

Don’t wait till things get even worse. If you have tried those techniques and nothing helped, you need more assistance than that. You don’t have to do this alone. Perhaps, it’s time to turn to professionals. Stress can be a very big factor in your life. It affects how you interact with people, go about your day, do your job, and more. You don’t want it to control your lifestyle. However, fighting stress can be exhausting. In addition, it can also be a symptom of a big problem, like depression. So, it’s best to ask for help.

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Start with your family and friends if you are uncertain about going to a specialist right away. Share your feelings with those you trust. Open up to them. Talk about what bothers you. Overall, just talking about these out loud will give you a better perspective on what’s going on in your life. However, listen to recommendations to see a specialist right away. Being overwhelmed with stress is no fun. It can be dangerous. A professional will help you find the best treatment, including a better routine and diet. Besides, they will explain more about mental health and how to maintain it.




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