All of us suffer from stress from time to time, but if it is starting to have a significant impact on your overall happiness and daily life, it may be time to do something about it. Stress can not only leave you feeling overwhelmed and out of control, but it may even start to impact your health and well-being.

Stress can come from one or several things – whether it be your job, family responsibilities, or financial worries. While you may not be able to tackle the source of the issue immediately, learning to manage your mental health will enable you to cope with whatever life throws at you.

Take a look at just some of the ways you can reduce your stress levels:

· Get out in the great outdoors

It’s amazing how just a short time outdoors can instantly lift your mind and change your thought process. Taking a brief 30-minute walk amongst nature gives you a change of scenery which can promote a new frame of mind and eliminate your worries for a short while. During exercise, your body releases several hormones such as endorphins which are known as ‘mood boosters’, which make you feel more positive and can even improve your sleep. What’s more, exposure to natural light can help relieve the effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), particularly during the autumn and winter months when you’re exposed to very little sunlight.

· Slow down

Are you pushing yourself to the absolute limit? If so, you’re bound to become overwhelmed to the point of risking burnout. First things first – slow down. Analyze your daily schedule and try and cut out the unnecessary tasks from your routine that aren’t essential and are adding to your anxiety.

Saying ‘yes’ to every single opportunity will eventually take its toll on your health. However, it’s not always easy to say no, with the fear that you may jeopardize your relationships or affect your professional development. However, standing up for yourself and prioritizing your own needs will help you feel much more in control.

Make some time for yourself each day, whether it be to simply relax or for hobbies that make you feel uplifted and at your very best. This one small change could make a significant difference to your stress levels.

· Drink iced tea

Did you know that certain foods and beverages could put you in a much calmer state of mind? Dating as far back as ancient times, people have turned to herbal teas to improve their health, and research has now discovered that drinking tea regularly could help reduce stress and anxiety. Not all teas will suit your tastebuds, so you may want to do your research to discover which flavors you’re most likely to enjoy. You can’t go wrong with the selection of B.W Cooper’s Iced Tea flavors – ranging from green teas to fruit teas and everything in between.

· Laugh

Did you know that laughing is an instant stressbuster? While you may not feel like chuckling right now, it can work wonders for making you feel more relaxed. Spend an evening with friends and let your hair down. When you laugh, your body takes in more oxygen as opposed to the short, sharp breaths when you’re at the height of a panic attack. In doing so, your body will release those all-important feel-good hormones that make you feel great again.

· Stop smoking

During times of stress, people often turn to smoking with the belief that it can help relieve their symptoms. However, this typically has the total opposite effect. While the nicotine creates an instant feeling of relaxation, this sensation soon wears off and leads to extreme cravings that you cannot control. What’s more, there is also scientific evidence that shows that nicotine can lead to shallow breathing and, consequently, heightens symptoms of stress.

· Speak to someone

Having supportive people in your life can work wonders for your mental health. Let them in instead of pushing them away.

Bottling up your worries is never a good idea as you may start to feel isolated from the outside world and alone with your thoughts. If you’re struggling to manage independently, don’t be afraid to reach out. Whether it be a family member, friend, or even a professional therapist, talking through your thoughts and concerns will help you see the situation from a different perspective and potentially even find solutions that you had never considered before.

Final word

Finding the best stress-relief strategies may take some time to determine what works best for you, but after a little bit of trial and error, you’re sure to find the best methods that will help you manage your stress. If you have been dealing with long-term stress and anxiety, it may be worth speaking to your GP to determine the best approaches for your personal situation.