If you’re awake and going about your day, you’re probably under some stress. Maybe you feel it, maybe you don’t. Stress, anxiety, and pressure are just a part of life.
Breathe easy, though. You’re not alone. More than 75% of Americans endure some physical or emotional stresses, according to the American Institute of Stress. You can get some relief if you know what’s behind your anxieties. Look at these stress sources—some might surprise you. Knowing how to handle them can lead to a more stress-free life.
Paying your bills is always a source of anxiety, even when your bank account is healthy. What you may not expect is the stress that comes with getting access to your money. Making it to the bank in time for a payday transaction may put a kink in your day. If so, it’s time to think about mobile banking.
Instead of rushing to a brick-and-mortar building, use your smartphone to access your money. Many banks offer apps that will help you bank on the go. You can also ease financial stress by finding a bank that offers fee-free debit cards, no minimum-balance requirements, and round-up savings features. Then you get to easily build up your savings, which is a huge stress reliever.
From work and school to online socializing, the digital world is almost impossible to avoid. Computers and connectivity are everywhere! Unless going off the grid is an option, you should at least know what happens when you log on.
When you go online, research shows you almost instantly tighten your muscles, breathe faster, and blink less. It all contributes to your physical stress. Plus, the amount of negative news can cause emotional anxiety. To reduce the impact, try to remember to move around more. Stand up, shift positions, or walk away for a bit. Some software programs can send you notifications if you need a reminder to tear yourself away from the screen.
Is your office being reorganized? Or did your company just go through a downsizing? Even if you’re still employed, the uncertainty can be stressful. You could lose sleep, or you could feel fidgety and uncomfortable at work. That can create a lot of cardiovascular distress and push your anxiety through the roof.
Even if you think your job is secure, don’t be afraid to ask for clarity. You don’t need to know all the gritty details, but you deserve some answers about your own job. Ask about your role, what your responsibilities are, and whether they will change. Knowing where you stand can keep you calm.
Even if your partner is great, things won’t always be perfect. In every relationship, a little stress will happen. Busy schedules can steal your “us” time. Maybe communication is dwindling or you’re having less fun between the sheets. It can all kick up your anxieties when you’re not looking. These things likely won’t be an issue at first, but can be over time.
You can minimize these stresses by being proactive. Check in with each other frequently. When you sense trouble, clear the air. Address problems without being angry or frustrated. Talk about anything that’s changed, and set aside time to reconnect. Plan things you both enjoy doing and remember to laugh together.
Being healthy takes time—time to exercise, time to cook, and time to sleep. You’re likely super busy, so time is a rare commodity. It’s easy to get stressed about things you want to do but can’t fit into your schedule. Or on the flip side, maybe you’re so busy, you haven’t noticed it’s stressing you out.
Don’t sweat it. It is possible to work things you want to do into your schedule. Get your exercise during work by walking at lunch. Take the stairs or choose the long route to your next meeting. Grocery shop on the weekends and do meal prep so you’re ready to cook in the evenings. These steps will help you get better sleep at night. It all adds up and alleviates some of your stress.
Multitasking sounds like a great idea. You have lots to do, so you juggle a few things at a time. You’ll get it all done faster so you can relax, right? Not so fast. Doing too many things at once causes more in-the-moment and future stress than you realize. By splitting your attention, it will take you longer to get things done. You’re also more likely to make mistakes that will eat up additional time to fix.
Get into the habit of concentrating on one task at a time. It will be easier to do your best work. You’ll make fewer errors and have less to fix later. Don’t worry. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that you’ll have enough time to get everything done.
Coffee has a reputation for kickstarting your day with a jolt. If you’re trying to avoid (or reduce) caffeine intake, though, you might be sipping on tea instead. Several types of tea have twice as much caffeine as that cup of java! If you’re downing multiple teacups a day, your body is feeling the stress effects even if you can’t tell.
Caffeine increases both your heart rate and your blood pressure. It can also interfere with your sleep. To minimize the effects, doctors suggest keeping your tea drinking to a three-cup maximum. It’s best to drink slowly and reheat your cup when it gets cold rather than topping it off with more brew.
Daily stress is inevitable. Even when it comes from unlikely sources, there are things you can do to minimize the effects. Pay attention to these causes and take steps to reduce their impacts. You could feel more relaxed in the days to come.