No technique will make all stress go away. It is best when people use their own judgment and intuition to decide which techniques to use. People should not be afraid to try different things before deciding what is best for them. Once they have found some strategies that work, they need to commit to practicing them.
Exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress. Aerobic exercise, exercise that makes the heart and lungs work harder, actually helps the body to use up excess stress-induced hormones. Regular exercise helps the body to react less dramatically to stress. Some research suggests that exercise also helps to lift one’s spirits and decrease depression.
Exercise is most helpful if it is practiced consistently over a long period of time. In beginning an exercise program, it is important to start slowly. It is not so helpful to start an exercise program with a lot of enthusiasm and then stop exercising in a week or two because it is too stressful.
Of course, it is recommended that people check with their regular physicians before beginning any exercise program; however, almost no one is too old or too out of shape to begin to exercise. Twenty or 30 minutes of exercise four or five times a week is ideal, but even much less can help individuals to relax and cope with stressful situations more effectively.
The specific type of exercise or the amount of time spent exercising is not as important as whether or not someone can make exercise a regular part of his or her life. Brisk walking is the perfect exercise for many people. Jogging, swimming and bicycling are other popular types of aerobic exercises. It makes sense to choose an exercise that is enjoyable; the more enjoyable it is, the more likely an exercise program will succeed.
Meditation is a very effective stress management technique. Meditation sounds exotic, but it is really just a way to learn to relax and settle the mind. A relaxed, settled mind is less anxious and copes better with stress.