Managing Stress in Bozeman, MT: 5 Effective Strategies

Looking for help with managing stress? Did you know that chronic stress can have serious consequences on your health? It’s true—stress can make it difficult to sleep, weaken your immune system, and lead to other problems like heart attacks, strokes, anxiety, and depression. Plus, stress can cause irritability, lack of motivation, and difficulty concentrating, thereby negatively impacting your work and personal relationships.

If you’re feeling stressed, one of the best things you can do is speak to a therapist who can recommend stress relief techniques that are tailored to your specific circumstances. We would love to have you reach out to us at Bozeman Counseling Center to find out about working with a counselor in Bozeman who specializes in helping with stress. But in the meantime, we’ve compiled the following five strategies for stress management.

1. Eat a Nutritious Diet

It’s very common for stressed individuals to turn to comfort foods, which are typically high in fat and sugar. But it’s important to stick to a balanced diet, even in times of stress. Research shows that certain foods can impact stress levels—for example, lean proteins and herbal teas can help reduce stress, while refined carbohydrates and caffeine can make you feel more stressed. Yes we know, what we really want to eat when we are stressed is sugar, carbs, and chocolate! Even though you might be craving these foods even more so when you are stressed, we encourage you to try and find some healthier alternatives.

2. Exercise

Stress often causes chronic fatigue, and if that’s the case for you, you may have a hard time summoning the motivation to work out. But it’s important that you find a way to incorporate some type of physical activity into your daily routine. Exercising can stimulate the body to produce endorphins and reduce its levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Try and go for a short 20 minute walk or even march in place while watching your favorite show, a little bit of movement goes a long way.

3. Establish Boundaries

Do you often feel stressed because you’re being pulled in too many directions at once? Setting healthy boundaries may help. For example, at work, this may involve shutting down your computer at a certain time each day, speaking up when you have too much on your plate, and avoiding office gossip. Try and take your lunch break and get out of your office, even if for a short break. Leave at quitting time and avoid the temptation to take work home.

4. Make Time to Relax

When work, school, and family obligations become overwhelming, you may feel like you don’t have any time left over to focus on yourself, but it’s important to carve out time for self-care and relaxation. Think about what brings you peace—whether that’s going to the movies, getting a pedicure, or working on a jigsaw puzzle—and set aside time to do that on a regular basis. It can be as simple as getting a cup of your favorite coffee at a local coffee shop and doing some window shopping all by yourself. Or meeting up with a friend that you haven't seen in a while and catching up.

5. Meditate

Research shows that focusing on what’s going on around you and letting go of any intrusive thoughts and feelings can greatly reduce stress levels. One of the best things about meditation is that it can be done almost anywhere, so you can employ this technique whenever you start to feel stressed throughout the day. Meditation can be done while taking a walk, while sitting in your car, or while you are falling asleep at night.

Need Help Coping With Stress?

If you’re looking to improve your stress management skills, we can help. Contact Bozeman Counseling Center today to schedule an appointment.