By: Michelle Reich Email
By: Michelle Reich Email

Life can get hectic, between school, jobs, kids, and finances, the stress level seems just about at the breaking point. But add on this election, and some people's stress level has gone through the roof. I have friends that are screaming at each other and, in one very crazy case, actually HITTING each other over their differences in opinions in this election. OK so the fighting may have been alcohol induced, but seriously, stress affects people daily and can lead to depression, anger, irritability, and even violence. To help fight this stress, here are some ways to help keep your stress level down, and enjoy life a little more.

1. Identify your stress triggers.

Are you extremely opinionated about politics? Stressing over finances? Just got engaged and are stressed over your coming wedding? These things can all be triggers that make your response to other daily events seem magnified. The only way to be able to manage these stressors is to first identify what causes your raise in stress.

2. Exercise!

I know this his a health blog, and I am always telling you to exercise, but seriously, it is definitely an important way to manage your health. Not only do you burn calories and live healthier, but exercising releases endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that cause people to feel happier. They operate as the body's own narcotic, and make everything in life seem a little less crazy.

3. Breathe!

Taking a step back from any situation that makes you mad or stressed is usually a good way to defuse your temper. Next time you are really angry at someone or something, put it down and walk away. Fight with your boyfriend? Take 20 minutes to walk away and do something else (not go complain to someone about the problem, but something completely different) that is pleasurable to you. This will not only calm you down, but it will allow you to look at the situation in a more constructive way. Arguing with someone about different ideologies and getting extremely frustrated at them? Change the topic. Most people can tell when someone is getting frustrated, and for the sake of whatever social situation that you are in, they will be more then willing to talk about something besides whatever topic is getting you mad. And if they are unwilling to change the topic, take a really deep breathe, count to five, and say that you are happy to just agree to disagree with them.

4. Avoid drinking in certain situations.

Alcohol makes emotions become magnified. If your life is extremely stressful, drinking will only make it seem more so. If you are mad at someone, drinking will only make you angrier. So avoid the magnification. When in social settings (or watching elections and rooting for the underdog) don't drink heavily. You never know who you will run into that will push the right buttons to make you see red. The worst thing that you could do is to drink to much, and make a rash mistake (like hitting someone over a presidential election). Stick to one or two drinks, and keep your stress level down.

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