Stress is quite prevalent today. Although you may feel like you're alone when the feeling of panic strikes, rest assured that this isn't true.

According to the American Psychological Association, stress is so prevalent today that it's becoming a public health crisis. In fact, most Americans suffer from a moderate to a high amount of stress daily. This is mainly caused by worrying about things like finances, work, and the state of the economy.
When you're concerned about your health, you'll understand that stress isn't something you want to deal with over the long-term. It has you living in a continuous stress of heightened awareness that isn't good for your heart or blood pressure. For this reason, you really need to find healthy ways of combatting the stress you face in your life.

Take Time to Self Care

Self-care is the number one best way to destress today. There are many great ways you can do this, including:
• Take time to meditate or do yoga. Doing so changes your brain's neural pathways so you're more resilient to stress. This is especially true when you focus on a positive mantra, such as “I love myself.”
• Take some time to get together with your friends and do something fun. Share with them what's going on in your life. This gives you a new perspective on your issues too.
• When you only have 10 minutes to decompress, put a warm heat wrap around your neck and shoulders, close your eyes, and relax. Once you remove the wrap, try rolling a massager over your back and feel your tension melt away.
• Head to the gym daily. While this may seem like a lot, but Fitness Magazine says you should do 30 minutes of cardio exercise every day. This includes anything that raises your heart rate, including running, brisk walking, swimming, and biking. You should also do strength training at least twice a week such as squats, push-ups, lunges, weight training, planks, and jumping jacks. These release feel-good chemicals in your brain that help you deal with stress. When you don't have time for these things, park further from a store, take the steps instead of the elevator, or go for a short walk.

5 Minutes to Decompress

Stop saying you're stressed because you don't have enough time to decompress. This simply isn't true. All it takes is 5 minutes to decompress thanks to these quick and easy ideas, which include:
• Take 5 minutes out of your busy day, sit up straight in your chair, and take several deep breaths – inhaling slowly through your nose, feeling it travel through your body, and exhale again. This counters stress' effects by slowing your heart rate and lowering your blood pressure.
• Slow down and be present in the moment for just 5 minutes. This is enough for you to stop your thoughts from racing ahead of you. Whether you're noticing how the wind feels as you're walking down the street or enjoy the way the food feels and tastes in your mouth. Regardless of what you choose to do, you're giving yourself some reprieve from your stress for a while. This should make you feel a lot less tense.
• In a way that's similar to slowing down for a few moments, try tuning into your own body. Instead of paying attention to what's going on around you, pay attention to what's going on inside of you. Take 5 minutes to mentally scan your entire body to see how stress is affecting it. Start by lying on your back or sitting with your feet on the floor and working from there up through your scalp, paying attention to how your body feels. Notice where you feel tight and imagine a deep breath flowing to that part of your body. Repeat this process until you work your way through your entire body.
• Laughing really helps you feel better mentally. This is because it lowers your cortisol level, which is your body's stress hormone. It also boosts the brain chemicals responsible for your mood, which are known as endorphins. So, watch a sitcom or video, read some comics, or chat with a friend who can make you smile.
• Listen to some soothing music. Create a playlist for yourself full of the sounds of nature like the ocean, a bubbling brook or some birds chirping. Focus on the different parts of these sounds and allow them to lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety level. Another great option is blasting the radio and dancing around a bit – it adds some exercise to your life too.
• Create a gratitude journal. It wouldn't even hurt to keep several of them so you always have one nearby – by your bed, in your bag, and at work or school. Every time you think of something you feel grateful for, add it to your journal. Every time you feel down, pick up one of your journals and read through what you're thankful for in your life.

Talk Dirty To Someone

This may come as somewhat of a surprise, but you really should try to talk dirty with someone. Although this will probably take you far out of your comfort zone, this is actually part of the reason it's so good for you. The adult chat will help divert your mind. If you're single and alone or you're a really shy person, you can always give adult chatrooms a try. There you'll enjoy the privacy of “hiding” behind a computer screen while giving dirty talking a try.
Now that you understand how bad stress is for you and see that there are some things you can do about it, you should take the time to do so. Many of these things are actually quite fun while many others don't need much of a time commitment from you at all. So, you really don't have any reason not to get your stress level in check and start living a healthier lifestyle today.

Author's Bio: 

Caitlyn Lowe is a lifestyle writer since 2011. Graduated from Unversity of Florida in Psychology Major. She loves to write about lifestyle, human psychology and relationship.