Have you ever blown a fuse? Found yourself doing and saying things you later wished you didn’t?  Or, have you ever woken up feeling like you’re carrying the weight of the world, and felt too heavy to get out of bed?

These are the things that happen if you do not find healthy ways to handle stress.

See, most people just try to get through life day-by-day. It’s not until there’s some kind of big meltdown that most people realize they should have been doing a lot more stress management.

The thing about stress is you think you’re fine, for a while. Until you’re not, and one day, you suddenly find yourself in a deep dark hole wondering what has happened. You could find yourself overweight, or sleeping poorly, or lacking any sex drive whatsoever.

So if you don’t find a healthy way to manage stress, things are going to stop working for you. Your relationships will be damaged by your outbursts, your lethargy, or lack of sex drive.

Luckily, there are many healthy ways for you to manage your stress

Being fit is being happy

You may have found yourself in a situation where you were really stressed out. You could’ve started a new job, just had a child, or starting dating someone you’re really attracted to.

All this change can cause a variety of different emotions, from sadness to anger to even fear. Holding in all those emotions can do real damage to your mental and physical health.

Someone once noticed the visible stress I had on my face, and they said, “You should really find an outlet for your aggression. Stop holding on to it.” They invited me to a kickboxing class, and after a class or two, I felt way better.

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to manage stress. It triggers a flood of endorphins that make you feel good.

Since stress affects testosterone too, e.g., why you might have a low sex drive, exercise can help alleviate the negative effects of this. Exercise boosts testosterone, improves blood flow, and gives your pent-up energy a place to go.

Lots of people manage feelings of anxiety by engaging in some kind of high-intensity workout.

Think boxing, weight-training, or an impromptu baseball match with friends. To get the real benefits of high-intensity exercise, you should engage about 2-4 times a week.

The focus that exercise offers also helps take your mind off the bigger stressors of your life. Be creative. There are lots of ways to get that stress out through exercise.

Talk it out

Moving your body is not the only way to melt stress.

Talking about your problems is another way to feel better about what’s going on. Again, it’s about holding it in versus letting it go. You may very well benefit from seeing a talk therapist.

You could also solve a lot of your stress by having a “vent buddy.” The two of you meet up and talk out everything that’s bothering you.

Of course, you don’t want to give them your stress, so you meet up in a comfortable environment. Maybe you play disc golf while you chat, or you pass the football back and forth.

Expressing how you feel in a calm environment can help you come to terms with what you’re dealing with. Plus, knowing you have the support of your friend, and knowing that you are helping them too, is really good for your mental state. Just be sure that these meet-ups are equal, so you listen to them as much as they listen to you.

These are by no means your only options for managing stress in healthy ways. Start to explore those options and see what works for you.

By choosing specific ways to deal with stress, you can remove your worries from places they don’t belong. This frees up a great deal of energy, which you can put to use on more healthy activities.

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