“I feel overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do and I don’t know where to start. I’m stressed out, but I don’t know how to change it.”

These are all too familiar phrases for many of us as we navigate the busy seasons in life. Stress and anxiety can be a vicious cycle, making the best of us feel powerless. But, it’s not hopeless—there are ways for you to break out of the cycle and live a more confident life.

At Novara, we know there are a myriad of reasons that cause increased anxiety in your life.

Reasons for stress can be related to jobs, relationships, health concerns, emotional issues, and even daily life. The American Psychology Association’s recent research shows that our attachment to smartphones and other technology is playing a role in anxiety levels. For instance, these APA studies show that Americans who constantly check their work email—even on their days off—report elevated stress levels. While technology has made workflow easier, practicing moderation is key.

In a world of constant distractions, there’s hope. Try putting a few of these helpful principles into practice and enjoy a happier life.

  1. Understand the cause of your stress

    Take time to find out the reason for your anxiety and stress. Is it your work responsibilities? Is a relationship or friendship causing stress? Or perhaps you’re scheduling too much and don’t have enough time to get everything done? Make a list of all the possibilities to help narrow down the causes. By assessing the cause of your anxiety, you can better understand what steps you need to take to find relief.

  2. Refocus your priorities

    Once you have an idea of the causes of your stress, it’s a good time to assess your priorities. What can you take off your list? Ideally, you should focus only on 2 or 3 tasks a day—giving you the opportunity to achieve your goals and boost your confidence. The point of prioritizing is to help you say “no” to an overload of tasks. This reprioritization also offers you the opportunity to carve out time in your schedule for necessities like sleep and exercise.

  3. Breathe. Just breathe.

    When stress and anxiety are at their peak—stop what you’re doing and breathe. Take 10 deep breaths and allow yourself to relax. In the time it takes you to finish those 10 deep breaths, you’ll be able to refocus your mind and face the problem in front of you.

  4. Seek help

    There is no shame in seeking advice from a professional if you are struggling to manage your stress or anxiety on your own. Our patients have told us that sometimes admitting they are anxious brought their stress levels down. Just knowing that you’re not alone is a great relief. We’ve helped numerous patients change their lifestyles so they can spend time on activities that bring them joy.

Put these principles into action and let them guide you toward wellness. It’s not about finding a quick solution—it’s about taking small steps to help ease your stress and anxiety regularly. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?