We’ve all felt stress at some point in our lives. But for many of us, slowing down doesn’t seem to be a possibility. In fact, finding some downtime and taking care of ourselves is a challenge that many people face on a daily basis.
While some stress is healthy for the mind and body, long term stress can have severe physical and mental effects. Severe stress can produce a variety of symptoms including frequent headaches, insomnia, nausea, breathing difficulties, excess anxiety, and fatigue, just to name a few. If you are feeling the effects of stress, you are not alone. Below are my 10 best ways to stress less so that you can enjoy life more and worry less.
Meditation – Meditation and deep breathing techniques have been known for centuries to decrease stress and tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, muscle and joint problems.
Meditation has a tremendous amount of proven benefits. Aside from stress relief, meditation also improves blood circulation, significantly increases serotonin production in the brain (serotonin is a chemical that is responsible for elevating mood and improving behavior), regulates heart rate, and boosts the immune system.
Family Time – If you are feeling overworked and overly tired, sometimes the very best medicine is quality time with those you love. If you are feeling a little frazzled, make time to spend with those people. Take a friend to lunch or take the kids somewhere fun such as roller skating or to the movies. Spending time with good company is sure to help you rest and relax.
Listen to Music – Listening to music is a probably one of the best ways to boost your mood and relieve stress. Music is known to soothe and calm the mind and encourages things like creativity, good judgement, effective decision making, and problem solving skills.
Write it Down – Did you remember to complete the field trip form? Did you send in the contract before the deadline? Remember the milk? Believe it or not, the simple act of writing things down can make a huge difference in your anxiety level. Keep a small notebook handy or use an app like OneNote or Evernote to record important reminders, notes, to do’s, and anything else that might be on your mind.
Get Outside – There is nothing more peaceful then spending some time outside whether it be sitting on a beach, hiking a nature trail in the woods, or skiing on a mountain. Take advantage of opportunities to get outside throughout the day. Eat a meal outside or walk instead of driving whenever possible.
Exercise – Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mind and body. There are many positive physical and mental effects associated with moving your body on a daily basis. And just like meditation, exercise boosts our serotonin levels which is why we often feel peaceful and happy after a workout.
Organize – It’s hard not to be stressed if you are spending half of your day searching for things. Take a few minutes each day to plan ahead for the next. Lay out clothes, plan meals, and review schedules and appointment times. Not only will you be amazed at how much you can accomplish, but you will save yourself so much stress and aggravation.
Sleep – It’s amazing how children dread nap time. But for adults a two-hour nap is similar to discovering the holy grail. All jokes aside, a consistent sleep schedule is key to managing stress. Be realistic about what your body needs. If you need 10 hours of sleep each night to feel refreshed, try to get in bed each evening at your target time.
The Power of Positivity – Keeping the focus on positive thoughts is a fantastic way to calm your anxieties. Regardless of whether you are a positive person by nature, you can still practice positive thinking. Most of the time you will find that we give more energy to situations than we should. The more you practice this strategy the easier it will become to determine what it is important and what is not.
Find A Hobby – In order to be truly happy, it is crucial that you are doing something you love. hhSo maybe you can’t quit your corporate day job to pursue your dream of being an artist but you can “steal” an hour or two each Saturday to paint. Pursue a hobby that makes you feel good and helps to ease your anxiety.
In the everyday hustle and bustle we often forget to enjoy all that life has to offer. Take care of yourself and everything else will fall in place.