In this fast-paced world, change is inevitable. The one thing that you can pretty much count on in life is feeling stressed. LOL! I know, that sounds morbid but it’s true! Have you ever wondered why you have lost motivation in your work? Why you feel tired even when you wake up in the morning? There is a one word answer to these questions and that is “stress”.
Stress is a “germ” that is behind many creepy little illnesses. If not controlled and minimized, increased levels of stress can be very harmful, especially if you are stressed-out for long periods of time. Stress “kills” the mood, lowers our energy and motivation levels and seriously affects our health.
Have you ever considered trying to reduce your stress levels? It is possible! Bear with me as I go through some of the best techniques that I use personally to reduce stress.
If you are super-stressed, this may be the last thing that you feel like doing. You’ll have to force yourself into it at first. It may take a couple of weeks to get your body into gear, but the benefits are absolutely worth it! Researchers have shown that working out stimulates your body fluids, your adrenals and increases the chemicals in your brain that make you feel happier. According to medical research, exercise releases healthy enzymes that detoxify the effects of stress and inflammation on the body. Exercising daily keeps you active (and lively) which in turn helps you work in an efficient manner. Workout as much as possible in a time of your own convenience and make sure you exercise (at least 3 times weekly) for a healthy and stress-free lifestyle.
Meditation is not a mystery technique anymore. Sort out your schedule and give your mind some time to relax and think. It can bring calmness and relaxation in your mind. According to researchers, the neural pathways of brain are altered by meditation, resulting in resistance to stress. Resilience against stress in turn makes you immune and robust physically. There are plenty of apps that can take you through a guided meditation, or I find that I do well with yoga at home. The stretch feels good and my mind feels cleared.
Get up early:
We all know the importance of the phrase, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. This is no hidden secret that waking up early makes you a healthy person. Moreover, waking up early also exposes you to an “environment of peace” (associated with early morning) which helps you in reducing your stress. Do some morning stretches, I find they help to get me moving.
Get enough sleep:
Even though waking up early helps you work efficiently but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t get enough sleep. A normal human being needs eight hours of sleep to perform efficiently. Less sleep will make you dull and hazy and that, in turn, would give rise to stress levels in your brain.
Studies have shown that inflammation gives rise to chronic stress. By consuming good fats (namely omega three fatty acids), inflammation in body can be greatly reduced. Omega three fatty acids stimulate the hormones and enzymes for good. I would suggest an omega supplement. Ignoring your diet can be disastrous. Hence, by managing your diet you can actually work on your stress levels.
Don’t stay inside and in dark places for long periods of time. It induces the gloomy behavior in your personality. Instead get outdoors, socialize with people and make new friends. Join a club or find a class. I’m going to an oil-painting class tonight with friends (should be interesting). Socializing and networking with people is another good option for stress management.
Research shows that those who always keep connected on their gadgets and phones are prone to greater stress levels. Checking your emails frequently and social media updates can induce anxiety. Instead, living a good (yet moderate) social and physically active life can bring you more happiness (than any gadget can bring).
It’s easy to feel numb for moments under pressure and in stressful situations. For those who crack under pressure, practice mindfulness. Staying “present” (both mentally and physically) helps you tackle any given condition of stress. Find something that works for you. Believe it or not, I tend to excuse myself for a moment, freshen up and recite the alphabet mentally while I do some deep breathing. It might sound silly, but when I return to the situation I’m much calmer.
When involved in a stressful situation, it is recommended to breathe deeply. Breathing deeply helps reduce the cortisol levels in the body (which in turn reduce the stress levels). It also lowers the blood pressure temporarily. I breathe in to the count of 5, and then out to the count of 5. Counting helps me to focus on my breath and reduces tension.
Laugh and Cherish:
Last but not the least; enjoy every small moment of happiness in your life. Learn to live happily and in gratitude. Listen to music, sing in your bathroom, laugh loudly, openly and crack jokes. Bake cookies, read inspiring books, and enjoy the mysteries and realities of this world. Focus on that warm cup of coffee and linger on its pleasant taste. Feel the warm comfort and safety of your bed at night. Linger in a hot bubble bath.
Living life to the fullest is the most essential point in getting over the problem of stress in your life. Don’t let anyone destroy your happiness. Be a source of someone else’s happiness and life will bring you joy!
If you found value in this post, or want to say hello – perhaps you have tips to share as well. Please leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!!
Julie Black Xo