8 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress
Stress is a major problem for many people and there are a lot of well-known factors that contribute to stress, such as money issues and work problems. There are also small, everyday things that can add up and contribute to your stress.
But, what’s really important is learning to manage it – and reduce it when possible. Here are some tips to help you when you feel overwhelmed by the stressors in your life.
- Tip #1: Mindful breathing is always a good place to start. Rather than just going through your day on autopilot, bring attention to the way you breathe and how it shifts when you are feeling stress or anxiety. When you pay close attention to your breath, you can notice patterns in its rhythm and learn how it changes depending on what emotions are present for you at any given moment.
- Tip #2: Exercise releases endorphins (chemicals that help make you feel happy), which will reduce your levels of cortisol – the hormone associated with most feelings of stress. It’s been shown that people who exercise regularly have lower rates of depression as well as less likelihood of developing health conditions like diabetes later in life. If you are short on time, try taking a walk around your block for twenty minutes.
- Tip #3: Take care of yourself by eating healthy foods that you enjoy and sleeping enough hours each night to keep your stress levels in check.
- Tip #4: Practicing mindfulness is another way to reduce how much tension you carry. When you are mindful, you listen deeply and deliberately so that there is space between what happens to you and your reaction to these events. As this awareness grows over time, you find yourself able to be more accepting of life’s inevitable ups and downs.
- Tip #5: It’s also helpful to keep an eye out for your triggers. What are some things that make you feel stressed? And then, try coming up with ways you may be able to avoid these stressors in the future. A good example might be trying not to check email before bed or taking care not to allow work drama to spill over into your personal life.
- Tip #6: One of the best ways to reduce stress is through developing a sense of gratitude. It’s easy to get caught up in your own personal struggles and forget that you have so much more than many other people in this world! By reflecting regularly on what you are most grateful for, it becomes easier to put your stresses into perspective.
- Tip #7: Research shows almost everyone enjoys “the simple pleasures” such as watching their favorite TV show or taking a hot bath at the end of the day. So while these things may not seem like they do anything for you, they help release tension – so don’t dismiss the importance of taking part in some of your favorite activities at the end of the day.
- Tip #8: Make sure you talk openly with people close to you about how they’re doing, too…you never know who might need some help themselves.
When you’re feeling stressed, it’s essential that you take time for yourself and work through your feelings. Use some of these tips to reduce your stress levels and, hopefully, you’ll be feeling like yourself sooner rather than later.