Ever have one of those days where you are so stressed that all you want to do was go back to bed? Or are you finding that you are easily irritated or consistently grumpy? Perhaps you need to find some healthy ways and time to help you reduce your stress level.
Stress is a normal part of life, but the type of stress or the chronic nature of stress is not very healthy for our mind or our body. According to an American Psychology Association article, 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress, and 75-90% of all physician office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. (1) In fact, stress is often times labeled the ‘silent killer’ because the risk of constant stress can lead to heart disease, increase in high blood pressure, headaches, digestive and reproductive issues as well as other negative impacts on your body without us even realizing it.
If that weren’t enough, many people spend or lose a lot of money due to doctor visits, missed days at work or on unhealthy coping mechanism for stress such as cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. Which, unfortunately, does not make the actual ‘stress’ go away and may even make it worse.
To ward off the numerous risks and effects stress can have on our daily lives, read the following 15 healthy ways to reduce your stress level.
Whatever form of activity that helps to reduce stress for you, go out and do it.
2) Write in a Journal
Jot down the things that bring you stress and how you think you can manage them. Also include a list of things that bring you joy and happiness.
3) Find your Quite Space
Allow yourself 10-15 minutes a day to be in that space to unwind. Maybe it’s sitting on your porch, taking a coffee break or taking a warm, quiet bath.
4) Pray or Learn to Meditate
If it’s been awhile since you’ve done this, now is the time to begin, again.
5) Learn Breathing Techniques (2)
These techniques are very easy to learn and you can use them anywhere, even in front of people without them knowing. (This is one I use when I fly because I get very nervous.).
Whatever makes you laugh, do more of it! Watch your favorite comedy or videos.
7) Take a Walk
More information from this post ‘Take a Walk to Relieve Stress’.
8) Go Outside & Enjoy Some Fresh Air
There is a lot of literature touting the many benefits of nature and its affect on stress.
9) Take a Break at Work
Yes, you are busy, but taking 5 minutes to walk outside will make you more productive.
10) Listen to Your Favorite Music
Be mindful of the kind of music it is, because some of it can actually have the opposite effect of relaxation.
11) Get a Massage
12) Light Your Favorite Candle or Use Aromatherapy
Certain scents will either relax you, such as lavender, or energize you, such as citrus or lemon. Choose whatever fragrance brings you peace.
13) Don’t Procrastinate
Putting things off will only add to your stress and anxiety, so learn some time management skills.
14) Play with Your Kids
Not only will this help lower your stress level, but you’ll be improving your parental bond with your family.
15) Enjoy Pet Therapy
If you don’t have a pet, you may want to consider the many benefits of pet ownership. However, if the idea of daily feeding, taking care of or cleaning up after a pet brings you anxiety, you can always enjoy pet therapy by visiting your local animal shelter.
For more information about the types of stress and how to cope with overwhelming stress, follow this link at the National Institute of Mental Health.
1) American Psychology Association (2007)
2) Breathing Exercises for Stress Relief (2016) http://stress.about.com/od/tensiontamers/a/Breathing_Ex.htm
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