10 Ways To Reduce Stress
Today many of us live in very stressful worlds. Often our home and outside work and school lives are just as busy as our days. This puts a tremendous pressure on all of us. In this article 10 ways to easily reduce everyday stress will be explored.
Stress tends to be associated with negative energy. However it is in fact a driver since it can motivate us to get things done, to push ourselves into action and to achieve more than we otherwise would.
This type of “good” stress is termed “eustress”, it essentially gives us a positive, feel good sensation.
However the other side of stress is anxiety, increased heart rate, palpitations even and sometimes a sense that there is not enough hours in the day. Whilst this too might give a person a certain degree of urgency to get tasks done and to fit a lot in the day, too much of this type can cause diseases like diabetes 2, high blood pressure and at worse cancer and heart attacks.
So as we can see it is very important for people to manage, reduce and even prevent high levels of this type of stress. Now we have established that stress is indeed a major problem in our world, what are some things we can do to reduce it?
1. Get a minimum of 7-9 hours sleep. Many people do not even get six hours sleep. This adds to overall stress not to mention weight gain. Also being sleep deficient means the mind and body are less able to cope with sudden demands including increased stress or workload than when well rested the night before.
2. More balance. Instead of fitting more into your day, try and plan a little less. Allow some time out for “you”. This can be just meditating, walking, easy exercise such as jogging or swimming. Alternatively if you are not at all sporty see a movie weekly.
3. In line with more balance say “No” more often when others ask too much of you or you feel that you really cannot commit to something. People will understand you are not the saint or martyr they thought you were! We have all been there at different stages in our lives when we get so caught up in helping other people we simply forget to care for ourselves!
4. Eat healthily, this will prepare your body for any increased stress (or pollutant stress) if you live in a big city. Many vitamins and foods prepare the body naturally for periods of high stress, it is just we have forgotten this in our modern society. Lots of vegetables, salads, fruits and fresh water instead of processed foods, take away, restaurant meals and of course junk food!
5. Exercise. Aside from time for you there is a need for some active exercise at least 3-4 times a week. It can be walking, swimming, jogging or something more adventurous like sailing or kayaking.
6. Watch less TV. TV as well as making us all “couch potatoes” focuses on the negative, on what others have, on the failings of society (and there are many!). So selectively pick programs that make you feel good such as comedy, old fashioned films and feel good programs. Sure you might want to watch the odd trashy reality show but don’t fill your mind with it.
7. Friends. Friendships in life are so important but choose wisely. It is very easy to fall in with a group of friends and think they will always be your friends, that they will always match your interest. This we find as we get older is not the case. If we fail to recognize this we can stagnate, cease growing as individuals and in extreme cases do our emotional and personal development health harm by continuing to hang out with certain groups of friends.
8. Stimulate your mind. Whether you are actively studying or just do a crossword or study a language part-time, keep working out your mind in the same way you do your body. Studies have shown that people keeping their brain active are less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
9. Family. Spend time with the family you have when you have them. Of course in the transient work world we now live in with people often dispersed countries apart, it is not always possible to spend time with family.
However when you do, relish it. When it comes to your own immediate family, cherish it, nurture it. It will not assist in your overall health and sense of well being but it will give you a sense of purpose outside your career goals and life.
10. Spirituality. Whether you have an organized religion or your own belief in a universal God this is perhaps one of the greatest stress relievers.
When all else seems awry and there seems no answer to problems and awkward situations, reflecting on a higher being has been shown to reduce stress levels and increase the overall well being of people.
At the same time as undertaking spiritual activities such as praying, reading a religious text, incense can be burned to create a sense of being in a special place and an allocated time in the day, put aside to escape the “noise” we all experience in the busy everyday world.
Finally it goes without saying remember to breathe more deeply and slowly and this alone will increase your overall health!