Live Happier! 10 Simple Tips to Reduce Daily Stress
Life isn’t something you can control. Yet you can control how you respond to life, and you don’t have to respond to difficult and challenging situations by feeling distraught or overwhelmed. Such feelings are symptoms of stress, and stress doesn’t just cause insomnia, depression and brain fog. Prolonged stress has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease.
The key is to stop stress before it stops you.
Here are 10 simple daily tips to reduce stress and live happier and healthier.
1. Eat Well-Balanced Meals
Watching what you eat is always a good idea. Eating whole, healthy foods without skipping meals restores balance and reduces the effects of stress on your body. Focus on clean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats to help regulate levels of cortisol (your stress hormones).
2. Get Regular Exercise
Regular exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress for improved mood and physical health. Even taking a short walk outside can be enough to oxygenate your muscles and get your blood pumping. Being physically active in daily activities that require both arm and leg movements are healthy choices for relieving stress.
3. Think Positively
Keep a realistic and positive attitude. Catch yourself in your negative talk (both verbal and internal) and make changes. An example:
It’s important to make an effort to break out of the negative thought-cycle that often accompanies stress. Try this:
Don’t allow the thought to come back. If it does, repeat the above steps to overcome it altogether. If you allow positive thoughts into your mind, you’ll be better equipped to handle stressful situations when they happen, and remember: You can’t control some things.
4. Eliminate Energy Drains
Examine your life, and if something exhausts you or leaches energy from you, let it go. I like the analogy that people and situations are either like taps or drains. Some people and situations are like a tap in that they fill you up with positivity and energy. Others are like drains in that they drain you of energy and cause negativity, and you don’t need that bringing you down. It’s time to let the drains go.
5. Manage Your Time Wisely
Work and home-life schedules can cause stress if you don’t manage your time well. Make a list of all the important things that you need to do and list them in order of priority. Make due dates for each item on your list to ensure you’ll get all your tasks or jobs done.
6. Breathe Deeply
Deep breathing is one of the easiest and best ways to relieve stress. Deep breathing helps transport oxygen to all parts of your body and helps protect against brain fog, depression, anxiety and other symptoms of stress.
Having a few minutes to relax can help relieve the symptoms of stress. It also helps to take a step back from a stressful situation. Getting a massage or listening to music are excellent ways to relax. Or enjoy a bath with essential oils to enhance the calming experience.
8. Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine are stimulants that increase stress levels rather than reducing them. If you can’t avoid them then reduce your intake of caffeine and any drinks containing alcohol. Swap alcohol and caffeinated drinks for water, herbal teas or sparkling water.
9. Stay Hydrated
Stress can cause dehydration, and dehydration can cause stress, as well as other problems like fatigue and headaches. To avoid this, drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and up to 16 glasses a day if you’re active and outdoors for the better part of the day and especially if it’s hot outside.
10. Get More Restful Sleep
Inadequate sleep is a significant cause of stress. Sleep is crucial for maintaining good physical and mental health. When you’re tired, you lower your ability to deal with stress. Aim for at least 7-9 hours of solid sleep every night. (Children age 6-13 should get around 9-11 hours while teens should get around 8-10 hours.) You’ll reduce your stress hormone levels and get your energy back on track.
BONUS TIP: Don’t Stress About De-Stressing!
Sounds funny, right? But believe it or not, many people worry about “doing things right” to de-stress... or doing them long enough... or doing them in the right balance... and all that worrying works against relaxation and piles up stress even more.
If you don’t feel you have enough time each day in your busy schedule to include all the above tips for getting rid of stress, put your mind at ease by taking advantage of a simple way to help keep your stress levels in check.
Nutrients have always been easy and important helpers, and Magnesium is a simple nutrient with a proven track record of promoting deeper sleep, sharper focus and improved mood by reducing stress and anxiety.
The main thing to remember is this: Don’t stress if you can’t fit all the above tips into your schedule every day.
Feel good about the tips you can put into practice. That’s your main takeaway from this article. You can’t control what happens in life, but you always have control over how you respond to life by the choices you make.