Seven Ways to Reduce Stress
You may feel at times that there is nothing you can do to control it, but actually you have more control than you may realize.
As a matter of fact the mere realization that you are in control of your life is the first and most fundamental step towards managing stress.
The next step is identifying what causes the stress. Your true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Are you able to take a breather and make some time for yourself each day or are you constantly on the run? Do you make excuses for your stress like “Oh it’s okay I work better under pressure” or “I just have a million things to do right now” but you can’t remember the last time you took a break? Do you ignore the physical warning signs of stress like that aching headache or the pain in the shoulders and neck? Do you blame stress on outside events or other people? The key to handling stress is accepting the responsibility of the role you play in creating it in the first place and learning how to cope with it and overcome it. Eventually you will be able to overcome it much faster once you discipline yourself.
Let’s say you haven’t yet reached the point of controlling your stress level but could use a few tips on how to relieve it once it appears. I’ve drafted below seven ways to help reduce stress that you may find you are able to incorporate into your everyday routine.
1) Make sure you take time for yourself each day
Whether you choose several short breaks throughout the day or once early in the morning and again in the evening, give yourself some “me” time. Read, meditate, exercise, watch a movie, write, get a pedicure, take a class on something that interests you, start a hobby.
2) Spend time with friends who make you laugh
You’ve heard the old cliché, “laughter is the best medicine” well, believe it or not, it’s true, at least for stress relief. Make a weekly plan to get together with a close group of friends and share some laughs with each other! Don’t have time for a social gathering? Call someone who is good at bringing up your spirits!
3) Organize one part of your house
One thing I love to do, is feel accomplished and a great way to do this while actually getting something done is by organizing something in your home. Whether it’s a simple cabinet in the kitchen, a cupboard or just a drawer in your office; taking your mind off of situations that are making you stressed and concentrating on something like this will most definitely help relieve your stress as well as give you a great sense of accomplishment. Be careful though if you tend to freak out not knowing where to start. Have you ever looked at a kitchen that is trashed with items in the sink and things scattered all over the counter tops and felt like you just didn’t know where to start? Start small and get something done somewhere then move on to a larger project if you want.
4) Go to the beach
Even if for just a short while; take your shoes off and walk on the sand. Let the water roll over your toes and absorb the essence of all that surrounds you. Listen to the sound of the waves and breathe slow deep breaths. As you walk you will soon realize just how soothing this simple exercise is. Don’t lie down though, keep walking, at a comfortable pace. Don’t live by the beach? A walk beside a river bank works wonders too. Even a creek where the water is trickling down stream is wonderful, the key is to relax your mind and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.
5) Take a walk
This coincides with #4 but a simple walk anywhere is also great for stress reduction. Do you have a dog? Take him or her for a walk, they have to go anyway so make it an excuse to escape for a bit and stroll down the block.
6) Eat your favorite food
Ah comfort food. Is there a particular food you enjoy that no matter when or where you have it, it just instantly makes you feel better? If so then treat yourself to a favorite food break, but do indulge in moderation, especially if it’s something that is not exactly on the healthy food list. The last thing you want to do is overdo it then stress out afterwards that you ate too much, that’s defeating the purpose of the treat!
7) Plan a trip
We all know it’s fun to get away and take a vacation. Sit down and start to write down different places you’d like to travel to. Write down how many days you would like to visit, even if it’s a simple day trip. Plan an escape and soon you will find that you have not only created another outlet of reducing stress, but you will now have something wonderful to look forward to!
There are several ways to reduce stress, too many in fact to place in just one article, but these tips above can really help you not only feel better about yourself but can also make you much more prepared and in control to handle the next hurdle that may come your way!