Stress is a common part of being human - all of us will experience stress at some point in our lives. Stress can even be beneficial in some cases, as it can help temporarily improve focus and strength. However, persistent stress can be detrimental to our health and quality of life. Chronic stress is an underlying cause of many diseases, such as heart disease. While many of us experience stress daily, there are ways to keep it in check. Here are some effective techniques to manage your stress levels!
Although exercise is technically a physical stressor, it can work wonders to lower overall anxiety and promote physical health. The endorphins that exercise can release help improve overall mood. It can also enhance the quality of sleep, which can be a struggle for those with excessive stress.
Spending time with friends and family can provide powerful support during times of stress. They can offer a listening ear and connection. Research shows that friendship can help reduce the effects of stress.
During times of stress, boundaries are critical. Saying no (gracefully) to activities that are not a priority in your life can help lower your stress levels and help you feel more in control.
Although stress may make it more difficult to eat a healthy diet, it is also when it is most needed. Sugar and processed foods can put more stress on the body, and stress can cause the body to use more nutrients than normal, such as magnesium, zinc, calcium, niacin, and iron. A diet rich in these nutrients can help you face your stress more effectively. Lean into more vegetables, complex carbohydrates, fish, eggs, healthy fats, and fruit.
Sleep can be more difficult when we are under stress, but it provides a critical time for the body and mind to rest and recuperate. Improve your sleep quality by utilizing healthy habits. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (even on weekends), avoid electronics 30-60 minutes before bed, get sunlight first thing in the morning, and avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evenings.
While we cannot always change the stressful aspects of our lives, we can change our attitude and perspective on them, which mindfulness helps cultivate. Extensive research has shown that mindfulness can be an effective way to treat stress.
Clutter and mess can contribute to feelings of stress! If you don't have time to deep clean your living area or workspace, at least take a few minutes to remove clutter from your line of sight to help promote a calm atmosphere.
Take a few minutes every day to find some humor. Laughing is shown to reduce feelings of stress. Watch a funny YouTube video or your favorite funny TV show and look for humor in your everyday life.
Modern society is full of stress. Finding simple ways to deal with your stress in a productive manner can help improve your health and overall quality of life.
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