There is no person today that is not aware of the word “stress” or the ill effects it has on health, happiness, and peace. Individuals young and old are affected by the results of stress in one way or another. For youth, it may be the stress of obtaining a college degree only to find no jobs and faced with student loans. For older individuals, it may be an impending layoff or a negative impact on life savings. For others, it may simply be the demands of working and raising a family.
While stress is rampant everywhere, there are many effective ways to reduce and manage stress on a daily basis.
#1: Take a Time Out
Stress is so well-known and easily accepted in today’s society that it becomes overlooked as part of our day-to-day routine. However, stress should not be part of our everyday lives. It should be a once-in-a-while occurrence as part of life. With the mindset that stress is acceptable and expected, we set ourselves up for making it part of who we are daily. When stress does occur, it is important to step away – even for five minutes, regroup, and take a time out. Sometimes that time out is a way of avoiding further undue stress.
#2: Prepare Yourself Beforehand
Preparing yourself before you are stressed is a great way to reduce stress from the onset. If you know you are heading into a stressful day or event such as a business meeting or a trip to the dentist, preparing yourself beforehand can help alleviate unnecessary stress. A long walk beforehand or deep breathing exercises, or even journaling can release negative and stressful emotions beforehand.
#3: Simplify your Life
This may sound reasonable enough, but for many individuals, time is a difficult commodity. However, if you set aside one weekend and incorporate your family members into the plan, you can simplify your household in no time at all. Get rid of clutter. If you have not used it or looked at in the last six months, chances are you will not. Clutter can cause stress even if it is subliminally. Have a place for everything, keep everything in its place, and get everyone on board. Keys should be on the key hook and coats on the coat rack. This way, when you look for something it is available and within a moment’s grasp.
#4: Incorporate Ancient Healing Arts into Your Life
Yoga and meditation are not so simple any more. There are so many varieties of yoga and meditation these days that you are bound to find something that you adore and that works for you. Grab a friend during lunch break or after work and on the weekends and start practicing relaxation techniques. While it is sad to think that relaxation has to be practiced, once you realize this, it is easier to incorporate into your weekly routine.
#5: Get Enough Sleep
The importance of sleep cannot be stressed enough. Sleep is an integral part of how your day will turn out – whether it is productive or lackluster. Keep a journal for a week or two and see how much sleep you need in order to feel your best and create the most.
#6 Talk it Out
One of the best ways to relieve stress is simply to vent. Find that one good friend who is always willing to listen and have them schedule some listening time for you. Tell them upfront that you wish for them not to necessarily offer any advice but just to listen. This works wonders on relieving stress. It keeps you from holding it all in and allows you to regroup and gain a fresh perspective.
#7: Walk it Off
The old adage about walking off an injury can certainly apply to walking off stress. Walking clears your mind, reduces stress, gives you a clear perspective and insight to what is stressing you out, and offers you the ability to walk away, literally, from a situation.
#8: Hydrate Yourself
As simple as this may sound, being properly hydrated is essential to feel your best. Sometimes an extra glass of herbal tea or iced green tea or plenty of water will keep you feeling refreshed, which in turn will keep you from feeling sleepy. When you are hydrated, you are refreshed and less likely to become irritable.
#9: Plan a Mini-Getaway
Find creative ways from clipping coupons to skipping dining out for a month to save money. Take the saved money and put it in a vacation fund jar. Even if it is just a mini-weekend with your spouse or an overnight stay at a spa, knowing that you have something to look forward to helps relieve stress at the moment.
#10: Live in the Moment
As cliché as it might sound, living in the moment and knowing that in this exact moment you are fine and no matter what the future may bring, you are fine in the here and now can alleviate the stress of the future. After all, anything good can happen at any given moment. Do not sweat the small stuff.
Stress is an all too familiar component of everyday life, but it does not have to be a constant. Practice these tips and make sure that stress is a minute part of your life rather than an everyday part and you will find yourself maintaining stress rather than stress managing you and your life.
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