There have been times in my life when stress has gotten the best of me and has really gotten me feeling bad. Sometimes, I tend to take my stress out on the people closest to me, but I can't because those are the people I love the most. I have to remember that when life gets super-busy and things pile up and get me stressed, these 10 tactics can help alleviate stress in my everyday life.
1.) Be Mindful
Mindfulness can help you put your mental health first and live in a way that is healthier for your mind and physical well-being. Meditation is a great way to quiet yourself and put yourself in a better frame of mind. Deep breathing is a healthy way to slow your heart from beating too quickly and to relax your body from the inside out. Yoga is a great mindful exercise that will not only help you physically but will help your mind relax as well. Using lavender flowers or oils can help while meditating, as lavender has a calming effect on the body. Taking a long, hot bath helps your body and mind get into a more relaxed state, too.
2.) Eat a Healthy Diet
When we're under pressure and majorly stressed out, sometimes, our diet isn't the first thing on our minds. We tend to reach for convenience foods because they are the easiest things to eat at that moment. A healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins can help reduce the damage stress does to the body. Fish that has omega-3 fatty acids can even reduce the symptoms of stress. Try to avoid caffeine in sodas and energy drinks as well, as caffeine spikes your blood pressure and can cause your body to work too hard before crashing. Stay hydrated with water instead. Sugar works in the same manner, as it will cause your blood sugar to spike and you'll come down from it feeling moody, tired, and sluggish, so try to avoid sugary foods.
Our bodies don't function as well when we don't get enough sleep, regardless of the stress in our lives. But when we don't sleep enough and we're stressed out, it can cause our stressors to take a larger toll on our bodies. It is important to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Try to make yourself drowsy earlier by relaxing, reading, and turning off computer and TV screens, which can keep you awake longer.
We all know that exercise is good for us, but did you know that it helps alleviate stress, too? Get your heart rate up by going for a brisk walk or a quick jog, climb some stairs, or do some jumping jacks to get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Exercise helps ease depression and anxiety by releasing endorphins in your brain and helps battle the effects of stress of your body.
5.) Listen to Music
When we listen to music, we benefit our bodies by lowering our blood pressure, decreasing anxiety, and slowing our heart rate. When you have a playlist of some tunes that help to relax you and put you in a good mood, you can alleviate stress while you rock out in your own headspace. If you're not in the mood for music, try listening to some relaxing sounds such as ocean waves, a flowing stream, or a thunderous rainstorm.
6.) Hang Out With Friends
When we need to relax or we have something on our minds, we can ease some pressure by talking it out. Try hanging out with some friends for a good time or to sit and chat about your stressors. Chances are good that you'll have a great time, plus you may get some good advice about what's stressing you out. Either way, you'll most likely walk away glad that you had some downtime with your closest pals.
When we have a good laugh, we lower our body level of a stress hormone called cortisol and help to get the endorphins flowing, which can help lift our mood. If you are really under some major stress, try seeing your favorite stand-up comedian live, turning on your favorite comedy movie or sitcom, or reading a funny book. You can even listen to some funny podcasts on your phone for some big laughs.
8.) Get a Massage
If you have the opportunity, try getting a massage. The soothing pressure on your muscles will improve your circulation and help your body relax. You'll walk away with a different frame of mind. If a massage isn't in your budget, try giving yourself a foot massage. Try reflexology, which is when you put pressure on different areas of the body to alleviate stress and pain in other parts. Also, try massaging your scalp in the shower. This can alleviate stress as well and leave you feeling a bit more rejuvenated.
9.) Create a Gratitude Journal
Sometimes, when things get to be too much, we need to slow down and think of the good things that we have. Keeping a gratitude journal will allow you to stop, think, and note the things that you are thankful for in life. You can improve your outlook if you stop and ponder what you are grateful for.
10.) Avoid Stressors
When things get to be too much, you have to put yourself in a better position. There are some things that we can't change, but there are also things that we have total control over. Try to avoid things that add more stress to your life. If you can, try saying "no" to the things that you don't really have to do. If there is someone else that can do something, don't feel like you have to take it on. If you find shopping extremely stressful, try online shopping. If traffic gets the best of you, take the longer, less-traveled route. If you get stressed out by current events, turn off the TV, delete news apps, and limit conversations with friends about these events. Sometimes, it is certain people that must be avoided. If someone is a stressor to you, limit the time that you are around them.
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