8 Tips To A Less Stressed Life
Who in the modern world does not know the feeling of being stressed? Whatever your job may be, whatever level of income, wherever you live, you know exactly how it feels to have those moments in life when you feel out of control. There are deadlines to be met, kids to be picked up, health issues to deal with, bills to be paid, an annoying colleague to work with, traffic to sit through, a bad patch in a relationship to work out (or not)…the list is never ending.
You are not alone; we all go through those moments, every single one of us. The problem is that so many of us go through those moments without thinking of the appropriate ways to respond, thereby causing a chain reaction of negative thoughts, emotions and actions. Don’t we all start to take things out on the wrong person or situation when another situation was the original stress inducer? (Yelling at a spouse after a bad day at work or cutting someone off because someone just cut you off in traffic?)
There are such simple things to remember and do on a daily basis that can significantly and dramatically change how we deal with stressful situations in life.
- Close your eyes and breathe deeply. We all forget to do this in high stress moments, reducing our intake of oxygen and thereby decreasing our sense of calm and our ability to process thoughts clearly. Sounds silly, but it works. Even if for just a minute, breathe, think, then respond.
- Take a walk in nature while the sun is out. Depending on where you live, this may not always be feasible, but do what you can. Taking a walk and getting to see a bit of sunlight does wonders to refresh both spirit and body, especially for those working jobs that require a lot of sitting. These don’t have to be marathon walks. Even a quick five or ten minute walk has been scientifically proven to ease tensions. Getting a bit of sunlight also uplifts moods.
- Have happy alone time. This may be easier said than done, but having happy alone time is crucial to de-stressing. Ideally, you should have a good half an hour to an hour of alone time a day but a little is better than nothing. If all you can manage is ten minutes a day, then take those ten minutes a day to do whatever it is that focuses on your happiness. Whether it’s locking yourself in a private room and sipping a cup of tea or reading a book, talking to a friend, taking a bubble bath, just dedicate those minutes to you.
- Drink a cup of green tea. Studies in Japan have shown that drinking green tea can uplift moods and relieve depression. The chemical Theanine is reported to have a calming effect on the brain, increasing levels of dopamine and serotonin, both neurotransmitters that are directly linked to how the body perceives stress, depression and anxiety.
- Listen to your favorite music. On your way to or from work, while getting ready in the morning or relaxing in the evening, listen to your favorite music. Whatever music puts you in a good mood.
- Engage in an act of kindness. Numerous studies have proven that doing something nice for others has a dramatic effect on our own sense of well being by increasing levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that controls our feelings of happiness. Engaging in an act of kindness does not require any commitment of money or even time. It can be something as small as allowing someone to cut in front of you in traffic or picking up something that an elderly person dropped on a street or even offering a genuine compliment to someone you know who is having a bad day. A gentle smile and kind word can go a very long way.
- Have a treat a week. Most of us battle with some type of weight issue but all of us share the concern of achieving and maintaining good health. Though eating nutritious foods is of utmost importance in maintaining a healthy weight, balance is also a vital contributor to overall good health. Worldwide studies of the oldest people alive have proven that extreme eating regimes in any one direction is not what yields long and happy lives. The people who have made it to at least 100 years worth of birthdays have all eaten balanced diets that included their favorite treats whether it’s a bowl of ice cream or a piece of cake. All within reason of course. Allow yourself that treat a week and not only will you have something sweet to look forward to, you’ll also have a much better chance of sticking to a healthy routine the rest of the week knowing that you’re not depriving yourself.
- Disconnect from computers and phones. Technology is a fact of life for most of us in the modern world but for the sake of your own sanity and health, take time to completely disconnect from all computers and phones, if not every day then at least, every week. Make do-able rules for yourself and your family to shut down with simple steps like no phone calls during dinner, no emails on Saturdays or no computers in bed.
Just a little every day goes a long way. We’ll be right alongside you trying to de-stress our own lives.