At some point (or maybe just about every point) in your life, you’re likely to experience stress. Whether you’re feeling the pressure at work, school or in a relationship, getting stressed out has practically become a way of living for some people. It’s no secret that the stress levels of the average American have gone up, and with the “more work, less play” mentality that so many of us have adopted, it’s no wonder.
We’ll be the first to admit that stress can put a chokehold on our lives, but we’re also big believers in doing what you can to reduce stress. Considering the horrible effects it can have on your body (like hair loss, migraines, acne and more), it’s important to identify the issue and learn how to deal. Here, we’ve mapped out eight tips for reducing your stress and getting you back on track to a happy, healthy mind and body. Read on!
1. Make time for you: Even if it’s just for five minutes a day, schedule in time you can spend just being by yourself. We always take time to write “Meeting with Friend” or “Phone Call With Boss” in our agendas, but we don’t take that much care when it comes to ourselves. Make a point to carve out purposeful “you” time once or twice a day, and you’ll be able to answer to no one but yourself, giving you peace of mind.
2. Change your diet: When you don’t feed your body with the right foods, your energy and hormone levels can dip, causing a rise in stress levels. Pair carbs with proteins so your body can properly metabolize, as eating carbs alone can drag you down. Also, cut out unnecessary junk foods with tons of sugar or salt. Having a few cookies is fine every now and again, but don’t make it an every day dessert.
3. Learn to say no: If you’re someone who says “yes” to everything, you’re not in for the stress-free life. Learning to say no is tough, especially when you’re saying it to people you want to say yes to. But sooner or later, a plate that’s too full will fall onto the ground, leaving you with a giant mess. If you’ve got three options in front of you, pick the two you like best and stick with them.
4. Identify the issue: Nothing solves a problem faster than identifying the cause. If you’re stressed about finishing a project on time, map out a timeline for yourself with attainable deadlines. When you’re stressed about money, sit down and figure out a budget for yourself. If your relationship is making you worried, talk it out with your significant other. Whatever you do, don’t let the problem go neglected for long.
5. Turn up the volume: Before you go any further in life, make yourself a playlist for every dip on life’s emotional roller coaster so you can be prepared at all times. We suggest a “Need to Relax” or “Down Time” playlist for the times when you need music to drown out your stressed out inner monologue. You know which music helps you wind down, so whether it’s rock or rap, choose your favorite 20 songs or so and melt away stress with that playlist.
6. Count your blessings: Many times, we put too much emphasis on the negatives in our life instead of the positives. A funny thing happens, though, when you shift that focus to the good in your life: You start to appreciate the good instead of stressing about the bad. The next time you feel weighed down, start thinking about what you appreciate in life instead. We promise you’ll feel better.
7. Make exercise a priority: Not only does exercise raise mood-boosting hormones in your body, it also helps to get you on a more regular sleep cycle. Lack of sleep can lead to stress (and worse), so figuring out how to make yourself healthy through exercise will have a domino effect on the rest of you.
8. Put down the gadgets: The more time you spend on your iPhone and tablet, the less real life living you get to experience. It’s proven that women who spend most of there time on social media sites have lower self esteem (always comparing themselves to others), plus time on your screens has also been linked to a decrease in sleep. All in all, give yourself a break from technology regularly. Unplug your computer and your mind will be relieved.
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