Five Tips for Reducing Your Stress Levels
Stress is a normal part of life, but over time, it can negatively impact your health. People with increased stress levels are at a higher risk of illnesses like high blood pressure, heart disease, and even diabetes. Fortunately, there are plenty of stress reduction techniques that can reduce your chances of facing these health risks. Even if you have a busy schedule, just a few minor lifestyle changes can make a huge impact.
Many people spend a lot of time dwelling on the past or the future. This way of thinking, while common, can contribute to high levels of stress.
Mindfulness, on the other hand, is a way of thinking that helps you stay in the present. The best way to implement mindfulness is through periodic meditation sessions. No matter how busy your life may be, a ten-minute meditation is likely to fit somewhere in your schedule.
Practicing mindfulness is easier said than done, though. If you find yourself struggling, you may want to join a guided meditation class. Your tutor can help you work towards a mindful state of mind, and help you stay there once you’ve reached it.
Once you get in the habit of frequent mindful meditation, you may have an easier time applying mindful thinking throughout your day.
In addition to lowering stress, these meditations can help alleviate symptoms of depression, insomnia, and even physical pain. They can even prevent burnout and help improve your focus, especially if you meditate before work.
Express Yourself Creatively
Finding a creative outlet is an excellent way to reduce stress. Whether it’s ten minutes or an hour, try to set aside some time where you focus entirely on creating. Don’t worry too much about making a masterpiece, as that can lead to more stress — just try to create something.
If you are an artistic person, you may want to express your creativity through drawing or painting. And if you enjoy the written word, it may be helpful to convey your feelings through some poetry. Or, if you’d like to create something more tangible, learning how to knit or crochet might be the creative outlet you’ve been looking for.
While work and other obligations are important, they shouldn’t be the only thing on your to-do list. Once you find the creative hobby that’s best for you, you may notice an overall decrease in your stress levels.
Learn Healthy Habits
Taking care of your body is important in and of itself, but maintaining your health can also help with stress reduction.
It’s easy to fall into unhealthy habits as a coping mechanism. Once you incorporate healthier habits into your lifestyle, however, you will notice a significant improvement in your mood.
Eating healthily can be difficult in a busy and stressful life; to help save time and effort, try preparing your weekly meals ahead of time on your days off.
If you don’t have much experience with cooking healthy food, there are plenty of classes available that can teach you recipes that are easy, nutritious, and most importantly, delicious.
Try to find a workout routine that’s right for you. For some people, going on a morning jog can provide the endorphin boost necessary for a low-stress day. Or if you’d like something a bit more relaxing, yoga might be the way to go.
While you may not realize it, a cluttered living space or workspace can drastically increase your stress levels. Ironically, the thought of re-organizing can send those stress levels even further into the sky.
Even if it seems overwhelming at first, learning how to stay organized and clutter-free can make a huge difference. Once you learn a few decluttering techniques, you can expect your stress levels to drop.
Try not to think of an organization as one big step. Instead, divide it up into smaller segments, and start wherever you feel most comfortable.
Also, remember that you don’t have to do it alone — there are classes available that can assist you in decluttering your living space or workspace, 100% free of judgment.
Decluttering isn’t just about your physical belongings, either. If you have too many obligations, it may be in your best interest to set a few on the back burner for a while, or even eliminate them altogether.
You may feel guilty about backing out of that stressful-yet-optional business trip, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Spend Time With Loved Ones
In times of stress, it can be pretty easy to forget about the people who matter most. When you set aside time to spend with the ones you love, however, you may notice an improvement in your stress levels.
It may also be helpful to talk about your stress with the people in your life. Sometimes, just having someone who will listen to your struggles can make a huge difference.
Stress is an inevitable part of life, but too much of it can be an issue. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to keep it under control.
Once you commit to at least one of these stress reduction techniques, you can expect a significant improvement in your mental and physical health.
Committing to these coping skills can, admittedly, be difficult. Remember that it will only get easier over time, and don’t be afraid to join a class that might help.
Never let your stress get the best of you — your health comes first, so you should always take time to unwind.