Stress affects all of us. Whether it’s a work deadline, wondering how you’re going to get the kids to sports or other practice or worrying if you’ll have enough time in the day to get everything done. In fact, 70% of us experience stress everyday. The question is: “How do I become less stressed?” Here are some simple things you can do to help alleviate any type of stress you may be dealing with, read on for Stress: 5 Ways to Exit Survival Mode!
1. Practice Mindfulness & Meditation
By practicing mindfulness, it can help you to be in the present moment. Pay attention to what you are doing now. In this busy world, it’s often hard to slow down, but when you get the chance, do it. Take in the world around you through your senses. This can help your mind and body calm down. Live in the moment and accept yourself for who you are by treating yourself with kindness; just like you would treat a good friend. Bring keen attention to everything you do and be open to new ideas in the process.
2. Physical Activity
Exercise is an important way to help take the edge off of everyday stresses. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience stress than those who do not. Why does exercise help? Well, it boosts the self confidence you have in your body which in turn promotes mental well-being. Exercise also lowers your body’s stress hormones — such as cortisol — in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
Try finding an exercise routine that you actually enjoy. It can be walking, dancing, jogging, yoga or maybe even rock climbing. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you like doing it. Exercises that place demands on large muscle groups (such as jogging, weightlifting etc) can be particularly stress relieving. (Try a set of 50 bodyweight squats or barbell squats with your own bodyweight and you’ll find the stress relief effects almost immediate!)
3. Increase Sleep, Reduce Caffeine
Getting enough sleep is key when it comes to relieving stress. The average adult needs around 7-8 hours of sleep a night to be at an optimal level of functioning. Drinking in too much caffeine (in the form of coffee or energy drinks) can negatively impact your sleep which can lead to you becoming more irritable and stressed out daily.
You do not have to cut out caffeine completely, but remember to drink it in moderation or even switching the type of caffeine you consume. Maybe instead of coffee each morning, switch it out for some tea. Drink teas that include herbs such as holy basil (Tulsi), kava, peppermint, and Xiaoyaosan (XYS).
4. Time Management: Write Things Down
Record what you are stressed out about and try to find ways to help combat that stress. Keeping a journal on what needs to be worked on and what works for you can help relieve stress tremendously. How? Because a problem defined is half solved. The very fact that you’ve got your desired outcome to a challenge written down, makes it that much easier to zero in on the solution, and reach it.
Focus on the positives. Always find out how to turn negatives into positives. Effective time management is another key element to help with stress. By writing down a schedule for the day, you take ownership of the day and see it through. Getting tasks done on time should help decrease the amount of stress you have.
5. Spend Time with Your Family, Friends & Pets
Social support can help alleviate stress. Enjoying time with those you love improves your self-worth and your sense of belongingness. Pets also can improve your mood and reduce the amount of stress you have accumulated throughout the day. So, at the end of the day, connect with friends and/or family or spend time cuddling your furry friend.