5 ways to reduce stress
If you've desperately been searching for 5 ways to reduce stress, then you've come to the right place. Stress comes in many different forms and if left unattended it can consume our lives and physical wellbeing. This article lists 5 ways to reduce stress levels and each method is easy to achieve.
The journey to a completely stress-free life will take time and patience, as it requires a complete change in your mindset as well as your lifestyle; incorporate these 5 ways to reduce stress into your daily routine slowly and gradually, and you'll begin to see positive changes in your stress levels.
1. Exercise regularly
We all know that exercise can do wonders for your physical health, but have you ever considered the mental health benefits associated with your daily workout? Studies suggest that exercise can actually reduce your stress levels while also fighting against anxiety and depression. Pushing your limits and getting a sweat on actually works to balance out the hormones in your body, working to lower cortisol levels while also releasing endorphins (which are also known as the "happy hormones").
You might think you need to spend hours at the gym or run for miles in order to reap the mental benefits of exercise, but this simply isn't the case; the exercise can be as gentle or intense as you want.
Simply going for a twenty-minute walk is enough to reduce your stress levels and even get away from the stressor itself.
Taking some time to get out of the house or workplace and clear your head can make you evaluate your stress in a different way.
If it's a short term stress, like a work deadline, exercise might allow you to come up with a solution; if it's a long term stressor that you have to deal with, you can use your exercise time to consider how you're going to get on top of your problem and prevent it from overtaking your life.
2. Fix your diet
If you're going to follow any of these 5 ways to reduce stress levels, it should be this one. Believe it or not, food has a significant impact on our mood and while unhealthy chocolate might make you feel great in the short-term, the long term effects are not as positive. Some people cope with stress by binge eating unhealthy and calorie-rich foods as a way to control and deal with their emotions.
Not only is this bad for our physical health, if left unchecked it can also lead to deeper mental and emotional issues.
It's so much better to fill your diet with leafy green vegetables and a variety of fruits.
The vitamins in the food will help keep your stress levels low and also keep you healthy. Stress can take a physical toll on your body and chronic stress can negatively impact the immune system causing you to get ill more often.
If you want to be sure that your body is getting the correct nutrition, then consider incorporating supplements into your lifestyle.
When taken alongside a healthy lifestyle, collagen supplements have been shown to protect cells from oxidative stress, helping you to feel healthier and also appear more youthful. They also are known to boost energy levels, helping you fight the fatigue that usually comes with feeling stressed.
3. Spend time with friends and family
Sometimes, the only thing you need when you're stressed is the love and support of the people you love the most.
No matter what's causing the stress, your family and friends will be more than happy to share the burden.
Simply talking about the stressor and getting it off your chest can put your worries into perspective; your loved ones might also be able to offer some invaluable advice that might solve your dilemma and issue of stress.
Even if you don't want to talk about your stressor, simply being around the most precious people in your life can improve your mood.
Head out and do something you enjoy, like going for a meal or visiting the cinema. Staying in is also an option as having a catch-up and reminiscing over past funny memories is always a great way to de-stress; in fact, scientific studies suggest that laughter can improve your mental health so don't be afraid to let out those belly laughs.
4. Practice meditation
Stress has a habit of invading our every thought and even preventing some people from getting a full night's sleep; one solution for putting these negative thoughts to rest is meditation.
You would be surprised at just how effective sitting in silence and trying to clear your mind can be, but many studies have found that regular meditation sessions, can reduce cortisol levels and may even help people with anxiety and depression.
Meditation doesn't come naturally for everyone, so consider following a beginner's meditative app or programme that can teach you the art of breathing, and fully grounding yourself in the present.
Over time, meditation will be second nature to you and you will be able to employ the techniques as soon as a stressful situation begins to surface.
5. Have a technology detox
Technology has enriched our lives, creating many monetary and creative opportunities for people to explore.
However, there is also a dark side to social media that can negatively impact our mental health and stress levels. According to a 2017 survey, 1 in 5 people highlighted technology as a significant source of stress in their lives. Perhaps you're negatively influenced by social media, or maybe you rely on technology for your income; whatever the reason, it might be time for a digital detox. Take some time away from the screens by going on a family trip, or simply switching your phone off for the weekend.
Even if you're not directly stressed out by technology, have you ever considered if it's disrupting your sleep pattern? Our technological devices emit blue light that has been shown to disrupt our sleep patterns. If you wake each morning feeling exhausted, try sleeping with your phone in another room.
How many of these 5 ways to reduce stress levels are you going to incorporate into your everyday life? With some simple diet and lifestyle changes, you could be on your way to a stress-free life; not only will you look and feel better, but you'll also be a much happier person.