Ways to Reduce Stress
Our lives are full of stress every day. It can be little things or big things. Everyone experiences some amount of stress, but there are things you can do to get your stress under control and feel more relaxed. It’s very important to lower stress levels because stress has been referred to as “the silent killer”. It can lead to other health issues and increase your risk of many conditions like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression, diabetes, and stomach issues. Stress doesn’t just make us feel horrible emotionally, it takes a toll on our physical health as well. There are many methods of coping with stress that have been proven to be effective, you just have to find what works best for you.
Going outside and “taking a breather” has been proven to reduce stress levels. A healthy amount of exposure to the sun is good for lowering stress and anxiety. Taking time out of your day to dedicate to just relaxing and sitting outside, or taking a mindful walk, can have very positive effects on lowering your amount of stress.
Engage in Activities
A lot of the time we have the tendency to get in our heads and overthink when we are stressed out. Our minds spiral with negativity and never ending “what ifs”. To quiet your mind, engage in an activity that will keep your brains and your body busy. Some great examples are coloring, painting, baking from scratch, and sewing. Your brain will have to focus on the activity, clearing it of the thoughts that were adding to your stress.
Mindful breathing can boost our happiness and make us feel like a weight is lifted off our shoulders. When you breathe with intention, it tells your brain and body to relax and makes you slow down for a minute. Focus on your breathing or research different breathing techniques for stress reduction.
Exercising produces endorphins which help reduce stress. When you push yourself hard, but not too hard, it helps your brain and body relax and focus on the task at hand. Not only does exercising clear your mind, it also helps boost your sense of well-being.
Keep a Journal
There are many forms of journaling that can be therapeutic for stress. You can keep a gratitude journal and make note of all the things you’re thankful for in your life or you can track your stress triggers and make note of them so you are more aware of what stresses you out and can better cope with them. Even just writing down your thoughts can be helpful when dealing with stress. There is no wrong way to journal, so start writing!