How to Stress Less
Stress is a big issue for a lot of us. There’s stressful and demanding jobs, the constant pressure to do bigger and better things, hectic home lives and it just seems like there is no way to slow down.
Stress is our body’s way of responding to any kind of demand. When you’re stressed, whether it be due to bad or good experiences, your muscles tense up, you breathe faster in an effort to distribute oxygen and blood quickly to your body’s core, your heart rate and blood sugar level increases.
We can’t eliminate stress from our lives completely, but we all know a little bit too well that too much stress can wreak havoc on our bodies and eventually cause a burnout. So, how about we try to stress less and live more?
We don’t all get stressed about the same things in our lives, that’s why there is no one-size-fits-all solution to dealing with stress. However, there is one thing that can work for everyone and that’s breathing. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to our brains and this helps stimulate our nervous system, which helps us get to a state of calmness.
KNOW HOW TO TAKE A BREAK
This is something that I definitely use to be guilty of and something that had to constantly work on: knowing when to take a break and just relax and calm myself down. When you’re trying to do 10 things at once, or constantly working and not getting much rest, eventually you’ll start spreading yourself thin. Self-care is something that’s really important, especially during the time of stress. Try turning off your phone, grab a good book or do something relaxing you enjoy to calm yourself down. Especially if you don’t do it too often, you need to find that time just for yourself, when you can relax a little and take a break-even if it’s just for 10 minutes. You can take a nap; have a bath, prepare an epic meal for one, read a book- whatever it is that you enjoy doing. Don’t think of it as being unproductive, selfish or lazy- think of it as a necessity.
When you feel stressed, the best place to get some exercise is outdoors – get a good dose of the fresh air and get your body moving. Even if it’s just a brisk walk. You can also work out. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know how most of us feel about working out, but as you feel yourself going the extra mile of doing that one more pushup, you will feel the stress leaving your body. Take all that stress out on that workout. By the time you are done you will feel so much better.
STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF
Sometimes we get upset about really small things – someone cuts you off on a highway, you had a small argument with someone at work. Once those things happen, they’re just a thought in your head and you can either choose to let it go, or you can dwell on it and overthink it which eventually leads to you feeling anxious and stressed. Let that crap go! This is what really made a big difference in my life and even though there are times when I get stressed about “little” things, I noticed that even if I do get upset about something small, I just let it go after a few minutes and never let it ruin my day. When you start feeling like you are getting upset about something small – step away from the situation for a few seconds, close your eyes and take a deep breath and ask yourself “am I really going to let this affect my mood?”