10 Ways to Reduce Stress
Stress a is a major problem for most people. Pressure from work, maintaining a home, raising a family and financial worries can all contribute to intense stress. Who doesn’t have a long list of jobs that need doing and never enough time to do them all!
Managing your stress is essential for your wellbeing and practicing natural ways to reduce your stress levels is the only sensible way to maintain the long-term benefits. Chronic stress can lead to both minor and major health problems such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, depression and asthma. Unhealthy lifestyle such as not getting sufficient sleep, smoking, not exercising and eating an unhealthy diet can also result in stress.
A completely stress-free life probably isn’t possible to achieve. In fact, a little stress can be beneficial in that it challenges and motivates us to accomplish our goals and desires. However, most of the stress we encounter in our lives is unnecessary. We can eliminate or reduce stress to a more manageable level by taking a few simple steps.
Here are 10 natural ways that will have a positive effect in lowering your stress levels. Cultivate the habits that you think will work best. Do give them a try.
#1 – Do One Thing At A Time
Doing one thing at a time is the simplest and quickest way to start reducing your stress levels. No more multi-tasking, just perform one task at a time. Need to pay some bills, wash clothes or make dinner? Do only one of these jobs at a time. Preparing a meal while simultaneously making a phone call and loading the dishwasher is a recipe to send your stress levels through the roof. Focusing on just one task will take practice and some self-control, but keep practicing and your stress level will reap the benefits.
#2 – Slow Down
Stop rushing through your day and learn to take things slow. You may feel by performing tasks quickly, having a quick lunch or missing tea breaks you are being more productive, but you are probably also sending your stress levels through the roof. Just slowing down can make a dramatic change to the amount of stress you feel throughout the day.
#3 – Be Silent
Schedule five minutes a few times through the day when you disconnect yourself from the world. Turn off your phone, TV, radio, doorbell, tablet and laptop. Anything that makes a noise can distract your mind. Then just sit back, relax and enjoy the silence that gives you inner peace.
#4 – Stop Procrastinating
Everybody has a tendency to procrastinate, putting off unwanted tasks to another time or even forever. The problem with allowing work to pile up is that it can often lead to more problems that could have been avoided had the job been completed earlier, thus causing even more issues you need to solve and sending your stress levels through the roof. The good news though is that making a few changes to your lifestyle will help you overcome a tendency to procrastinate and help stop you feeling so stressed.
#5 – Get Active
Our bodies weren’t made to sit in a chair all day. Studies show that getting outdoors and taking daily exercise is a great stress reliever as well as all the other well-known health benefits. So make sure to do some physical activity every day – take a brisk walk, go hiking, ride a bicycle, take up a sport etc. It doesn’t need to be an intense session to de-stress you; a 2 or 3 minute walk can be enough to clear your mind and calm you down.
#6 – Get Organized
A disorganized work area can cause you to have difficulty in concentrating and have a lack of focus, both of which can make a task more difficult and time-consuming and make you feel stressed. Try removing any unnecessary items from your desk keeping only what’s needed for your work in front of you.
#7 – Prioritize Tasks
Prioritize by eliminating any jobs that are non-essential from your day will give you more time and energy to focus on the remaining important tasks and in turn reduce your stress. Also, consider which tasks you perform daily that stresses you the most. Weigh up the amount of stress caused by performing the task by the value to you of completing it. It’s quite possible some jobs just aren’t worth the anxiety they cause.
#8 – Do Something You Enjoy to Relax
Relaxation is different for different people, one person may find rock climbing relaxing, another lying on the sofa reading a book. Whatever your preference, making time to relax and forgetting your worries is vital to managing stress.
#9 – Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is the time for your body to repair itself and your brain’s chance to put it’s feet up and relax. Insufficient or inconsistent sleep can have many detrimental health consequences but it doesn’t only affect our physical health. A lack of sleep can also increase our levels of anxiety. Taking steps to sleep well means you’ll start the day rested, refreshed and less stressed. A few suggestions include eating a light dinner and not snacking during the evening and not looking at any screens an hour or two before bed.
#10 – Meditate
Stress can cause your mind to race making it difficult for you to relax or sleep. Meditation is a popular form of stress management. It not only control your racing thoughts, your emotions and relax your body, but can also increase your self-esteem and feelings of optimism. As little as 15 minutes a day of quiet meditation can make a huge impact in reducing your stress levels, increase your resilience to stress, and improve your general well-being.