For some of us, stress is as natural as our morning cup of coffee.With the constant demands of work, school, kids, relationships, and life in general, it can be nearly impossible to relax.But mental health is not something to ignore though we constantly tax it by not getting enough sleep, eating on the run, and forcing ourselves into constant activity.So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, or unhappy, consider the following and ask yourself if you are really doing what is best for you.
A few tips for reducing stress:
1. Get enough sleep
Sleep is crucial to both physical and mental health.Late nights, early mornings, and restless sleep can disrupt our natural sleep cycle and leave us feeling tired, irritated, and even physically sick.A good night sleep can do wonders so make sure that you are setting aside enough time to wind down from your day so that your night sleep is relaxed and refreshing.
2. Eat healthy
Junk food is like poison. Processed foods are full of chemicals and lack the natural nutrients our bodies crave.Eating too much store-bought, processed, or fast food can make you feel lethargic, unable to focus, and even depressed.We function best on fresh, healthy, and well-balanced meals. Take the time to make a freshly prepared meal including a healthy drink, like a strawberry, basil, and limefruit-infused water,
We’ve all heard it before – regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind.Whether it’s just a daily walk or a full workout, exercise causes the brain to release chemicals that make you feel happier and more energized.Plus, improving your physical appearance may give you more confidence and allow you to better cope with stress.
There are thousands of studies that show that mediation is an amazing tool for reducing stress.But although there are many resources on mediation, you do not necessarily have to take a class or read a book to benefit from it.Just sit or walk quietly and let your thoughts settle.A common cause and/or effect from stress is cycling thoughts.Mediation gives you the space and time to calm these racing thoughts and to look at things from a new and hopefully more positive perspective.
5. Analyze your thinking
Somewhat in line with mediation is simply stepping back for a moment and sorting out what is causing you stress.Stress can be caused by negative thinking, worries about uncontrollable or future events, or feeling overwhelmed.Once you isolate the problem you’ll be better able to deal with it.Sometimes just thinking positively and about present issues can help a lot.
6. Make the time
In our world of constant activity we typically do not leave time for the simple and wonderful things of life.These things – a walk, a family meal, a trip for ice cream, playing with the dog, reading a great book– are life’s little joys.Making time for them forces us to set our work and stresses aside for the moment and just focus on something we love.
7. Appreciate the arts
Whether it’s music, art, film, or dance – the arts can be extremely cathartic.When stress builds up we need a way to release our pain, frustration, and nervous energy.So listen to a favorite song and sing at the top of your voice, throw paint onto a canvas for a while, or work on a new dance routine.Whatever your favorite creative expression, use it to channel any negative feelings or emotions.
8. Look forward to something
When it seems like there is nothing exciting on the horizon, we can become depressed and feel that the days are long and meaningless.So make an effort to always have something that you’re looking forward to. It can be as small as a phone call with a friend or as large as a trip to New York City.Plan activities and events to break up the week and give each day something worth getting up for.