- Reduce caffeine, alcohol and nicotine intake
- Get sufficient sleep at night
- Get in daily exercise
- Manage your time
- Positive self-talk
- Spend time with friends and family
Stress is the body’s reaction to any change requiring an adjustment or a response. The body reacts to the changes with physical, mental and emotional responses. Stress comes in everyday life, it is inevitable. Stress can come from work, relationships, financial pressures and any other situations you can think of. We can not completely take the stress out of our lives but it can be limited because stress can become a chronic condition if it can not be managed. There are many steps and procedures that can help reduce stress. Some helpful suggestions to reduce stress are listed below.
1. Reduce caffeine, alcohol and nicotine intake
Obviously, everyone wakes up in the morning and the first thing they want is a big cup of coffee to get them started for the day, but the caffeine in coffee is a stimulant which increases stress and anxiety levels, the same goes for nicotine as it is a stimulant increases stress levels.
Most people think alcohol is only a depressive, that is the case when taken in large quantities, but when it is taken in small quantities it is a stimulant once again increases stress and anxiety, making alcohol to alleviate stress non-helpful.
Try swapping out your caffeinated or alcoholic drinks our for waters herbal teas such as peppermint, chamomile green or many other options, as this will help your body cope and reduce your stress.
2. Get sufficient sleep each night
Lack of sleep is a significant cause of stress, stress is also the reason some people can not sleep because they have thoughts whirling around in their heads. Most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep per night to wake up feeling rested.
Getting yourself in a routine can help you get a sufficient amount of sleep each night. Try going to sleep roughly around the same time each night, training your brain and body to get used to the bedtime routine.
To help sleep maximize relaxation before going to sleep whether that’s lighting a candle or two, taking a warm bath, using a diffuser for aromatherapy or whatever it is that takes away all your reminders of stress. Also, try to avoid caffeine before sleeping as that keeps your brain awake. Doing mentally demanding work before bed also keeps the brain up, if you’re looking to do something before bed try reading a calming book or listening to light music, that will help you forget and reduce your stress levels.
3. Get in daily exercise
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to reduce stress. Putting physical stress on the body can relieve mental stress. People who exercise daily are likely to experience less stress than those who do not. This does not mean you have to do some super hard work-out that’s going to make you sore for days, it could be just a simple walk down the block on your lunch-break, a short jog after work, taking your dog out for a walk, a yoga or Zumba class, it could be anything that you want. It gets you in a different frame of mind and a change of scenery from what was giving you stress.
Exercising lowers your bodies stress hormones, releasing endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as painkillers. Physical exercise can be used as a surrogate to metabolize the excessive stress hormones to restore your body and mind to a calmer more relaxed state reducing stress levels
4. Manage your time
At some point in your life you will feel overwhelmed by all of the things you have to do in just one day or a week, and you may think it’s impossible to get everything done on time. To manage time make a to-do list, or plan everything out in an agenda, find some way to put everything down on paper that you need to do list the most important things towards the top.
Also breaking things up into urgent and important helps in prioritizing your time especially a daily workload. It enables you to do the “urgent” things first that might not be on a list, like answering an important phone call that comes in, or having a last-minute client come in. Which also leads to flexibility, you have to leave extra space in your time management because things do not always go as planned things pop up unexpectedly.
If you have weekly or daily tasks that you always have to do, try to do them at the same time each day to burn it into muscle memory making it easier to remember and forming a schedule making it less likely to forget things. These are all time management strategies to help reduce daily stress.
5. Positive self-talk
Let’s be honest here, everyone talks to themselves. Sometimes you say it out loud other times you just say it in your head. Negative self- talk will increase your stress, making it harder to reduce stress levels. The saying is your glass half-empty or half-full is a good way to remember the difference between positive and negative self-talk.
Positive thinking comes with optimism and is a key part of the effectiveness of stress reduction. Approach unpleasant situations with a positive mindset. Thinking the best will happen not the worst. Going into situations with a negative mindset raises stress levels thinking only bad things are going to happen. Going into things with a positive mindset reduces stress because you are thinking only good things are going to happen.
If you have negative self-talk you can easily turn it into positive self-talk you just have to have the right mindset, a few examples below
Negative: I’ve never done this before
Positive: It’s an opportunity to learn something new
Negative: It’s too hard
Positive: I’m going to look at this from a different perspective
There are always positives to the negatives and finding those will ultimately reduce stress levels.
6.Spending time with family and friends
Social support from your family and friends can help reduce stress. Being around people that bring joy and happiness to you tends to reduce stress, making you even forget about hat was giving you a hard time. hey give you a sense of belonging and self-worth
Spending time with your loved ones also tends to make you laugh and be happier. Laughing relieves stress by relieving tension and relaxing your muscles.
Meditation brings short-term stress relief as well as lasting stress management health-benefits. Meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and reduce and stream of thoughts that are jumbled in your mind causing stress. There are many different types of meditation.
Basic Mindfulness Meditation
Involves increased awareness of the present moment, it can be utilized anywhere and can bring lasting stress relief benefits, considered one of the easiest meditations. Any activity you perform where you stay completely present can count as mindfulness meditation.
Loving Kindness Meditation
A very simple meditation to perform and carries the benefit of stress reduction and satisfaction of life. This feel-good meditation technique involves focusing on the positives of yourself, your close friends and your loved ones, forgetting about all the stress that’s been in your life
Body Scan Meditation
Stress often comes in the form of tension in the body. Some people do not think of this as stress, but it is just a different form. This stress can be reduced with body scan meditation. This can help you get in touch with your physical stress and help you release it.