Best Easy Ways to Manage Stress Everyday–
Stress and anxiety are often the most common experiences in modern life and unfortunately can be very toxic to our minds and bodies. Chronic stress is at epidemic levels across all age groups from young adults to seniors and is the main cause behind so many chronic health conditions. Work, personal relationships, children, finances, pets, almost anything can cause daily stress. When daily stress becomes chronic stress, risk of chronic disease escalates. Luckily, there are many ways to quickly reduce stress so you can stay in balance physically and emotionally day to day. The key is to figure out what works best for you and turn them into daily habits. The following is a list of my 12 best stress management tips that you can easily implement into your daily lifestyle.
1. Take Deep Breaths
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress. Belly breathing is a technique where you fill your belly up with air and then let it out slowly. Take a few minutes to inhale slowly and deeply through your nose and then exhale slowly through your mouth. As you blow the air out, keep your lips slightly open and blow slowly. Deep breathing sends messages to our brains to calm down and relax.
If you ask an expert on how to better manage stress, the simplest answer is to meditate. Numerous studies have shown that those who meditate a greater sense of wellbeing thus lower stress levels. Meditation releases chemical in the brain that lower stress. There are many forms of meditation available; you just have to find the form that works best for you and just do it.
Cuddling, hugging, kissing, and intimate relations all relieve stress. Physical contact releases oxytocin and lowers cortisol levels, which lower blood pressure and heart rate, two symptoms of stress. Humans aren’t the only creatures who cuddle chimpanzees cuddle friends who are stressed as well. And what pet doesn’t like to be stroked by its owner.
4. Use Calming Essential Oils
Burning a scented candle or using essential oils can often help you relax when sitting at home or at work. There are specific scents that are soothing and calming such as bergamot, frankincense, geranium, lavender, neroli, orange, rose, sandalwood, vetiver, and ylang-ylang. Carry a kerchief with drops of your favorite calming scent to smell anytime you need some calm. Or soak in a bath with calming bath salts. Combine essential oils, bath salts and mediation for unplugging and getting deep relaxation. Whatever way you choose, make it a pleasure and it’s easier to make it a habit.
Think about how difficult it is to feel stressed when you are laughing! One of the top ways to manage stress is to laugh regularly. Laughter relieves muscle tension and your stress response. Try watching funny movies or TV shows, or hanging out with funny friends,or reading and collecting funny comics. Turn your mind to a “comedy station” when you are in a stressful situation and look for the humor in it. As Shakespeare said, “Life is a stage and we are all players”. Look for the humor of the scene on stage and your stress will dissipate.
One of the best ways to manage stress is through exercise, such as walking, jogging, tai chi, yoga, dancing, anything that gets you moving. Adding physical stress on the body through exercise helps to relieve mental stress. Regular exercise lowers the stress hormones, improves sleep quality, and can greatly build your confidence. Choose an exercise activity you enjoy and find a partner or group to help you get out and do it regularly. Whether listening to music, being out in nature, socializing with friends, find a way to make exercise a pleasure and it’s easy to make it a habit.
7. Reduce Caffeine Intake
Limit caffeine intake to one cup or two cups at the maximum to avoid being over-exposed to stimulants that can increase anxiety. Everyone has a different caffeine tolerance, but if you notice extra anxiety or jitters then it is time to cut back on the caffeine. While coffee is healthy in moderation, it is not good in excess and is not for everyone.
8. Spend Quality Time with Loved-Ones
Social time with your family and friends is essential to getting through stressful situations. Don’t let stress isolate you because that can make it even worse. Keep in close touch with your friend network. We all receive a sense of self-worth from belonging to a group. It’s part of being Human and is core to our health and survival.
9. Avoid Procrastination
Focus on the top of your priorities and avoid procrastination. When you have a difficult task, it can be easy to avoid it, but then you can end up rushing to meet a deadline. Choose to tackle difficult things first and then reward yourself with pleasurable fun things along the way. Use a daily planner or a to-do list app to help you prioritize your time and focus on what’s important each day. Review your progress each week as ongoing overall life improvement. Also, identify when your mind is the sharpest and your energy is the highest during the course of the day to tackle your top priorities; this will make you more efficient in “getting the job done.”
10. Get Your Vitamins and Minerals
Eat well to get enough vitamins and minerals from food with dense nutrients. Then add supplements for extra support. Several supplements can help relieve stress. The most common include ashwagandha, green tea, kava, lemon balm, Omega-3 fatty acids, and valerian. Some supplements interact with medication, so it is best to consult with a doctor if you currently have a medical condition.
11. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
It’s known that people who get enough sleep have a better chance of achieving emotional well-being. The happiest people get an average of eight hours of sleep night. Be sure to not get less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep per night. Sleep is necessary to not only manage stress but also to prevent risk of long-term chronic disease. So, make it a daily priority to get 7 hours of sleep.
12. Find Purpose in Daily Pleasure
Make a daily habit to choose something that gives you pleasure each day- whether getting out in Nature, listening to music, reading a book, watching a movie, working on a creative project, playing a favorite sport, cooking a special meal, connecting with friends and family. Think of choosing daily pleasure like choosing daily medicine to help control your stress and your health.
I hope you try a few of these stress management tips. Let me know your best ways to manage stress.
Enjoy and live Well with Zest.
Written by Bev Hope