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It is easy to find yourself stressed out when you have so much to get done in your day to day life. We all tend to fill our schedules with lots of activities and responsibilities, on top of having a career, raising a family, and having bills to pay. The trick to keeping your life as stress-free as possible is learning how to handle it when it arises so that you can enjoy life and not constantly feel overwhelmed. Being prepared is key.
Below, you will discover several small tasks you can do each day to help you de-stress and stay in a good mood within your everyday life.
Reduce Stress By Staying Active
Exercise is actually one of the best ways to relieve stress and its effects on the body. Regular activity is best to keep stress at bay, but don’t discount going for a walk anytime you feel on edge.
The fresh air can help you calm down and the endorphins your body releases from the physical activity help improve your mood. Even a 15 minute walk each day can dramatically decrease the amount of stress you feel on a consistent basis.
Becoming more active is what inspired me to create Active Dog Month, a month all about getting more active and healthy with your dogs!
Sometimes all you need is to close your eyes and focus on your breathing to reduce stress. There are an abundance of breathing techniques you can try, but it can even be helpful to take simple, slow, deep breaths through your nose and exhale them through your mouth.
Take 5 deep breaths the next time you are feeling stressed and you’ll be surprised how much it can help calm your mind and help you regroup your emotions and focus.
While this won’t necessarily eliminate your stress or avert a crisis, deep breathing does have physical and mental benefits – especially when done on a regular basis.
Listen To Music
Music is a great way to de-stress because it takes your attention off potential stressors and allows you to relax. This is especially helpful at night when you are trying to sleep (because sleep is an important stress reducer, too!).
Any time you feel overly stressed, turn on some easy listening tunes to help unwind and take a break from your day. Be mindful that the music you listen to can add to the stress if not chosen carefully, so try to stick to calm, more instrumental music to get the best effects from this hack.
On the other hand, sometimes you just need to rage for a bit to get it out of your system. If that’s the case, go for it! Just keep in mind that what we put in our brains (negative or positive) is what we output as well.
Our sense of smell is a great partner in de-stressing. Aromatherapy is known to specifically help encourage calm and relaxation. Scents such as lavender, rose, frankincense, sandalwood, or orange blossom are awesome to have around to combat stress.
You can use these scents via an aromatherapy machine, burning incense, using them in perfumes, adding them to your baths, or even by keeping them around in candles!
Aromatherapy has been found to help decrease the level of cortisol (the “stress hormone”) in our mind. It can also help you unwind and feel more content in the moment.
An added bonus is that you can use aromatherapy with other stress relieving techniques or when you are busy with other things. For example, you can easily light a candle in your office to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy while you work, or dab some stress-relieving scents on in the morning to keep you calmer throughout the day.
Look At The Bright Side
It can be difficult to remain optimistic when you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, but focusing on staying positive can actually help you feel better and happier.
The effects of stress on our bodies can differ based on how we perceive it. It’s been proven that those with a positive mindset can better deal with stress so it doesn’t affect them as much as those that are always thinking negatively.
Try to look at every situation with high hopes and a plan; doing so can also increase your chances of those things happening!
Put Down The Coffee
Yikes, I know. But hear me out. Studies have shown that people who consume large amounts of caffeine each day tend to be more stressed out and anxious than those who don’t. This isn’t saying that you have to give up your daily cup of joe, however, most caffeine consumption is through coffee or energy drinks.
If you have more than a cup of coffee or one can of energy drink, it might be time to cut back. Consuming less caffeine consistently can work wonders for your stress levels.
Evaluate Your Life
Becoming aware of the root causes of stress can help you decrease its effect on your mind and body. Your job, relationships, and daily routines are great places to start when considering the factors adding to your stress.
Although stress is normal, constantly being overwhelmed by it is not. It may be time for a change in one or more areas of your life to decrease the amount of stress you have to deal with. This could be small or big changes. If it doesn’t bring you joy, it’s time to say goodbye.
Maintain Your Home’s Cleanliness
It’s a lot easier to maintain a clean space than it is to repeatedly get it clean. We do a deep clean of our kitchen when it needs it, and then work together to keep it as clean as possible by regularly doing small things like wiping out the microwave more frequently or scrubbing and disinfecting the sink and wiping it dry.
It’s much easier to handle those tasks in small bursts than to do a full deep clean!
Learn To Say “No”
Busy schedules can be very overwhelming and increase our stress levels. When you already have a packed day, any unexpected event can easily send you over the edge.
Take a step back and learn to prioritize your time. Remove any tasks that aren’t essential to your life or bringing you happiness. Learn to say “no” when you are asked or invited to do something that doesn’t add value to your life.
Setting boundaries can be difficult at first, but the more you set them, the easier it becomes!
Chew Some Gum
This de-stressing tip may seem a little silly, but chewing gum every day can actually help you reduce stress! Some researchers believe that the act of chewing stimulates brain waves that are similar to those found in people when they are calm and relaxed.
It’s still being studied as to why gum is so helpful in destressing, but keeping a pack on hand can’t hurt. And the added bonus? Fresh breath!
Smile and Laugh More
It’s no secret that laughter can help improve your mood. It also helps you cope with stress better and relieves the physical tension that stress puts on your body.
Make time for funny moments in your life so that you are harnessing the power of laughing every day. Watch a funny TV show or spend more time with friends that keep you giggling. Add a bit of humor to your life where you can, it makes it more enjoyable.
Putting off things you don’t want to do may seem like a good idea at the time, but it doesn’t do your stress level any favors. Procrastination leads you to working against a deadline, and that in itself will add even more stress to the task.
Prioritize your day and make sure you are taking care of what needs to be done, even if it makes you want to groan in the moment.
It can be easy to let your own personal wellbeing fall to the side when you are taking care of responsibilities and other people. However, continuing to put yourself last can be very detrimental to your mental wellbeing.
Make time to put effort into your personal wants and needs every single day. This could be in the form of a 15 minute walk in the park, a nightly bubble bath, or reading for pleasure before bed. Remember, you deserve it!
Destressing each day isn’t as difficult as you may think. It does take some planning and action on your part, but most of the techniques mentioned here don’t require a ton of time or money to execute. Small steps to work on reducing your stress so you will be happier and in a better mood will pay off in the long run.