Your day starts in bumper-to-bumper traffic, you are late for a meeting, and you get snubbed by your boss for a new project. Your kids are acting out and your husband forgot to pick up the dry cleaning, again.
Life is full of stressors and while some stress can be good for us, too much stress can have a profound effect on our health. According to studies, chronic stress can cause high blood pressure, compromise immunity, affect the digestive system, and raise the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Making your life less stressful is important for a number of reasons, but your physical and mental health depends on it. Small changes in your lifestyle can make a big difference.
Keep reading to find out ways that you can manage your stress and improve your overall health.
What Is Stress?
Stress is the sensation in your body and mind that you are tense, anxious, worn out, overwhelmed, or exhausted.
The symptoms of stress can include headaches, lack of focus, restlessness, anger, irritability, sadness, depression, or anxiety. These symptoms can be mild or they can be severe if not tended to properly.
Is Your Stress Acute or Chronic?
Acute stress is experienced only for a short amount of time. This is usually circumstantial, and the cause of stress is apparent and short-lived. This can be during a heated argument or before an important presentation.
If you are experiencing acute stress, you might feel an increase in your heart rate, irritability, or sweating.
Chronic stress on the other hand is more frequent and longer-lasting. These are stressors that people experience in their lives such as a bad relationship or a hostile work environment.
The symptoms of chronic stress are much more damaging. Chronic disease and the risk of heart attack are some of the common symptoms of chronic stress.
How to Make Your Life Less Stressful
Reducing stress in your life can seem like a daunting task. You’ll be happy to know that many little lifestyle changes can result in a big change in overall stress. Here are some of the ways in which you can manage your stress.
For optimal health in your body and mind, exercising regularly is vital. It not only helps to improve your mood but it is a great way to get out feelings of aggression or tension.
Working out from 2 to 3 hours each week spread over several days can make a big impact. Going for a speed walk, taking up a sport, or joining the local gym are all great ways to get exercise in your week.
Create fitness goals and make this part of your lifestyle.
Practice Deep Breathing
Part of destressing and improving your health and wellness is being able to manage your stress at the moment. If you start experiencing symptoms of stress, focusing on your breathing can be a huge help.
This is also a way of monitoring your stress. Write down your symptoms and when you feel them starting to come up, step away and practice your deep breathing.
Create a breathing exercise that works for you. If possible, sit or lay down in a quiet place. Close your eyes and focus on a place that gives you peace – a beach or a meadow. Take slow, deep, conscious breaths for 5 to 10 minutes.
This can help decrease your heart rate and bring your mind back to the present moment in a stressful situation.
Learn to Slow Down
Slowing down is one of the hardest things for us to do. We imagine that our “to-do” list is so important that we can’t deviate from our daily tasks.
At home and at work it is important to slow down and take time for self-care.
For a stress-free workplace, you can try setting an alarm to walk away from your tasks to take a moment for yourself. This acts as a preventative measure to avoid feeling stressed and overwhelmed at work.
You can also maximize your productivity at work so that you can comfortably take time for yourself. Learning how to be productive can have a profound impact on decreasing stress levels.
At home, set aside time yourself and disperse the chores among the rest of your family. Make sure that your family understands why it’s important to maintain calm and order in the house.
Eat Nutritious Food
Eating a well-balanced diet can be very beneficial for your stress levels. It can also help regulate your mood.
Ensure that your meals are full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and quality proteins. Junk food can make your body sluggish and your brain unable to focus.
Get a Relaxing Hobby
Creating a stress-free lifestyle means incorporating happy hobbies. Taking relaxing activities on a regular basis can help you prevent stress. Here are some fun and relaxing hobbies that you can incorporate into your life:
- Yoga and meditation
- Hiking and spending time in nature
- Arts and crafts
- Joining a dance class
- Knitting and crochet
These are just some hobbies that can help keep you calm and relaxed. You can get as creative as you can and personalize a hobby for you.
Feeling Blessed Instead of Stressed
Managing stress is an integral part of having a happy and fulfilling life. Some stress can serve as motivation but too much stress can have a negative impact on your body and mind. If you’re feeling stressed out, get some exercise, eat healthy foods, enjoy a calming hobby, and learn about deep breathing.
If you found this article helpful, keep coming back to our awesome blog for more insights on making life less stressful!