It is easy to let stress take over your life. From career to family to health to money to any and everything in between, most people feel like there simply isn’t enough time in a day to get everything done.
Stress is bad enough in and of itself, but stress can also cause real physical and emotional harm if it is allowed to go unchecked. There are many drugs that are designed to reduce stress, but is putting extra drugs and chemicals in your system really the best way to balance things out?
There is a better way to reduce stress in your life.
How do you react when your plans fall through? Do you roll with the punches? Or does anxiety keep you from enjoying life?
To a great extent, our personality determines how we deal with stress in our lives, but here are 7 things to help keep your stress under control:
1. Sleep more.
It’s very common in our society to exist on less than 6 hours of sleep a night. But experts keep telling us we need at least 8 hours. Not just to rest our bodies, but to rejuvenate our minds. “Tired” and “cranky” seem to go hand in hand.
Don’t use your bedroom to watch the news or finish up some work from the office. Make that room your haven, a place to relax and escape the day. Have a hot cup of tea, take a warm bath, or read a paperback to help you unwind.
2. Have faith.
Saying a short prayer in times of stress can give you a sense of calm, especially when the situation is one you really have no control over. Studies have shown that people who trust in a higher power have lower blood pressure. Being able to forgive people also can affect your blood pressure. Holding a grudge is not good for your health!
3. Turn it off.
The convenience that cell phones have added to our lives can actually be a double-edged sword. We depend on them so much it seems we can’t live without them.
This increased accessibility means not only can our loved ones reach us at any time, but so can work. If your employer legitimately needs to have your cell phone number, make sure you set clear limits on when you can and cannot be reached. Your time off is yours.
One of the best and most tried and true ways for reducing stress is through meditation. Though it may sound intimidating, meditation has occurred in every culture in one form or another through out history. The following steps will help you learn to clear your mind and relax, and you will be amazed at how the stress seems to just melt away!
Begin each relaxation time by reducing distractions, noise, and interruptions. Give yourself the time and privacy you need. Find a comfortable sitting position, wear loose and comfortable clothing. Relax and take several deep breathes. Close your eyes and try to mentally focus on one peaceful word, thought, or image. If there is a picture, a memory, anything that tends to calm you, try to picture that. For some people it’s the sound of the ocean, for others waterfalls, and for yet others, the memory of staring off a mountain peak. Clear your head, and let your muscles loosen up, don’t worry about what is going on around you. Relax and enjoy the peace that your image brings to you.
When you feel stress, try to go to the nearby shopping mall to have a casual shop. It’s proven that shopping and spending helps in reducing stress significantly.
Also, by swifting your mind’s focus from something stressful to something relax can really help in relieving your mind and body.
6. Take a holiday.
It doesn’t have to be a fancy vacation resort. A day at the beach, or an afternoon at the park will do. Just anywhere you can be and not think about the bills, work, or whatever tensions you may have. It’s important to take time for yourself, so do it! You’ll feel better with a fresh outlook.
7. Treat yourself.
Sign up for a yoga class at your local gym or community center. The costs are nominal, and you’ll feel more relaxed after even just one session. A monthly massage or a spa treatment is also a great way to recharge. You’ll walk out feeling like a million dollar bowl of jelly.
Stress is unavoidable. But what we do about it is up to us. Experiment with these suggestions and see what works for you!