Stress can leave you feeling overwhelmed, frazzled, or pessimistic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of all illness and disease stems from stress. That’s an astonishing number. This year, rather than worrying over unachievable goals or resolutions, focus on feeling good with who you are and what you already have.
Follow these seven tips to create a less stressful 2018 and head in to the New Year with a positive attitude and tools to keep your stress levels low.
1. Practice Gratitude
Keeping a list of things you’re most thankful for can add brightness to any cloudy day. Sometimes, it’s so easy to get caught up in the things that aren’t going right in your life that you forget to acknowledge the good. Instead, record the things in your life you’re grateful for or write a note to a loved one or friend thanking them for their love and kindness.
2. Limit Time on Social Media
Researchers have found that the more time you spend on social media, the more likely you are to be depressed or experience other mental wellness issues. Social media is addictive and can cause us to compare ourselves to others, feel like we’re missing out, or feel alone and unloved. Step away from social media, or eliminate it from your life altogether.
3. Do Something for Someone Else
When you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, sometimes there’s no better way to help keep things in perspective than to do something for someone else. Take a neighbor a gift or volunteer at your local community center. The feeling you get from giving can wash away any frustrations you may be feeling.
4. Get Outside
Spending too much time indoors during the cold season can add to your stress levels. Getting outdoors and spending time in nature allows you to see the beauty in your surroundings, and the exercise produces endorphins, boosting your mood and helping you feel happier and less overwhelmed.
5. Prepare a Quiet Space
Too many of us have grown accustomed to having TVs in every room of our homes, and we don’t have a quiet space of our own to relax. Whether it’s a small corner in your bedroom or a dedicated office or reading nook, prepare a quiet space where you can escape and relax when the daily chaos of TV and noises that may distract you.
Quieting your mind and meditating decreases stress hormones in your body while increasing neurotransmitters associated with well-being. Studies show that practicing meditation can help you reduce stress, depression, anxiety, and pain. While meditation may seem difficult at first, after a few days of training, you will notice yourself feeling calmer, more relaxed, and more centered.
7. Take a Class
Sign up for a class to help you decrease stress and improve your overall health, and tackle 2018 the right way. Many online classes can teach you to be more intentional with your time so you don’t fall behind on goals or merely survive your day-to-day goings-on.
Take time to recharge, and remember, the more intentional you are in alleviating stress, the more successful you’ll be at treating and possibly avoiding it.