12 Great Ways to Reduce Stress in Your Life
How to relieve your stress introductory logo
How to reduce stress: there are many way to do this
There are all sorts of ways that human beings can get stressed out. Stress is a part of daily life especially because of the demands that are put on us by the hours we spend at our job or being stuck in traffic and many other annoyances. You might be looking for three ways to beat stress but the truth is that there are more than three ways to de-stress and relax. I got the motivation to write this because I used to work for a company where being exposed to health and medical terms was part of the everyday terminology in that office. Having a healthy lifestyle involves more than just a proper physical fitness routine. It also involves keeping the stress at bay and taking steps to reduce it at all costs before it overwhelms you and takes over your mind and body. Here are some techniques to help you reduce your stress levels and live a healthier and more productive life. I am aware that this is a different subject than you have been used to seeing from me but it is important for people around the world to be informed about stress reduction. What follows here is a comprehensive list of 12 ways to reduce stress.
A Cup of Coffee With Milk and a Notebook
How to reduce your stress levels: Tips #1-2
1. Write about your stresses or write articles in general about subjects that may interest you.
This first step to reducing your stress levels is a basic one and I look at this step as a form of therapy for me. Getting the words out and writing about them helps to keep your mind focused on a specific task and it helps you to focus on something that you can actually control. Hubpages provides a great way to write articles (Hubs) on any topic, attract readers, and get awards!
2. Reach out to your social network of friends
Reach out to your friends by talking to them either on the phone or have a face to face chat with them. In times of stress and hardship, you will know who your true friends really are. A true friend will always be there to help you no matter what. We have a saying in Armenian that a good friend is better than a family member. This is actually very true because unlike a family member who has their emotions running high, a friend that is a third party person not related to us by blood is often times more understanding and willing to listen to you. Also, you want to make sure to hang around people that are positive and can lift your spirits when you are feeling down and low. However, be careful to not spend extended time on social networking sites such as Facebook. Facebook addiction can lead some people to become depressed because often times they may see how successful and great their friends are and then they will try to compare themselves to these friends of theirs. This writer used to be guilty of comparing himself to others. Try not to compare yourself to others because you don’t know what the ins and outs of their lives are.
A woman meditates while at the beach
Stress Reduction tip #3
This next tip is only useful if you have the patience and the time to do it. Even just a few minutes per day of meditation has been shown to aid in the easing of anxiety. With the way the economy is here in the United States these days, that’s enough to make many people anxious. If you are anxious because of the economy, just know that you are not alone. Meditation helps to ease this anxiety by altering the brain’s neural pathways thus making us more resilient to stress. I like to use a guided kind of meditation where there is another person speaking, telling you about what to do at every given step of the process. On a related note, when you breathe deeply, it counters the negative effects of stress by slowing down the heart rate and lowering the blood pressure. It helps us to relax and to be able to sleep better.
A woman exercising or training
Stress reduction tip #4: exercise
4. Life coach Simon Stanley offers some helpful advice in this regard when he says that if something is causing us stress, instead of trying to go out there, thinking that we have this “magical cure” for our stress, instead we should engage in some kind of physical exercise such as using a punching bag. You can do whatever exercise you feel is more enjoyable for you. Remember this is about having a life of lower stress and higher quality. I like to start off with cardiovascular exercise such as the treadmill or stationary bicycle and then I make the transition to lifting weights. But what exercise routine to engage in depends on the person’s fitness level and overall health.
How to reduce your stress levels: Tips #5-8
5. Listen to music
When stress has us under pressure and being under duress, listening to music has been shown to boost our mood. Everyone has a different musical taste so if classical music is not your favorite type of music, what is it? Whatever your favorite type of music is your favorite listen to that type.
6. Have the proper diet and nutrition
The correlation between proper diet and stress levels is related. Due to our busy lifestyles and work schedule, many of us tend to eat foods that are high in sugar. While doing so may help boost our energy levels in the short term, after that initial sugar high, our blood sugar levels can come crashing down resulting in us becoming lethargic and tired. Beverages like soft drinks also have little nutritional value and are just empty calories. If you are going to drink coffee in the middle of the day, don’t add any white sugar. I recommend eating fish as this is what is called brain food. Fruits and vegetables are also important to eat due to their fiber levels. A diet high in fiber can help ease the effects of constipation and move the food through the system faster resulting in our colon being cleaned out. A diet high in fiber has also been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Back in 2008, Matt Lauer on the Today Show had Tony Robbins as one of his guests. Robbins said that the idea that you are what you eat may sound cheesy but it is true. What you eat can have a huge effect on your mood and energy levels.
7. Laugh the stress off
This next tip is another good way to reduce stress. Laughter has been shown to release chemicals called endorphins which improve our mood and decrease the levels of the stress causing hormones cortisol and adrenaline. I recommend watching old episodes of The Three Stooges. You will be laughing in no time!
8. Drink green tea
Green tea is considered a better beverage to drink rather than coffee or energy drinks. Green tea has antioxidants as well as theanine. This is an amino acid that helps calm and sooth the nervous system. For better sleep results, drink chamomile at night.
A woman relaxing in a hot tub to reduce stress
How to reduce your stress levels: Tips #9-11
9. Show gratitude for what you have in your life already
This next step is critical to reducing your stress levels. This is one of the strategies that Dr. Joe Vitale suggests. He says that instead of focusing on the fact that you may not have the kind of car you want or that spouse that you are looking for, instead use that energy to focus on what you have already. We really do have lots to be grateful for if we will look for those things. A grateful person is happier and healthier than an ungrateful person.
10. Don’t try to control everything around you
If we try to control everything that goes on around us it will be too stressful and we can’t do that. Many things in life are beyond our control such as the national economy. Often times the way we react to situations can make a big difference.
11. Set aside time for relaxation
In this day and age with the rise of technology, long work hours and increased levels of stress and depression we can get so caught up in our day to day life that we can forget to relax. It helps me relax when I write.
A sort of humorous yet informative video on how to reduce your stress levels
Final Stress Reduction Tip: Leisure
12. Do leisure activities that you enjoy
All of us need to have hobbies or leisure activities that we can enjoy. It can be as simple as taking a walk in the neighborhood or spending time getting involved with nature. Other leisure activities can include:
- Write in a journal.
- Take a warm bath. Sometimes this is the best thing to do after a long day at work for example.
- On a related note, you can spend time relaxing in a hot tub at the fitness center that you go to if they have one.
- Light scented candles.
- Get in bed and read a good book. This is also a way to get out of a bad mood.
- Get a body massage.
This is a pretty extensive list of some of the things that we can do to reduce the stress levels in our life. I hope that you can get started today by living a life of higher quality and lower stress. Your health is very important. Good luck!
© 2016 Ara Vahanian