Stress is a natural part of life. At some point or another, we’ve all felt it. The difference between those who live a healthy lifestyle and those who don’t is how they react to stress. Those who live a healthier life are more aware of the amount of stress they have in their lives and know how to deal with it effectively. Here are some tips on how you can keep healthy living and reduce stress in your day-to-day.
Live a healthier life
1. Healthy eating
After a long day at work, you want to get something to eat so you can relax. But instead of grabbing a quick snack that you scarf down, get a salad and follow the tips from Eat to Live for the best results. If you eat a lot of processed foods and are eating lots of unhealthy fats, you’re not going to be making positive changes to your body in a healthy way.
2. Mind-body exercises
Learn how to do some yoga or meditation, something to calm your mind and help reduce stress. What’s good about doing these mind-body exercises is they can be done anywhere, anytime. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing at the time, as long as it’s not heavy-duty exercise and you’re in a comfortable position.
Even if you aren’t aware of the amount of stress you are under, it could be quite high. When stress levels are high, it’s often difficult to perform at your best and that can negatively impact your daily life. Some of the biggest triggers of stress are:
- Emotional stress: when we experience sadness, frustration, worry, fear, anger, hurt, loneliness, or any other emotional response.
- Distraction: when we are distracted by other things while trying to focus on something that is important to us.
- Being busy: when we feel we are too busy for something.
- Wanting something: when we feel we have to have something or be somewhere.
So, how do you lower your stress?
Some tips to help you reduce stress include:
1. Set aside time for yourself.
2. Get physically active.
Drink plenty of water
The most obvious way to stay hydrated and healthy is to drink plenty of water. You should aim for eight 8oz glasses of water per day to ensure you have enough water in your system to perform at your best. If you are more active during the day and need more water, add electrolytes such as electrolyte supplements, salt, and even Gatorade if you think that would be a good option. If you are more sedentary, then you can add green tea to your daily intake. Both of these can boost your hydration and help you relax.
Exercise and sleep
Taking the time to exercise and sleep every day is one of the most effective ways to live a healthier lifestyle. Exercise, whether it’s brisk walking, dancing, yoga, or an aerobics class, provides an immense benefit to your mind and body. It creates an outlet for stress, improves your mood, and boosts your energy. According to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, people who exercise regularly have better overall brain health. And according to the Mayo Clinic, exercise helps boost your immune system and digestion. You can also lower your risk of developing several different diseases by simply exercising regularly.
Try to get the recommended amount of sleep every night.
Connect with nature
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to spend time with nature. Nature provides an array of mental and physical benefits that you will feel from simply being in it. Trees clean the air you breathe and give off oxygen. Trees also provide shelter from the elements. Being around trees can also reduce your stress by providing you with a respite from the things that stress you out. Try finding a park or garden near you and taking a walk around the area. Your mood will be greatly improved and your stress level will decrease. You will also feel more connected to nature and be more relaxed.
- Pray, try meditation
Meditation is another simple but powerful stress-reliever that can reduce stress. Mindfulness meditation is the most popular form of meditation and is all about focusing on your breathing and taking time out for yourself.
- Get regular exercise
Stress and exercise don’t really mix. When we are under a lot of stress, we tend to have a lot of physical energy.
Exercise will definitely help you reduce your stress levels. It’s a great stress reliever. The key is to find a way to make exercise fun and do it every day.
Eat the right amount of food for you
At times when we don’t feel like eating, it’s easy to just grab a piece of chocolate or a cookie. But these are not good options for you. This is because sugar and fats give you the false feeling of fullness and can easily lead to a crash in your blood sugar levels, resulting in a feeling of being tired and feeling sluggish.
Instead of eating unhealthy food when you feel stressed, eat healthy food when you are not. Fill up on fruits and veggies, lean meats, and whole-grain products. Eating healthy foods makes you feel good and helps your body handle the stress without putting it under strain.
Unplug from time to time
Taking time for yourself can really help you relax. Whether you go out for lunch with a friend or you take a half-hour lunch break, unplug from work and get some quiet time for yourself. It’s an important thing to know about, especially with all the recent news about cyberbullying and cyber-stalking. Being able to get away and take some time for yourself is vital. You’ll feel so much better after that half hour or so.
- Get some fresh air
When was the last time you went for a walk or a hike? Grab a pair of shoes and a warm jacket and get outside for a bit. Not only will it clear your mind, but you’ll also feel better afterward. Maybe you can even take a friend with you and have a great time together.
I have to admit, when I was first introduced to these techniques, I thought they were a bunch of hooey. A month later, I’m ready to hang up my gloves and call it a career. Learn something new every day, and use it to make yourself a better person. So, which techniques are you going to use to reduce stress? Share in the comments below.