After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you may be looking for a little more rest and relaxation in your life. The beginning of the new year is the perfect time to sit down and commit to making new habits. Many people make new year’s resolutions to improve their personal fitness. While physical health is important, you shouldn’t forget your mental health. If left unchecked, stress can actually take a toll on your physical health. High levels of stress have been linked to your sleep, appetite, and even heart health. But the good news is, you don’t have to worry any longer! There are so many easy coping mechanisms you can learn to help keep your stress under control. Using the 5 simple strategies stress free strategies in this article, you can eliminate most of the unnecessary stress in your life.
Meditation is a practice, that if used correctly, can help you become mentally clear and emotionally calm in any situation. It uses a series of breathing and mindfulness techniques to help you find a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. Meditation is more than just deep breathing and sitting quietly, It is a skill that needs to be learned and developed. Like most skills, the key to success lies in consistency. All it takes is a few minutes every day of quiet contemplation, prayer, or deep breathing to begin to see improvement. There are many apps, YouTube videos, and online tutorials that can help teach and enhance your meditation. It won’t take long until your body will begin to automatically respond to stress with the skills learned during meditation.
Although stress can have an effect on your physical health, physical health can also have an effect on your stress! Every time you exercise your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals will boost your mood and help alleviate some of your stress. Your exercise does not need to be strenuous or difficult to see the stress relieving benefits. It can be as easy as taking a brisk walk, light jogging or stretching through a yoga sequence. Exercise also gives you a chance to relieve some of the pent up tension we carry when we feel stressed. The more you exercise the healthier your body becomes, and that’s one less thing to stress about!
One of the harder stress relieving strategies to implement is to avoid things that trigger your stress. By unplugging yourself from the world, even if it’s just for a small portion of the day, you can easily filter what stress triggers you come in contact with. Smart devices can be helpful, but they can also bring unwanted stress. Social media makes it easy to compare yourself to others and can often give people a feeling of loneliness. Emails, texts, and messenger apps can make it hard to leave work at the office. Not to mention the bright LED lights can also make it hard to sleep and rest. So turn off your cell phones, laptops, tablets, and smart devices during your morning and evening routines for instant stress relief.
They say, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” for a reason! Taking time to get rid of clutter in your schedule and home is a great way to relieve unnecessary stress. When your surroundings are clean and organized it is easier to feel calm and relaxed. While it may be difficult, spring cleaning is a great time to go through your house and get rid of all the unnecessary junk that is cluttering your home. If that seems too overwhelming, you could start with baby steps. Just pick one room to clean at a time. Before you know it you will have a clean and organized home. You can also get rid of clutter in your schedule. Use a planner to keep your life organized, and don’t be afraid to schedule a little down time for yourself.
The final strategy is simply fake it until you make it. When you feel stress start to boil over in your life, stop what you are doing and smile. It may feel like a silly suggestion, but it will help. Smiling, even when you don’t feel like it, can “trick” your brain into releasing happy chemicals into your body. Another powerful tool to get rid of stress is laughter. So next time you begin to feel stressed, plaster on a smile and let out a laugh. You may be surprised how quickly that can stop your bad mood and turn it around.
We can’t always control what life throws at us. However, we can control how we react to those stressful situations. Now that you know a few easy strategies to keep you stress free this year, what are you waiting for?