Stress isn’t just a burden on your mood – it can actually be bad for your health! So if you’re finding yourself getting overwhelmed at work, at home or even on the bus, it might be worth taking the time to figure out some ways to lower stress in your life. Your brain and body will thank you, and so, probably, will your family and colleagues!
During my many years working as a psychologist, stress was a common recurring theme in all age groups. Yes, even kids! Most of us have some degree of stress in our lives all the time, simply because of the nature of how fast-paced life is these days. Some of this we inflict on ourselves, but external factors also contribute significantly to the levels of stress we are feeling.
Stress can negatively impact so many different areas of our lives – such as poor sleep leading to poor health. Feeling overwhelmed to the point where we are no longer performing at our best ability. Becoming frustrated with our loved ones and negatively impacting our relationships. The list goes on and on.
Below are some simple recommended ways to lower stress in your life:
6 WAYS TO LOWER STRESS IN YOUR LIFE THAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT AWAY
Take some time out
You know what beats a weekend getaway? A mid-week getaway! Give yourself a day or two off during the week, and take yourself away from it all. Whether it’s a hike through the mountains or a cozy country cottage, knowing that you have chosen yourself and your health first just a day or two will make you feel incredible. Sometimes a single day is all we need to recharge our batteries and improve our wellbeing.
Take time to breathe
Yes, obviously you are breathing right now. No one is disputing that. But it’s probably not thoughtful breath. Learn how to breathe meditatively – it can improve your focus, your energy and your mood, and it will only take mere minutes out of your day. Focussed breathing really is an investment in your day-to-day performance. Not only that but it will calm you down, allow you to focus and can really clear your mind.
Take time to move
Nothing helps reduce stress like getting out and about. Of course, it’s not possible for everyone to run a marathon each day, but you can probably still include more activity in your day than you realise. Getting up 45 minutes earlier to go for a walk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and even getting up to speak with someone instead of just sending an email, can work wonders in the long term. It also gives you mini-breaks from all your work stresses and gives you the opportunity to escape your computer monitor for a moment.
Take time to volunteer
This may sound strange – reduce stress by increasing your obligations – but volunteering can have astoundingly positive impacts on your emotional and mental wellbeing. Just taking a bit of time out once a week, once a fortnight or even once a month can make you feel happier, give you something to focus on outside of work and family, and can give you a fantastic support network of other volunteers and organisations.
Take time to ask for help
Sometimes we simply have too much on our plate and as such, we need to offload some of our expectations. When this happens, do not hesitate to ask for some help from family, friends or co-workers. We all need a helping hand now and then and chances are there will be a huge weight lifted off your shoulders as soon as you do offload some of that extra stuff elsewhere.
Just give yourself more time – cut yourself some slack. Just allowing yourself an extra five minutes to eat your lunch outside, or letting yourself sleep in those extra 20 minutes on the weekend can do wonders for you. So allow yourself to enjoy your time without always scheduling it.
How Do I Know If I am Stressed?
Stress is something that impacts all of us at some point or other in life, and it can manifest itself differently for every individual. Learning how to identify when you are feeling stressed is important to your wellbeing. Some of the more common signs of stress include:
- Disturbed sleep
- Reduced or increased appetite
- Poor concentration
- Physical complaints such as headaches and stomach aches
- And of course, the constant worry and anxiety that comes with it
If you are finding yourself still struggling to find ways to lower stress, please do get support. There are services around the world aimed at helping us to improve our wellbeing, which includes both our physical and mental health, with stress being one of the most common struggles, simply due to the face-paced society we now live in.
What do you do to lower your stress? Share your go-to method below in the comments.