If you are one of those people who never gets stressed out about anything, this article probably isn’t for you. For the rest of us, dealing with stress is a daily occurrence. The problem, aside from the negative effects of stress itself, is that very few of us actually learn to deal with stress in a healthy or productive way.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite. We start to develop bad habits. We turn to junk food, sitting in front the TV for several hours, or drinking beer, which creates a whole different set of problems. It’s a like a chain reaction of negative events, and the thing that sets it all off is stress. But you should not allow stress to rule your life. Here are 7 habits you can implement in your daily routine that will help you deal with stress and lead a more fulfilling, balanced life.
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Yes, you are already breathing. That’s the reason why you’re alive, but once you encounter a stressful situation, your breathing will become faster and more shallow, and your brain won’t receive the oxygen it needs to provide enough clarity for your thoughts. Whenever you feel like stress is getting to you, stop for a moment, and start breathing deeply and slowly. It will help you slow down for a second and gather your thoughts, which will make it easier for you to find a solution.
Even though nobody knows exactly why working out helps you deal with stress, the point is that it works. Not only that, but you will also develop a good habit of taking care of your health, instead of jeopardizing it with poor nutrition and binging on Netflix. Plus, you will be so tired afterward, it won’t even occur to you to get stressed about anything!
Instead of spending time indoors, go outside and get some exposure to natural sunlight. It’s been proven that natural light can help alleviate pain and improve your mood. If possible, take a walk through the woods or your local park, because certain scents in nature, such as rose or pine, can help you relieve stress. Also, there are so many different things outside that can capture your attention, you won’t even have time to think about anything stressful.
Although it may seem like meditation is something that requires a lot of time, you will be surprised to hear that meditating for just five minutes can have a positive effect on your day, especially if done first thing in the morning. It will provide you with enough mental clarity and energy to battle stress and deal with your daily obligations. Also, for those around you who are dependent on your smartphones, there are plenty of apps which can help you practice meditation.
Don’t Let Work Spillover into Your Free Time
One of the biggest generators of stress is working overtime, not just because it requires you to put into an extra effort, but also because it robs you of your free time. After leaving work, you should have enough time to relax, recharge, and think about something other than work. If the line between your personal life and your job is murky, you will start feeling even more stressed and under pressure.
Go on a Vacation
One of the worst habits you can acquire is to not make use of your paid vacation. Taking a few weeks off every year will not only help you rest and enjoy the fruits of your labor, but it will also help you move away from stress which you encounter at work every day. Coming back refreshed and recharged will help your productivity, which means you won’t have to spend as many hours working. Check the best yoga resorts for ultimate vacation.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleeping less than 8 hours every night? Not getting enough sleep is one of the biggest stress generators out there. You will feel tired and more irritable than usual, which will, in turn, cause you to stress out even more, thus creating a vicious cycle. The trouble is that stress makes it harder for you to fall asleep, which is why you should rely on some tricks, such as avoiding late night snacks, reading a book, or taking a shower before going to bed.
Stress does not have to govern your life. All you have to do is implement some of the habits we have laid out in this article, and you will be ready to manage stress and change your life for the better. Start doing it today.
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