You have little kids screaming their heads off, your boss is overwhelming you with work, your dream of marrying Ryan Gosling dies a little more everyday. So many things can stress us out and really screw up our ability to be productive, happy people. Although there’s no way to just eliminate stressors in our lives, leaving stress untreated can lead to headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases. Oh, and it also ages you and makes you fat – so here are 10 ways to stress less and boost your energy:
1. Take mini time-outs during stressful days:
- Talk to a friend – talking out your problems and gossiping helps to calm you down and distract you from your stressors.
- Update your music playlist – our brain’s pleasure centers light up when we hear music, boosting productivity.
- Watch some funny videos on YouTube – laughing lowers your blood pressure and reduces stress hormone levels.
2. Don’t take on more than you can handle & better manage your time: Whether in your personal or professional life, learn how to say no if too much responsibility pushes your limits. Planning ahead for things can also really help reduce the stress from always being late! There are also a few resources available online that can help you to better manage your time and keep yourself organized as well. If you are taking university classes, StyleEase is software that will help you to improve your academic writing skills. In addition, Ziplist is a mobile app that allows you to set meal plans and synch them with a shopping list. There is plenty of technology out there that is sure to make your life easier, so look around to see if any of these programs will work for you.
3. Reframe problems and look at the bigger picture: Try to view stressful situations form a more positive perspective and ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. If it won’t matter in a month or year, it probably isn’t worth getting upset over.
4. Focus on the positive: Taking a moment to reflect on all the things you can appreciate in your life can help to keep things in perspective.
5. Don’t try to control what you can’t: You can’t change the behavior of other people. Focus on what you can control – like YOUR reactions. Learning to forgive and letting go of anger and resentment will help you out big time.
6. Try deep breathing exercises: When you’re feeling overwhelmed, deep breathing can help decrease stress hormones. Count down slowly from 10 to 0, following each number with a deep inhale. Exhale like a sigh, allowing your belly to slowly deflate.
7. Take a good stretch: Spinal twists increase blood and oxygen circulation throughout your body, which helps you feel more rejuvenated. Sitting on a chair, just twist to the right and left, exhaling as you do and deepening it each time.
8. Exercise and eat healthier: It may seem like a pain, but exercise actually helps up feel-good endorphin levels and reduce pent-up stress. Getting to the gym first thing in the morning will help you to have more energy throughout the day, plus you’re more likely to make it happen in the morning before your day wears you out. A proper diet will give your body the energy to properly deal with stress – so try to keep a balanced diet throughout the day (starting with breakfast!)
9. Trade coffee for water: Caffeine dehydrates you and can make you feel anxious and jittery. Although you could feel a shot of energy from your shot of espresso, when your body is dehydrated you end up feeling much more fatigued.
10. Get a good nights sleep: Any amount of sleep deprivation will mess with your mental performance. It’s important to get your body on a sleep cycle by going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday so that your mind and body can rest, rejuvenate and be better prepared for another day filled with stress!