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7 Ways to Decrease Stress

7 Steps to Decrease the Stress in Your Life

We all experience stress at one time or another, but we might not be aware of just how much it can harm our health until something serious happens. Stress contributes to inflammation, which is associated with a number of chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease and arthritis.

If you feel like a pressure cooker about to explode most of the time, try the following 7 steps to decrease the stress in your life!

1-Meditate. Meditation is like a mini-vacation for the mind. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. You can then focus on your breathing, or empty your mind of all conscious thought.

2-Try Yoga. Yoga poses require concentration and therefore allow you to focus on other things besides how much you have to do each day. Sit in a quiet room alone and begin breathing exercises. You can also meditate as part of your practice.

stress-management 3-Eat Right. Ensure you eat three healthy meals a day, and skip the sugary snacks, which can trigger a sugar rush. Also try to avoid too much caffeine, which can put you on edge. Definitely avoid diet pills. They will make you jittery and are dangerous to your heart and nervous system. Utilize the articles we have on our Health & Wellness page and past Blog Posts on Nutrition as a resource to get started.

4- Exercise regularly. Exercise relieves tension, releases endorphins and therefor produces a calming effect. The term “Runner’s High” is real! Even starting with walking 20 to 30 minutes a day can help you de-stress, especially if you do it at the end of the day to unwind before getting on with the rest of your evening.

5-Sleep right. Sleep deprivation makes you struggle with the simplest tasks, which can lead to stress. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night but no more than 10. Creating a relaxing evening routine and optimizing your “sleep hygiene” is crucial to get quality rest. Avoid sleeping pills as they can alter your chemistry and make you dependent and even more stressed feeling.

6-Don’t sweat the small stuff. Most of the things you worry about are really not the end of the world. Will you even remember them a month, 6 months or even a year from now? If not, just relax. Focusing on the positives can help manage thoughts and reduce your mental stress. Things like keeping a Gratitude journal, a Blessings Jar in which you write down positive things on paper scraps and keep in a jar, reflecting on them after each month, etc. are great ways to shift your perspective away from negativity.

7-Talk about the problems you are experiencing. A problem shared is often a problem halved. Spend quality time with friends or loved ones. If the issue is very serious, try talk therapy with professional. Having emotions and stress is normal…but not addressing can be a problem, Keeping everything bottled up will only create more stress.

Life is too short, and stress can definitely reduce it further. Nothing is more important than your health in body, mind and spirit. Try one or more of these strategies and see what a difference they can make to your health.

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