Six Ways to Reduce Stress
If there’s one feeling that can ruin anything, it’s probably stress. When you’re happy, stress is a buzz kill. When you’re in love, anxiety can turn those butterflies into wasps. And the worst is that stress is just a part of daily life, especially when you’re working a crazy schedule.
How to Reduce Stress
Here are six ways to help you reduce stress and let the love back into your life.
Researchers have done many studies on mediation, and it has been shown to have positive effects on stress levels. In fact, a review of 47 trials published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindful meditation can help ease various psychological stresses, including anxiety, depression, and pain.
Try meditating for 5-10 minutes each day to help relieve stress.
Find Time for Exercise
When your work schedule gets crazy, exercise is often the first thing to go. But if you want to fight stress, you should reconsider that strategy. Even though it may be difficult to find time for exercise, working out can help you relieve some anxiety.
When you work out, your body releases endorphins that ease pain and promote pleasurable feelings. This is why you might feel a “high” after an intense workout. And that high can also help combat stress.
Eat Balanced Meals
You might be laughing at this one as you down yet another power bar at your desk instead of eating lunch, but don’t be so quick to write nutrition off of your plate. When your body isn’t getting the right nutrients, you’re more susceptible to things like anxiety and depression.
Even if you grab a pre-made salad from the deli department at the grocery store, try to make more nutritionally sound decisions at every meal. You’ll have more energy and will likely feel less stressed when this current work crunch subsides.
What is a diet? Diet is a broad term that is meant to describe foods we put into our bodies. Learn more about diet and nutrition here.
Laugh it Up
Have you ever noticed how tense your muscles get when you’re stressing out about something? The more you’re stressing, the worse it gets. By contrast, you’re all loosey goosey when you’re laughing. They say that laughter is the best medicine, and that’s especially true when you’re talking about stress.
If you can find a way to laugh through this tough time, the days will inevitably get easier. Watch a funny movie, see a standup comedian or plan a night out with your best friend. Do whatever it takes to get you laughing again. You really do need it.
Quit Your Crutches
When things get stressful, many people turn to alcohol, drugs or cigarettes. But none of these things are actually good for your stress levels. They may seem like it at first, but they will eventually cause more problems that will only lead to more stress.
Drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes can all lead to addiction, which is closely associated with anxiety and depression. So, when you’ve had a bad day, avoid drinking and stop smoking. With high-stress levels, even moderate drinking can be harmful.
Instead, maybe read a book, take a bath, or listen to soft music as a healthy and relaxing escape.
Ask for Help
One of the reasons why we tend to get so stressed when work is crazy is because work isn’t life. In addition to a crazy work schedule, you may have a spouse or partner, children, pets, friends and family to deal with.
Life doesn’t stop for anything. And when we try to juggle everything like a superhero, that’s when things start falling apart.
Before you get to your breaking point, evaluate what’s going on in your life to see if someone can help with anything. Maybe your mom can take the kids, or your husband can cook dinner a few times a week. Sometimes, it’s not about the help itself but just about knowing someone is there for you.
The Bottom Line...
Unfortunately, stress isn’t going anywhere. It’s up to each of us to figure out how to handle healthily, so it doesn’t take over and cause potential stress-related health complications. Try the techniques outlined here to help relieve stress when work and life get crazy.