We all experience stress at different points of our careers and personal lives, and it’s not necessarily always a bad thing. Positive stress may help build resilience and confidence. Moderate levels of stress may even boost our problem-solving skills and motivate us to work harder.
Even though some measures of stress may be healthy, we want to avoid excessive chronic stress which has been linked to increased risk of depression, digestive problems, heart disease, and other detrimental issues.
Learning to manage your stress entails many steps, including adopting healthy lifestyle habits designed to reduce stress levels. The exercise you do, the food you eat, and the sleep you get all play a big role in stress management.
It may be challenging to start and maintain healthy habits, but the benefits of a healthy lifestyle far outweigh the work required to sustain it.
Here are a few healthy lifestyle choices you can make to reduce and manage your stress levels.
1. Start Your Day Right
Mornings may be stressful for many of us—from the alarm clock practically jolting us awake to missing breakfast to get ready and make it to work on time. Even if we are on a tight schedule and have a busy day ahead of us, there are ways to ease these stressful mornings and begin our day positively.
Abandon the conventional alarm system. Rather than being jarred awake by a blaring alarm clock, choose curtains that allow natural light to filter through and let you wake up naturally in the mornings. If you aren’t quite ready to wake up on your own, invest in a sunrise alarm clock that will help you gradually wake up to artificial sunshine emanating from your nightstand.
Make it a habit to drink a large glass of water to hydrate, flush out toxins from your body, and rev up your metabolism. Also, devote 10 minutes of your morning to meditation to clear your mind of unnecessary anxieties and increase your focus for the rest of the day.
Furthermore, instead of starting your morning by reading the news and social media updates, simply begin your day with a book and something uplifting. Resist the temptation to check your work email. Spend your mornings at home to relax and wait until you arrive at work to begin work.
2. Exercise Regularly
Getting regular exercise is another fantastic way to control your weight, build and maintain healthy muscles and bones, improve your energy, and manage overall stress levels.
During exercise, your body releases chemicals that can boost your mood and reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. This can help you deal with stress and lower the likelihood of depression. Additionally, exercise can stimulate the production of endorphins that trigger positive feelings in your body and lower your perception of pain.
Additionally, it doesn’t even matter how tough the exercise is. Your mood can improve from working out regardless of the intensity of the physical activity. Make exercise part of your daily routine by making exercise more fun, choosing to be active with family and friends, and keeping track of your progress.
3. Maintain a Healthy Diet
One of the best changes you can make to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to alter your eating habits. Switching to a healthier diet provides some of the most significant advantages for your well-being.
Poor nutrition can also make your skin look sick. Undernutrition can result in dry, rough skin or an uneven complexion. Relying on processed foods or foods without essential nutrients and vitamins may cause these undesired effects on your appearance.
Proper diet and good nutrition can make a world of difference to your physical and mental well-being. You’ll feel better, stay healthier, and have more patience and energy to deal with stressful situations.
4. Treat Yourself to a Massage
The benefits of a massage are plenty and valuable—it is an excellent tool for relieving stress, improving mood, reducing muscular tightness and tension, and improving your overall health and wellness.
Whether you’re suffering from stress because of your profession, overwhelming responsibilities, uncertainty, a lack of control, or other physical or mental demands, getting a massage is a great way to reduce the stress and relieve the body. Expect your tension headaches to subside, your energy levels to rise, and your mental health to improve after a session.
Cope with the demands of a high-stress job or living situation by scheduling weekly massage appointments. Unless you are dealing with pain or recovering from an injury, you will frequently feel better for a full week before noticing the need for a repeat visit.
5. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of being entirely and non-judgmentally present in the moment, simply observing the sights, sounds, and smells around you as well as your own feelings and sensations. You can incorporate mindfulness into your daily life or use it as a form of meditation.
Practicing mindfulness is critical when dealing with stress, anxiety, and frustration, as you must be aware of your feelings before taking steps to address an issue. Additionally, mindfulness encourages you to maintain an attitude of acceptance instead of judgment, doubt, or resistance. An accepting attitude can have a positive impact on your response to setbacks and frustrations.
Mindfulness meditation is a type of mental training that teaches you how to let go of negativity, quiet your racing thoughts, and calm both your mind and body. While techniques vary, basic mindfulness meditation simply involves sitting quietly, focusing on your natural breathing, and letting your thoughts pass through without judgment as you return your focus to your breathing.
6. Set Realistic Goals and Expectations
You can manage your stress levels by realizing and accepting that you cannot control and be successful at everything. Maintain reasonable expectations and be aware of what you can and cannot do. Accept and operate within your skills and limitations.
Expect some obstacles along your path to success and acknowledge that most of them can be overcome with patience and perseverance. However, you must also learn to accept the things you cannot change. If a situation is beyond your control, it is best to accept it instead of wasting time and effort, which could easily lead to stress and frustration. Rather than spinning your wheels without ever making any progress, spend your energy on something more worthwhile.
7. End Your Day with Quality Sleep
People frequently ignore the importance of getting enough quality sleep. However, insufficient sleep has several harmful consequences. Sleep deprivation may impair the capacity to absorb and retain information, affect judgment, and increase the risk of serious accidents. Chronic sleep deprivation may result in various health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and even premature death.
Sleep is a highly effective stress reliever. Maintaining a regular sleep routine, even on weekends, trains your body when it’s time to sleep. Following a regular sleep pattern helps to relax and restore your body and improves mood, focus, judgment, and decision-making. When you are well-rested, you are a better problem solver and more capable of coping with stress.
For some women, period affects sleep, with premenstrual and menstrual symptoms such as bloating and cramps making bedtime difficult. Since an elevated temperature may affect your sleep, you can help your body maintain a comfortable core temperature by keeping your bedroom cool. Sleeping on your side may help regulate breathing, but if you find this position uncomfortable, consider sleeping in the fetal position with a pillow between your knees to ease joint pain.
We all deal with stress from time to time, but you shouldn’t let stress take control of your life. Healthy lifestyle practices can help you to better manage your response to stress, enabling you to improve your overall well-being and avoid, reduce, or even reverse the adverse effects of chronic stress. Provided by Katrina’s Content Studio.
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