Four Ways to Reduce Your Stress
Stress gets to each of us now and again. Here are a four ways to manage your stress levels and maintain better mental health.
- HAVE FUN. Having some fun occasionally is great for reducing stress. Although it sounds simple, many adults do not have enough fun in their lives. Daily family and career responsibilities can suck the fun right out of life. It is wise to schedule fun time the same way you schedule meetings. You might take up a new hobby or sport. The main idea is to take time to enjoy yourself as a healthy part of life.
- INCREASE YOUR EXERCISE. We all know how important exercise is to our health. Even very small activities can add up over the course of a day. The first step is to get yourself up and moving by doing something that you like to do. Just about any form of physical activity can help relieve stress and burn away anger, tension, and frustration. You can try parking farther out in the parking lot, turn up the music a little and dance around the house while doing your daily chores or take a yoga class.
- LEARN MEDITATION. Try experimenting with meditation techniques to learn to relax. The goal of meditation is to become more mindful, to be more selective with your attention, and to become responsive (not reactive) to your thoughts. Meditation allows you to identify, observe, and master your emotions. Instead of instinctively reacting, you can learn to optimize your thought process and react more calmly to stressful stimuli. As you become more mindful of your thoughts and feelings, you become better able to cope with the stress you still face. Ways to meditate include counting, reciting mantras, breathing, practicing mindfulness, and using positive self-talk. You might start with just five minutes every day of sitting quietly.
- GET QUALITY SLEEP. Improving your sleep can help you feel better mentally and physically. Sleeping well can ease stress levels by leaving you refreshed and better able to cope. Unfortunately, stress can also stop you from sleeping well. By the way, more sleep does not necessarily mean better sleep. You should focus on quality over quantity. A good suggestion is to start going to bed and getting up on a regular time schedule. Next, try to get into “rest mode” by shutting down and turning off all mental stimulation before bedtime. This means you need to turn off the TV, computer and phone, and instead take a hot shower, maybe turn on some mellow music and get into bed in a timely manner.
Stress is one of the most overlooked problems in modern life. By learning to handle stress more efficiently, you will become a more effective personally and enjoy your overall life better too.