Stress Relief: Six ways to lessen your stress and sharpen your mind

Six steps to reduce stress

We constantly hear about the various ways to create healthier eating habits and improve our exercise schedules so that we can become physically healthier. However, a healthy body alone does not make for a healthy person. Your mind is a muscle just as much as any other part of the body, and it’s the muscle in charge of everything else. If you’re stressed out constantly and feel there’s no end in sight for such emotions, you should look to making a few changes – excess stress can deride health and even shorten your life span, no matter how healthy you are in other areas. Below are six easy ways to lessen stress in your every day life and find peace of mind.
1. When you want to go to bed, really go to bed – Often, when we feel tired during the day, we think we just need “more sleep”. While making sure you get a good amount each night should be a priority, the amount doesn’t mean much if it’s not a satisfying sleep. Don’t just “crash” while do something to get to sleep. Try making an active effort to want to go to bed, whatever that time may be, without distractions. It lets your mind have time to power down and get into a deeper, more consistent and relaxing sleep that will leave you feeling refreshed for the next day.

2. Find some time to vent – Don’t just keep every little thing that bothers you to yourself. Stress relief isn’t about simply avoiding any stressful situation or pretending it’s not there. Find a quiet space to yourself, such as your car, to vent and let loose how you really feel, even if it involves yelling. This can be cathartic for many people as it’s a relief to many to let go of pent up feelings. Others take it a step further and get a punching bag to physically release their aggression if they need it.

3. Find someone to listen to you – Of course, just venting about a problem doesn’t make it go away. Sometimes something can linger in our minds, whether we’re feeling depressed about a relationship we’ve gotten out of, or a promotion at work we’re vying for. In these cases, voicing our concerns to someone can help because they can offer us solutions and perspective. While weekly therapy sessions are a good option for many and are used to help people cope with more serious, ongoing issues, you don’t always need to pay a professional – sometimes a friend who also needs someone to vent to is all you need.

4. Learn to let the little things go – This one might seem a little contradictory to the last two. However, when something’s a small nuisance – perhaps stepping in a puddle on the way to work or a long wait at the grocery store – it doesn’t always need to be analyzed and assessed before moving on. We encounter many little things that force us to be more patient than we’d like to have to be, every day, most of which we can’t change and can’t predict. In these little moments, the ability to take a deep breath and understand it’s a minor problem is a great coping mechanism to have.

5. Find a small stress relieving activity you can do almost anywhere – We’ve all heard “Take a chill pill” and some say it isn’t practical advice. A mint or glass of water however might do the trick. Or perhaps a quick walk or pace can. When we’re stressed, our minds can stew on what we’re thinking about, so a small, simple activity to stimulate us and allow us to focus on something else for a moment can re-energize us so we can view our problems with more clarity. This helps you not get tunnel vision and to be able to view your problem from all angles. One step back goes a long way.

6. Have something to look forward to every day – This is a simple one. Have some time set for yourself so that you can unwind and have something to think about when the day’s getting long. Whether it’s looking forward to that day’s dinner plan or a television show you’ve been waiting to see all week, focusing on something you’ll enjoy and that you’ll have soon can help the problems you have feel smaller. There are many ways to relieve stress, but the most important one is finding ways to also create enjoyment. When you’re enjoying your life, stress as a whole tends to crop up less in the first place.

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