We keep hearing ways to stress less.
Just don’t be so stressed.
Don’t let that stress you out!
The truth is, stress happens regardless. You are never going to be able to get rid of stress entirely or completely. Sure there will be those blissful moments when we can take a deep breath and exhale all of our worries, but life keeps advancing and we have to learn how to adapt and cope.
There are ways, however, that we can work on how vulnerable we are to stress. Ever find that every little thing some days can completely annoy you? Usually it’s on those days where you didn’t’ get enough sleep, forgot to eat something all day, or have other worries going on deep in your mind.
Start by taking this quiz from Stress.org to see how vulnerable you already are to stress. Daily habits like not getting enough sleep, eating a poor diet, smoking, and more can make you more susceptible to stressful situations.
Find ways to manage your stress:
- Take deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose, exhale through your mouth. Sit up tall with a straight back and relax your shoulders. Close your eyes. Breathe in and out 3 times and tell me you don’t already feel better.
- Drink some tea – a warm cup of tea can really be relaxing. Find a tea you love or a scent that makes you think of a fond memory. For me Earl Grey and Passion teas are divine and immediately bring up my spirit.
- Get extra sleep – if you know you’re going through a stressful time or just feeling more overwhelmed, get to bed earlier. Extra sleep will allow your brain to rest up since you are processing a LOT every day. Ever feel mentally drained? Stress can have a lot to do with that. Extra Zzzs will allow your body and mind more time to relax and less time to anxiously worry about all the things you can’t control.
- Make a list of everything you need to do (and everything you think you need to do) today. Then go through it and prioritize your list. What’s the most important? What HAS to be done within the next hour? Within the next day? What are the things you really don’t have to do right now? Cross those off to save for later.
- Sweat it out – exercise can sound like the LAST thing you want to do but working out releases endorphins and will calm your mind. It will also leave you feeling motivated, powerful, and accomplished.
- Take fish oil – fish oil has been shown to balance cortisol levels in your body if taken on a regular basis
- Drink more water – drinking enough water will keep your body hydrated and keep you from having those awful stress headaches in the afternoon
- Avoid caffeine after noon – too much caffeine during the day can drastically boost cortisol (the stress hormone). By avoiding coffee, soda, and high caffeine teas in the afternoon and evening, you will have an easier time relaxing once you get home and getting to bed on time at night.
Kelly McGonigal gives an amazing TED talk about how we choose to view stress and the impacts it can have on our health.