If there’s one thing everyone has in common, it’s that we all experience stress. Stressors can range from the small inconveniences of lost keys and family arguments to the extreme strain of work deadlines and health issues. An important part of staying well is learning to deal with these pressures in a productive and healthy way. Relieving stress doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow some simple guidelines to get you through the tough stuff.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Doctors like Dominique Fradin Read suggest that those dealing with stress implement a regular workout routine. Exercise increases endorphins, the chemicals in the brain that trigger happiness and relaxation. You might be picturing a complicated regimen, but exercise can be as simple as riding your bike, dancing around the kitchen, going for a swim or taking a walk at a local park. Make sure you pick an activity you actually like. You’ll be more likely to follow through on your new habit if you are doing something you enjoy. Always consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet decreases stress by stabilizing your mood, strengthening your immune system and lowering blood pressure. Unfortunately, many people are drawn to unhealthy foods when they are feeling tense. Take steps to support a healthier diet by keeping healthy snacks around the house, avoiding fats and carbs, steering clear of take-out and making sure you get enough vitamins.
Keep a Healthy Sleep Schedule
Consistent sleep is an important part of a healthy life. Losing sleep can add to the cycle of stress and cause depression. Habits that support better sleep include getting enough exercise, avoiding caffeine before bed and keeping your cell phone out of the bedroom. Try to set a sleep schedule for yourself and get ready for bed at the same time each night. If you consistently struggle with falling and staying asleep, you should speak with your doctor.
Learn to Meditate
Meditation has a wide range of benefits, one of the most important being stress relief. While you might picture meditation taking hours out of your day, it doesn’t need to be that complicated. Taking just five minutes to focus on your breathing and quiet your mind can have positive benefits that last all day. Regular meditation increases your ability to be mindful and in the moment, which will improve the way you deal with pressure and stress.
Stress doesn’t have to be a constant problem. By following a few simple tips, you can decrease your level of tension and improve your health, which is an important part of more fully enjoying your daily life.