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Stress is something that we all need to deal with. Whether at home or at work, things come up that put us in stressful situations. But, just because we can’t avoid it doesn’t mean we have to just accept it.
Here are 7 simple things you can do to reduce stress in your life. Incorporating them into your lifestyle will help you live a happier, more relaxing life.
- Get 7 to 8 Hours Sleep Nightly
Sleep is very important because it gives your body a chance to rest and repair itself. In fact, research shows that not getting enough sleep increases stress levels.
Moodiness, irritability, forgetfulness, and fatigue are just a few of the many side effects of sleep deprivation. This is a problem among children and adults alike. More recently, it’s been worsened by our frequent use of electronic devices.
For this reason, putting away your laptop, phone, and tablet about an hour before bed can help you fall asleep faster. And, it will also let you get a better night’s rest.
A comfortable bed also goes a long way in helping you sleep better.
Going to bed earlier can likewise help people who must wake up earlier for work. This allows them to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours sleep per night.
- Listen to Music
Listening to music is one of the simplest ways to relax your mind and body. It helps calm you down. And, it has been shown to help lower blood pressure.
Classical music, slow jazz, nature sounds, and soft instrumentals are just some of the genres that are very effective in relieving stress.
Though it is worth noting that fast-paced tunes like techno, rock and upbeat pop music aren’t your best options. Music that has a tempo of 135 beats per minute or higher are more likely to stimulate you rather then help you relax. This is why you often hear them played in commercial gyms, and not in dentist’s waiting rooms.
- Deep Breathing
If you don’t have a radio or music player lying around, try deep breathing. It is easy to do. And, you can do it anywhere, even in your office or cubicle.
Slow, relaxed, deep breaths help bring down your heart rate and blood pressure, which in turn will help you feel calm and overall, less stressed. It does so by allowing you to focus on your breath instead of whatever stressor you’re facing.
Abdominal breathing, paced respiration and diaphragmatic breathing are just some effective deep breathing techniques that will help you relax.
Don’t forget to exercise. Exercise is a very powerful tool for stress management. That’s because it can calm you down during stressful situations and it also helps prevent you from getting easily stressed. In fact, studies show that people who regularly exercised experience less anxiety than those who aren’t active.
This is because exercising regularly has the ability to lower your body’s stress hormones in the long term. This makes you calmer and improves your overall mood.
- Live Close to Work
Living close to where you work helps you avoid long commutes and traffic jams, both of which contribute to daily stress.
A 30-minute commute to work can add up to 5 hours of drive (or bus) time each week. Studies also show that people who have a longer commute are more likely to be unsatisfied in their job, and even earn less money. In fact, a survey of commuters shows that people think of their long commute as one of the worst parts about their jobs.
By finding a home located close to your workplace you’re able to ensure a happier, less stressful home and work experience.
Meditation has been used as a relaxation technique in many cultures around the world for centuries. Not unlike the deep breathing we talked about earlier, this technique works to help your body reduce stress.
But, there’s more. Studies show that meditation produces a mind-body connection that changed your brain. Additionally, it has also been proven to help improve many health problems. Thanks to this, mediation has come to be known as more than just a stress reliever. It is also widely used to help with other health issues including anxiety and insomnia.
If you want to get three birds with one stone, do yoga instead. Yoga combines its postures with breathing and meditation. This allows you to exercise, practice deep breathing and meditation all within one yoga session. Doing so also helps you mentally, physically and emotionally.
- Practice Time Management
Many people like to leave things until the last minute. As a result, you end up procrastinating, which in turn, stresses you out because you’re in a hurry to meet a deadline.
Instead, try planning things in advance and practicing time management. Whether at home or at work, being able to prioritize, organize and delegate things helps keep your stress levels down.
- By prioritizing your workload, you know what you need to do first. And, it lets you focus on getting the most important things done first.
- Being organized is also a very important part of having a relaxing home and work environment. Clutter can cause chaos and can make your day unnecessarily stressful.
- Delegation meanwhile is another key to stress reduction, be it at home or in the office. No one can do everything themselves. And, by delegating you are ensuring everything gets done, and with less stress.
Emma Lymn is the editor of Health Grinder, a health and nutrition blog whose mission is to help others get healthy through food and exercise. She is a proud mom of two and a very spoiled dog.