Today’s world is fast-paced, competitive, and chaotic. With packed calendars, long to-do lists, and home and work responsibilities vying for our attention, stress is pretty much an essential part of our lives these days.
Or is it?
Actually, making a few simple adjustments can go far to manage—and even reduce—stress in our lives. Check out these powerful stress-reducing tips.
Working out regularly is one of the best ways to relax our mind and body; studies show exercise even improves our mood! And we don’t have to carve out hours a day. Experts say that exercising for 30 minutes three to five times a week can make a significant difference. Focus on setting fitness goals you can meet so you don’t give up, and remember that doing any exercise is better than none at all.
Eating a regular, well-balanced diet makes a huge difference in the way we feel. Don’t skip meals, and focus on eating vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean protein for energy.
Make Time for What You Love
Making time for favorite hobbies can make a difference. These types of hobbies might include:
· Doing an art project
· Playing golf
· Watching a movie
· Doing puzzles
· Playing cards and board games
Talk about It
Talking about things that worry you helps lower stress. You can talk to family members, friends, a trusted clergyman, your doctor, or a therapist—you can even talk to yourself! Research shows that positive self-talk can impact our levels of stress.
Take a Break
Schedule time just to relax. Try doing one (or all) of these things:
· Meditation or deep breathing
· Yoga, tai chi, or other relaxing exercise
· Listening to favorite music
· Spending time in nature
Relax Your Muscles
When you’re stressed, your muscles get tense. You can help loosen them up on your own and refresh your body by stretching, enjoying a massage, taking a hot bath or shower, or getting a good night’s sleep.
Sometimes we just need to slow down and chill out. Look for small ways to do that. Here are a few examples to get you started:
· Set your watch 5 to 10 minutes ahead so you arrive early to appointments.
· Switch to the slow lane when you’re driving.
· Break down big jobs into smaller ones.
Go Easy on Yourself
Nobody’s perfect! Accept that you can’t do everything perfectly no matter how hard you try. Lower your expectations, laugh at yourself, and remember that tomorrow is a new day!
For more details about these stress-reducing ideas, visit webmd.com/balance/guide/tips-to-control-stress#1.