Tuesday, June 25, 2013

5 Ways to Reduce Stress

Anyone who has reached adulthood has to deal with stress at some point in their lives. I know I do on a daily basis... in fact, a little bit of stress is good for you to keep your mind sharp and your muscles ready to go thanks to the good ol' fight or flight response. Gotta love our sympathetic nervous system!

Sometimes though, we become too overrun by stress to properly function. So, how do we keep life in the balance? 

1. Just breathe 
Sounds too easy? It really is! Yet, it's the most effective relaxation tool out there. Taking in deep breaths from the belly calms your nervous system, reducing the production of adrenalin and keeps you sane. We often forget to breathe deeply, so set little reminders in your day. Try taking three deep breaths every time you stop at a red light the next time you're in a car! 

2. Make yourself a hot drink 
It could be chamomile if you wish, but I've found that any non-caffeineted hot drink does the trick. Even hot water with a squeeze of lemon. 

3. Go for a walk 
Step outside, breathe some fresh air. Walking is a good way to clear your head, and a nice way to spend time with family and friends! 

4. Don't pack out your day 
I'm guilty of biting off more than I can chew. Allowing yourself plenty of time to get things done takes out the urgency of daily life. Perhaps a little hard to do at work if you have little choice over your workload, but definitely something to keep in mind for home life. Always rushing to get to places? Try leaving a little earlier so you have more time to get there. It may mean that you might have to take a prior activity out so you have more time to get ready and leave, but it's worth it. 

5. Smile even if you are having a bad day 
Think this sounds ridiculous? It might be, but it definitely works. Try faking a smile and I'll be damned if you don't start genuinely smiling at the how silly you feel. Want to take it a step further? Try some laughter yoga sessions! 

How do you deal with stress? 

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