Have you ever gotten stressed? I am sure the answer is yes. We all do. It’s a natural part of life. Whether it’s work, kids, money troubles, household mess, friends, health issues – there are so many things that can cause us stress. So, what are the best ways that you can de-stress and live a happier life? Here are some of my tips:
What is stress?
Stress is your body’s way of reacting to a demand, a threat or a challenging situation. Your body basically goes into a “fight or flight” mode. It’s a form of self-protection. Stress can work for you or against you – sometimes it can challenge you or push you to keep going and motivate you, other times it can cripple you.
It is virtually impossible to eliminate stress from your life. But, there are things you can do that will help you be better able to cope with it. I live a pretty busy and demanding life. I work full-time and run my own business, run a household and take care of my 2 year old daughter and my step-son, all the while trying to find time for myself to exercise and eat right, and spend time with my husband and friends. But, I am a big believer in mindfulness, and taking care of myself.
Here are a few things that I like to do to calm my mind, that you might like to try:
Surround yourself with positive people
People who share your interests and have a positive attitude towards life are great people to have around. Their mood has a flow-on effect to you and can make you feel more happy and positive. Avoid gossips and negative people. They will wear your down and cause more tension by giving you unnecessary things to fret about. Surround yourself with people who will add value to your life, not detract from it.
There’s something to be said for de-cluttering. It’s not just about removing physical possessions from your home, desk or car, it’s about freeing up the clutter in your mind by giving you less things to worry about. The more junk we have in our lives, the more stressed we get.
Meditate/ practice mindfulness
Meditation is a great way to de-stress and free your mind of the burdens of everyday life (bills, work, kids, mortgages, etc). It can also help you to find a sense of calm and peace.
You only need to spend 5-10 minutes a day meditating, or practicing mindfulness, for it to be effective. There are some great meditation apps out there – Smiling Mind, HeadSpace and The Mindfulness App are just a few. Give them a go today – you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make.
Learn how to say no
If you have a tendency to take too much on and struggle to say no to people, that could actually be doing you more harm than good. They more things you take on and the busier your life becomes, the more stressed you’re likely to feel. Take stock of everything you do – you might find that there’s one activity that you’re not actually getting much out of, or getting much joy from. Get rid of it.
What you eat can have a impact on your mood – which can lead to stress. A lot of people don’t actually realise this and wonder why they are tired, crabby and low in energy all the time. Take a look at what you’re putting into your body. For example – too many starchy carbs (pasta, bread, potato etc) can leave you feeling tired, lethargic and low in energy. Find the right balance and combination of foods that works for you. Fuel your body with the things that will make you feel better, not worse.
Get outdoors and be active
Sunshine and exercise are the best natural endorphins you can get. People who enjoy running often say they do it to clear their mind. Find an exercise or activity you enjoy and do it consistently.
Make time for yourself
This is the best and most effective way to de-stress. We all need time out every now and again. Read your favourite book, take a bath, listen to music, do whatever makes you happy and helps to calm your mind – even if it is for just 10 minutes a day.
Learn to let go
This is a hard one and takes a lot of practice. We all hold onto things and stew over them and get worked up about it. Sometimes it even keeps us up at night. We dedicate so much time and power to these negative thoughts and how we are annoyed, frustrated, wronged or slighted by something that someone did or said, that it literally saps us of all of our energy. It’s mentally and physically draining. My advice is to just pick your battles, and let everything else go. You can’t change someone else and their actions, you can only change how you respond to it.
Do you have any favourite de-stressing tips? Share them below.
Image Credits: Photo by GREG KANTRA on Unsplash