Realistic Ways to Reduce Stress Throughout the Day

The American Psychological Association reports that adults throughout the country are becoming increasingly stressed over time. Knowing this, it may come as no surprise that depression, anxiety and mood disorders are ranked number one among the top five national health conditions across every county of every state in the U.S.

For each individual, there are convenient, realistic ways to remedy stress throughout the day.

Morning Stress

  • Morning Meditation: The benefits of starting each day with just a few minutes of slow, deep breathing or rhythmic exercise can include: positive thinking, increased awareness, enhanced creativity and better brain function. Meditation activates the body’s relaxation response, which aids in starting the day feeling alert and stress-free.
  • Balanced Breakfast: Preparing a healthy breakfast wakes the body and boosts mental power to combat feelings of anxiety and stress throughout the day. Be sure to incorporate foods that are rich with antioxidants and vitamins that naturally reduce stress. Some of these include avocado, blueberries, milk, nuts and seeds, oatmeal and spinach.
  • Establish A Routine: Whether it’s teaching the kids how to get ready, creating a reward system or putting up a chore board to remind family members of their responsibilities, a daily routine can save time and hassle. A rushed, chaotic start sets a mood of stress and impulsivity, which kids and parents can carry with them throughout the day.

Afternoon Stress

  • Get Moving: The average American spends more than half their waking hours sitting down. Being sedentary for long periods of time has been linked to higher levels of anxiety and increases the risk of obesity, cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Getting up to walk, stand or stretch once or twice every hour gets the blood flowing, eases the mind and can improve work performance.
  • Avoid The Caffeine Crash: Too much caffeine can increase the risk of stress/anxiety-related symptoms including: nausea, restlessness, headaches and fatigue. Seeking alternatives to coffee or pop and drinking water regularly helps control blood pressure and decrease cortisol levels. Though tea is not as fast-acting as coffee, it provides sustained energy with no mental or physical crash.

Evening Stress

  • Work-Life Balance: According to studies, 91 percent of employees work over 40 hours per week, at least some of the time. Although it can be difficult to separate work stress from personal time, unplugging outside of the office will improve productivity and focus while on the job. Spending time with family or friends and relaxing at home recharges the mind, body and spirit.
  • Exercise: Often referred to as “meditation in motion,” it’s no secret that exercising releases happy hormones and allows the body and mind to destress. In addition, dedicating at least 30 minutes a day to some form of physical activity can combat anxiety by boosting self-confidence, lowering blood pressure and improving sleep.
  • Routine Rest: The chemicals in the brain that lead to a deep sleep are the same that control the production of stress hormones, which is exactly why lack of rest and increased stress go hand in hand. Setting an alarm to start a bedtime routine each night allows time to step away from screens and get ready for sleep to ensure seven to eight hours of shut-eye, which can reduce daytime agitation.

Photo credit: home thods

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