5 Lifestyle Choices to Reduce Your Stress

It’s easy to get caught up in the week with everything that needs to be done. There’s work, school, kids and finding time for yourself, how can you not get stressed out? Most of us don’t realize the importance of self-care and ensuring we work to live stress-free because we don’t know how. It takes a lot to go to a yoga class and to find time for a  vacation, and it seems impossible to find quiet time to ourselves everyday.

So, below I’ve listed five easy ways to incorporate stress-lowering tactics into our everyday lives.

  1. A Healthy Diet: Eating a healthy diet is not only good for your health but also your mind.  An article from Everyday Health shares that “certain foods provide comfort and actually increase levels of hormones in the body that naturally fight stress.” Sandra Meyerowitz, MPH, RD, LD, online nutrition coach and owner of Nutrition Works in Louisville, KY shares that a nice warm cup of tea is a great drink to incorporate into your diet for stress relief. She says the soothing feeling of sipping the warm tea provides a relaxing effect for the body of which is very beneficial for fighting stress.
  2. Exercise: Participating in exercise can help increase the amount of endorphins that are produced in your brain, creating that ‘feel good’ sensation throughout your body. The Mayo Clinic Staff also explains Runner with ipodhow exercise is meditation in motion. This means that exercise allows your body to forget the various irritations of the day as you focus on your body movements, thus allowing us to feel less tense. A good workout can also help you relax, reduce symptoms of anxiety, improve your sleep and make you feel more self-confident.
  3. Sleep: For us to be at our best throughout the day it is recommended for adults 18 years and older to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. An article from WebMD  shares that without enough sleep we are more easily agitated and less patient, meaning we are also less likely to feel motivated to exercise and prepare healthy meals. Sleep also stands as a reparative system, meaning it gives our body a chance to repair from all the wear and tear stress delivers throughout the day.
  4. Work-life balance: Set some time aside each week for you to relax in a way that is best for you. Although hard work is important, it shouldn’t take over your life. Curling up with a good book and a cup of tea, watching a favorite T.V. show, or getting outside to soak in the sun, are just a few things that I do when I have a little down time and need some stress-relief. Don’t get too caught up in the hustle and bustle of the day that you forget to enjoy life.
  5. One-minute meditation: Taking a minute a day to meditate can do wonders for your stress levels. Not only will your stress levels decrease, but your focus, mood, and sleep can also benefit from this technique. Learn more here.

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Photo credit: Life Through Herman’s Eyes via Flikr (feature), A Healthier Michigan via Flickr (inset)

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