Statistics by the American Institute of Stress indicate that 77% of Americans feel stress affecting their daily lives, and 33% of respondents report extreme stress. With ever-increasingly busy lifestyles, it’s little wonder that more people are feeling stressed, frazzled, and burned out.
If this sounds familiar, you need to look at ways to reduce your stress levels and allow yourself to unwind. Reason to learn more.
Practice Stepping Away
During our everyday lives, we will likely come into contact with situations and circumstances people who increase stress levels and increase your mental load. In these situations, you can remove yourself for a short period to allow yourself to regroup, relax and collect your thoughts. This can allow time to diffuse tensions and give you mental clarity to redress what is happening and find a clearer approach to resolve any problems.
Write Things Down
Many people under extreme stress find they cannot sleep due to everything they are experiencing at that time. If this is the case for you, or you find thoughts overwhelming at any time of the day, grab a pen or open an app on your phone to get those thoughts out. Write it down if you find your thoughts racing or cannot sleep due to processing everything in your life.
The beauty of this exercise is you don’t always need to do anything with them. The simple act of writing them down can be enough to calm your mind. But once they are out of your head, you can analyze them more logically, work through them to find solutions and fixes and look for how you can reduce their impact on your life.
Mindfulness is the state of training your attention to help you achieve calm and positivity. Mindfulness is usually achieved through meditation and involves tuning your thoughts to the present moment and what is happening in the here and now. It allows you to be aware of your feeling at that exact moment, your breathing, and your physical reactions to triggers.
At this moment, you can then release the stress and let it go. While this can take time, practice, and dedication, studies have shown mindfulness effectively reduces stress and anxiety in healthy people.
Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy (bonus points if you read this in the tone of Elle Woods!). Exercise gives your body a physical outlet for stress and allows you to channel all of your worries into something productive. Physical exertion can get your blood pumping, raise your heart rate and boost your mental health.
When you exercise, the released endorphins can help reduce adrenaline and cortisol, the body’s stress hormones which can trigger your fight or flight response. By lowering these levels, you can better understand what you need to do and approach your problems and the cause of your worry and anxiety more logically.
Self-care means something different to everyone and is far from being a buzzword or something unachievable. It can be as simple or extravagant as you need it to be. It is simply the act of doing something that makes you feel good.
Self-care can be simply putting your favorite album on and enjoying it doing nothing, cleaning the house, or driving. It can be reading a book in bed or the bath, eating better, taking Energy & Stress Supplements, or taking a long spa weekend with girlfriends. There are never-ending options for self-care; it doesn’t need to be something you must put on a pedestal.
Take 5 minutes each day to stop closing your eyes and take time for yourself as the bare minimum.
Talk to Someone
A problem shared is a problem halved, so the saying goes, and this is never truer than when you are experiencing stress and anxiety. Keeping your worries to yourself inside your head can allow them to build up to something you feel you can never come to.
Talking to someone, be it a family member, friend, therapist, or doctor, can help you release some of the stress-related mental load. Once you get the thoughts out of your head, much like with journaling, as mentioned, you can find a way to address the problem and reach a solution to help you move forward more stress way.
Stress is part and parcel of every day. From mild stress levels to extreme stress and anxiety, it is only natural to encounter stressful scenarios occasionally. However, knowing how best to address it can help you reduce the mental load and restore your quality of life.
A penny for your thoughts?