Life gets complicated and we get crazy busy. So, all of that has to pile up somewhere. Have you believed this myth? The truth is, life can get complicated but we have choices in how we handle the way those complications affect us. Here are some sure-fire ways to chase stress out of your life.
Stress doesn’t have to take over your life
1. Get Moving. Physical Activity is one sure fire way to attack stress. Excursus and other physical activity causes Endorphins to be released in our brain. Endorphins are the chemical in our brain that acts as a pain-killer. Think of Endorphins as an all natural feel-good. Endorphins also increase your ability to sleep soundly, and that alone helps to reduce stress levels.
2. Avoid unhealthy habits. Caffeine and nicotine dependence may help to give you a calm feeling in the short term but in the long term, it causes fatigue and even reduces our ability to deal with stress. Caffeine acts as a diuretic causing frequent urination, which in turn causes you to loose valuable minerals like Magnesium, the natural tranquilizer and sleep enhancer. When you feel the urge to fill that coffee cup on one more time consider some of the following ideas on other ways to confront the stress in your life.
3. Eat a well balanced diet. Clean whole foods free from processing should make up the bulk of your diet. You need energy for the day and simple sugars, like the ones you’re prone to reach for in a moment of stress, provide short easily burned bursts of energy. Go for mid-meal snacks that provide healthy fats and of long lasting energy. Homemade Guacamole or hummus are two great places to turn for snacking.
4. Get outside yourself. Put your mind on others, and find a way to be helpful to someone who could really use it. There is no better way to gain perspective than to take your eyes off of your own problems for a little while. Consider a neighborhood single mom who could use some encouragement, try volunteering, visit a home for the elderly, just do something for someone else.
5. Practice Gratitude. No Matter how bad things get, there is always something we can see as a positive. Challenge yourself to be thankful for those things everyday. Take the 3 thanks challenge and begin a daily journal in which you record 3 things each day you are thankful for. We train ourselves to do lots of things in the course of our lives and an attitude of gratitude is just another one of those areas that may require some training. It may feel strange and even a little fake at first, but keeping our mind focused on the positive things in our lives will re-train our pattern of thinking and that will reduce stress.
6. Take time for you! We all need some alone time to decompress. Schedule time weekly to do something for yourself. Maybe you enjoy the outdoors, or a pedicure, a good book in your favorite spot. Whatever it is, you deserve to be alone with yourself every week.
7. Feel free to say “No”. Sometimes we fear disappointing the people we love and respect and therefore commit ourselves to the limit. There are only 24 hours in a day and a good portion of those should be spent sleeping. So counting our waking hours there is only so much we can do and remain healthy physically and mentally. So choose what matters most, and what will have the best long term effect.
Stress doesn’t have to take over your life. Take the initiative and care for your body and your mind. When you head out for your “Me time” this week take the Make it a great Day pack to your favorite spot. Fill it with your favorite things, a great book, a yoga mat; whatever you need to relax your mind and reduce stress. This week take time to Make it a Great Day, with Make it a Great Day Bags.