Stress is more than an unpleasant sensation. From clogged arteries to strange legions in the brain, it can have actual, tangible effects on both your physical and mental health. If you’re looking for ways to manage your stress levels, here are just a few tips for bringing peace back into your life.
1. Count Your Blessings
Studies have shown that developing a “gratitude habit” can physically lower your stress levels. The key is consistency and regularity. You can’t just raise your eyes to the heavens and thank your lucky stars every once in a while; you have to get into the habit of appreciating your health, home, family, friends or career as an everyday act.
2. Get off the Couch
You’ve probably heard of endorphins and the effect that they can have on your brain, but were you aware that exercise has other stress-busting benefits as well? For example, a round of cardio will get your heart pumping and increase the amount of oxygen entering your lungs; these will help you clear your mind and feel invigorated for your next task. Even a simple walk around the block will expose you to fresh air and sunlight, making you feel better through a concentrated dose of Vitamin D.
3. Embrace Meditation
Meditation doesn’t have to involve scented candles and humming. You can fit mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) techniques into your everyday routine, and since these are the ones that doctors recommend for chronic pain and trauma, you can bet that they’re more effective than a room smelling like roses. Start looking into MBSR to help you lower your blood pressure and manage your anxiety.
4. Commit to a Goal
Maybe it’s as simple as fitting into your old jeans. Maybe it’s as challenging as finding a new career or going back to school. Regardless of your long-term plans, the simple act of having a goal will give your days purpose and focus. It doesn’t matter if you’re obtaining an online MHA or training for a marathon; as long as there’s some kind of achievement that you can work towards, you’ll give your days more meaning.
5. Find Your Triggers
Is there any particular reason for your unhappiness? If so, what thoughts, actions, prompts or reminders will bring it to the forefront of your mind? If you can learn how to recognize and identify these triggers, you can learn how to avoid them too. The best way to ease your stress is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.
These are just a few tips for a happier, healthier life. It may feel like your stress is consuming you, but like any other emotional reaction, it can be managed with the right mindset. Serenity can be yours if you’re willing to tackle the problem head-on!