It’s important to learn how to naturally decrease stress, because unfortunately, every one experiences stress. Whether it’s triggered by something positive, like getting a promotion, or something negative, like losing your job, stress is the body’s natural reaction to changes in life. Stress produces hormones that trigger the fight or flight response. Sometimes, a little stress is useful to help you reach new goals. Most of the time though, stress is uncomfortable and it’s normal to want relief. Below are 10 easy ways to decrease stress in your everyday life.
Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety. Every time you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which make you happier and reduces pain. Join a gym to encourage yourself to exercise regularly.
It’s no surprise that eating healthy benefits many aspects of daily life, including stress levels. The best foods to eat to improve blood flow, and in turn decrease stress, include blueberries, salmon, spinach, avocados, dark chocolate, and many others.
Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep can make the smallest amount of stress seem overwhelming. Aim to get around 8 hours of sleep consistently. If you’re struggling to fall asleep due to stress, try journaling before bed to clear your mind.
Try Breathing Exercises
If you need a simple way to decrease stress in a moment of high pressure, try breathing exercises. There are many different breathing techniques available online, but a simple one to remember is “4-7-8 breathing.” Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, then breathe out for 8 seconds.
Listen to Relaxing Music
Relaxing music is another simple way to decrease stress at the moment. Have you noticed that you instantly feel relaxed when you walk into a spa? This is because of the stress-relieving music playing in the background. Search for a “relaxing music” playlist on your preferred music platform and try starting your day with it playing in the background.
Go to Therapy
If you find that you’re experiencing higher than normal levels of stress, therapy might be a worthwhile investment. Therapy, also known as counseling, involves meeting with a trained professional, discussing your life, and learning coping techniques. Therapy is a great resource to decrease stress and improve your overall mental health.
While this tip may seem like a joke, laughing physically reduces stress in your body. When you laugh, you intake more oxygen, your heart and lungs are stimulated, and your body releases endorphins. While it may not be a cure-all, laughing is definitely the most fun way to reduce stress.
Set Realistic Expectations
Unrealistic expectations for yourself will add unnecessary stress to your life. Be realistic with your time and what you can accomplish each day. Create a schedule or to-do list to make sure you aren’t overbooking yourself. If you find that you are, don’t be afraid to delegate lower priorities.
Meditation is a great way to ground yourself and focus on the moment. There are many different types of meditation, but overall, meditation involves sitting in a quiet place, focusing on your breathing and your body, and allowing your mind to wander. If you’re unsure where to start, follow these guided meditations to reduce stress.
You don’t have to be a yogi to experience lower stress levels from yoga. The Y offers beginner yoga classes to learn basic poses, correct alignment, breathwork, and movement, all of which help reduce stress.
Alleviate Stress with the Y
Stress can be extremely uncomfortable, but by living a healthy lifestyle, you can decrease stress in your life. If you’re looking for a place to help you achieve a healthy, stress-free lifestyle, check out the Y near you!