When you get stressed, your heart rate increases, the adrenaline starts to flow, and your blood pressure rises, and that’s all bad news for the health of your heart. Stress is now amongst that biggest risks to health there is, so anything that you can do to reduce your stress levels is going to be worth trying. We can’t just eliminate all the stress from our lives, it would be lovely if we could, but we can do things to minimise it. Here are ten really simple things that you can do to reduce the stress in your daily life.
1. Live in the present
Stress is often caused by worrying about what might happen, rather than what is actually happening now. Focus more of your attention on the everyday things that are going on around you and you will find that you feel a lot more relaxed. Being present will also mean that you enjoy things a lot more as well, so it will take your mind off the stressful things that are going on in your life.
2. Don’t try to go it alone
If you try to deal with stressful situation all by yourself, it will only make the stress feel a lot worse, so talk to a good friend or a colleague about what is stressing you out. They may not be able to offer an instant solution for you, but just talking things through can help get your mind straight on what you need to do.
3. Get some exercise
You don’t need to run to experience a stress busting runners high, you can get those feel good hormones racing around your body with just a little bit of exercise. Walking, yoga, or a gentle workout, will all release the chemicals that can help to fight stress and anxiety. If you feel that the stress is getting the better of you, take ten minutes out for a brisk walk around the block. It will make you feel a lot better and it will clear your head.
4. Take deep breaths
When you take deep breaths, it slows your heart rate and calms you down. All you need to is to sit back in your chair, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Take a slow, deep breath through your nose, and then breathe out through your mouth. You will start to feel the benefits almost immediately.
5. Play some tunes
Listening to music can do a lot more than just make you feel better, it has also been proven that listening to your favourite tunes reduces anxiety, lowers blood pressure and slows down the heart rate. Plugging into some soothing music could be just what you need to help you calm down or, if you prefer, listen to heavy rock and let off steam instead.
6. Eliminate some of the stressful situations from your life
Stress is a thing that builds up on you so, the more stressful situations you get into, the greater your stress levels will be. Although we can’t just switch off all the stress in our lives, you’ll be surprised at how many stressful things you could avoid if you chose to. You could avoid people who annoy you, you could cycle to work, instead of taking the car, and you could learn to say no more often when people give you tasks that you don’t have the time to deal with. Anything you can do to remove some of the stress from your life will help.
7. Make more me time
Another thing that will have your stress levels rising out of control is no having any time to relax. Everyone needs a break from stress, so make sure that you put aside some time to nothing else but the things you enjoy. It doesn’t matter if that’s reading a book, watching TV, or going for a walk, so long as it’s not work and it’s something that you find relaxing.
8. Get a hobby
In a similar vein to the previous point, a hobby is a good way to relax and get your mind off things for a while. The best types of hobbies to reduce stress are creative ones that require the use of your hands. Concentrating on a creative task, like painting, or pottery, slows the heart rate and reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body.
9. Take more holidays
However busy you are, you should always make sure that take proper vacations, at least twice a year and have some weekends away too. Get completely away from work for a while and get into some unfamiliar surroundings. It’s the very best way to get a real break and to wind down properly.
10. Find reasons to laugh
Laughing also reduces the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in your body, so find more excuses for a good belly laugh. Watch a funny clip on YouTube or, even better; go out with some friends who always make you laugh. It will help bring down your stress levels and help make you feel calm an in control again.