Stress-Less with Practical Ways to Relieve & Manage Stress
Practical ways to relieve and manage stress
Our modern lifestyles of over-complicated schedules, managing work and home life, and the overuse of technology has left us stressed.
I mean STRESSED.
By reducing the complexity of your lifestyle habits with simple and practical approaches to concepts and challenges you typically over-analyze, can significantly reduce your stress levels.
The Damaging Effects of Stress
Stress can affect your body, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. When the hypothalamus sends out the stress signal your body’s fight-or-flight response kicks in. This response is designed to protect your body in an emergency by preparing you for a quick reaction. Unfortunately, with our modern lifestyle practices, our fight-or-flight response is at a constant heightened phase.
Anything from everyday responsibilities to family life and untimely death of a loved one can trigger your stress response. When you are at a chronic state of stress, it can take a toll on your overall wellbeing. You may experience irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, and insomnia now, but long-term you are at risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, weakened immune system, and fertility issues (including erectile dysfunction in men).
Ways to Stress-Less
Studies have shown that technology offers overstimulation of trivial choices, and the more choices you encounter, the more stress you will carry. It is best to discipline your use of technology by using time blocks. You can do this by corresponding to emails in the morning, checking social media after work, and turning your smartphone or device off during time spent with family.
Many jobs require that you multitask, stay connected, and respond quickly to an assortment of demands. Over time your performance will be compromised, your energy will decline, and your stress will increase. To avoid the extra burden of being overworked (and underpaid) spend a few minutes every hour to move more, incorporate simple stretches, deep breathing techniques or a small chat with a co-worker to break up the monotony.
When life gets busy and hectic, we tend to forget about ourselves and the necessary downtime needed to recoperate from the stressful day. Unplugging from everything, including digital stimulation and people for 5-20 minutes each day to reflect and relax will significantly decrease your stress levels and increase your mood. If you are feeling irritable or a bit on edge, take a few moments to yourself by contemplating life in a quiet place, birdwatch, or go for a leisurely stroll.
Close relationships are a vital key to happiness. When you attempt to manage a larger social circle of friends through digital media versus face-to-face, you compromise your ability to maintain healthy and truly meaningful relationships. Instead of stressing out over commenting or responding to everyone’s posts via social media or email, take a moment to recollect your friends (and family) that bring a positive and reciprocative beneficial balance to the relationship. Focus on spending more time with these individuals to build a stronger bond.
Getting adequate sleep each night will improve your mood, energy levels, irritability, and work performance and in return reduce your stress levels. Excessive artificial light and stimulation after dark are the primary culprits in disrupting the flow of melatonin and other hormones that facilitate optimal sleep and restoration. By diming lights, setting screen curfews, investing in yellow lens sunglasses, and keeping the room cool and clutter free will help you transition into a sleep state and wake up refreshed each morning.
Exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels and promote self-esteem significantly. You do not need to be a gym enthusiast or have a membership to reap the benefits of aerobic exercise. By merely taking a stroll, jog, or doing some living room yoga will help take the edge off the day’s stress. More so, studies have shown that group exercise stimulates the release of more endorphins than a solo training session. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. With a heightened response of endorphins, you’ll be feeling a release of tension and anger and an increase in mood in no time.
Don’t eat and run but set aside enough time in your day to sit down and enjoy your meals. Eat with friends or family or quietly alone with relaxing music to reduce the day’s stress. If time management is an issue, plan, and prep your meals ahead of time. Check out The Paleo Family Easy Meals eBook for recipes, shopping list, and ideas to make your meal stress-free.
Ways to recoup from a stressful situation
- deep breathing
- take a walk
- listen to calming music or a podcast
- focus on positive thoughts and words; calm, love, and peace
- talk to someone (friend or therapist)
What are some ways you disengage from a stressful day or situation?
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*For immediate short-term situations stress can be beneficial – such as running from a bear or swimming to safety.