You probably experience stress coming from various directions: relationships, finances, schedules, jobs, and more. In a fast-paced, always-on culture, there’s plenty of pressure to keep up with numerous things at once. Add to that the inner challenges that can come up during the lifespan, including aging and emotional issues. It takes determination and intentionality to push back against the tide of overwhelm, but it can be done. Finding a sense of calm is within your reach if you focus on a few key habits. Here are some suggestions to get started.
1. Take a Break
Take a break. No, really — do it. You might think that powering through on an empty tank is the best way to go, but it’ll deplete you and decrease your level of performance. Instead, do something that breaks up your routine completely. It’ll help you reduce your stress, boost your concentration, and revitalize your mind. Need some help to relax and feel better during your break? Try doing a search for terms like CBD gummies to find a supplement that works for you.
2. Get Outside
Even if it’s just for a few minutes, get outside and soak up nature. Even rolling down the window of your car for a few minutes can help. Outside air boosts endorphin levels, encourages deep breathing, and helps you feel clearer mentally. Also, sunlight has numerous benefits (taken both through the eyes and skin) that add up over time. If it’s possible to take your shoes off and stand on the ground, even better. Whatever you decide, allow yourself to escape from electronics and be present in the wonder of the outdoors.
3. Breathe Slowly
It may seem too simple to be true, but you can transform a basic survival action into an effective routine to diminish stress. Here’s one way to start. Get into a comfortable position, and close your eyes. Breathe through your nose, inhaling for four seconds, exhaling for four. Try it for at least a minute. You’ll instantly down-regulate your nervous system and change your focus into the present moment. Both are potent stress relievers.
4. Stretch Your Body
As stress accumulates, it causes body tension. Counteract that by going through a short stretch routine. Is it part of your overall fitness plan? Great, then simply do the stretching part after walking around for a bit. Need to find something quickly? Do a search on YouTube for “safe stretching” to find a brief routine that will improve your blood circulation and stretch your muscles and connective tissue. Remember: Gentle is best.
5. Drink Plenty of Water
Water is a necessity for physical survival, and getting enough water is necessary for optimal well-being. If you’re dehydrated, your cortisol level will go up, setting into motion the fight or flight response. That adds up to increased stress. Sip water throughout the day. Flavor it if it helps you drink more. If possible, take in about half your weight in ounces.
6. Attend To Your Emotions and Thoughts
One of the most powerful things you can do to decrease your stress is to refrain from negative self-talk and limit your consumption of distressing news media. Replace negative self-talk with positive statements relating to good things you’ve done and positive personal qualities you have. Write them down if you need to. By retraining your attention, you can reorient your mind toward things that are good and life-giving rather than stressful. It will boost your mood and increase your resilience.
7. Make a Plan
Is it a challenge to remember to stretch, drink plenty of water, or breathe mindfully? Make things easier for yourself and figure out a way to set a reminder so you’ll remember what to do to maintain a calm attitude. Setting a phone or watch notification is usually effective.
Decreasing your stress is more straightforward than you think. Try these simple actions to feel more relaxed!