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With busy lives and uncertainty about the future, it's no wonder people feel stressed. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to combat stress. You can make some minor lifestyle changes that will significantly impact your stress levels and overall well-being.
More than half the US population regularly suffers from stress.
Pressure from work, family, and society can lead to a feeling of overwhelm and anxiety.
Exercise is a well-known stress buster. The cognitive effects of exercise are unparalleled and leave you feeling calmer and more stable.
You only need to do 15 minutes of exercise that raises your heart rate to feel less stressed. The endorphins released when you exercise help you feel happier and less anxious.
Try to get the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity each week, and you should notice a significant reduction in stress levels.
Even if you're tired and don't feel like it, try to push yourself to do some exercise. You don't even need to leave the house; you can work out while watching your favorite TV show.
We are social beings, and our busy lives make us feel more and more lonely.
Spending quality time with family and friends is a great way to bust stress and feel more satisfied.
Why not suggest a walk with a loved one? That way, you can get some exercise and enjoy some time in the company of someone you care about. If you prioritize time with people you care about, you'll feel calmer and relaxed.
One of the most significant contributors to stress is lack of sleep. When you don't have good quality sleep, it affects your mood and can make you stress out.
Try to get 7 to 9 hours of good quality sleep a night, and you'll notice a massive difference in your overall well-being. If you have to get up early, skip watching something on TV the night before and get to bed an hour earlier.
Remove stressful distractions such as laptops, phones, and TVs from the bedroom. This will help ensure you can unwind and get to sleep easier.
Stress can cause us to take short, sharp breaths and not use the total capacity of our lungs. The breath is a powerful tool for destressing and calming down the mind.
Try some breathing exercises (you can find many free videos online). Taking deep, slow breaths every morning before you start your day can help alter your mental state for the better.
We can end up making poor food choices as a result of stress. This can exacerbate our feelings of anxiety and negatively impact our health.
Eating balanced, healthy meals regularly throughout the day can help reduce your stress levels.
Try meal prepping at the start of the week so you don't even need to think about what you will eat. If you make it as easy as possible to make positive food choices, you won't need to make bad choices.
Keep stress in check by taking stress-busting supplements. Taking supplements can help regulate your stress hormones and avoid the mental fatigue associated with stress.
Specific vitamins and minerals are needed for your body to regulate your mood and combat stress. You can try taking magnesium, vitamin A, and vitamin D supplements if you feel stressed.
Spending time in nature is scientifically proven to relieve stress. If you live in a city, going to the local park and spending some time walking there can significantly reduce your stress levels.
Being in nature grounds us, helps us forget about our troubles, and helps us get some perspective on our problems. Spending time outdoors lowers your heart rate (which often becomes elevated when stressed).
Spend more time outside, and you will feel happier and less anxious.
We spend hours staring at screens for our work, studies, and social time. If you want to manage your stress, spend less time staring at screens.
If your job means you have to look at a computer for 8 hours a day, spend your downtime doing something that doesn't involve screens. Reduce the amount of TV and surfing the internet you do in your free time. Set a screen time limit on your phone so you take control of the amount of time you spend on it.
Practices such as yoga and meditation are well-known stress busters. Taking time to slow down and do an activity solely for your well-being is a great way to manage your stress.
Even one yoga class a week is enough to reduce your stress levels significantly. Try meditating for 5 minutes a day, and you'll notice a big difference in the way you approach your day-to-day life.
Our busy schedules can be extremely overwhelming. Thinking about all the things on our to-do list can be a very stressful thought!
Take control of your day and make it work for you. Schedule downtime and time to work out, see friends, and do the things you love. Learn to say no to events that are not obligatory and will just cause you more harm than good.
Block your tasks, so you do everything in one category at once. Check your phone and your email less to stay focused on the task at hand.
You don't need to do everything in this article straight away if you want to combat stress. Now you know how to reduce stress, you can take small steps to make gradual improvements to your lifestyle.
Slowly, you will be able to improve your stress levels and start to enjoy life more. If you'd like more tips on how to make sustainable changes to your life, join one of our wellness courses.
Ask questions. Share your thoughts. Note that we cannot answer questions relating to specific medical conditions - please refer those to your qualified healthcare provider.
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