7 Healthy Ways to Reduce Stress

7 Healthy Ways to Reduce Stress

Stress affects us in many areas of our lives.   At home, school, work, you name it, we all will encounter some form of stress. The car breaks down, you have a deadline to meet on your job, or you experience a life-impacting event that catches you off guard. Have you ever felt overloaded by life and stressed out?

Although we will experience unexpected events from time to time that causes stress, it is wise to take time to manage them instead of allowing them to control us. Today, we will discuss seven healthy ways to reduce stress.

These will include the following:

  1. Relax
  2. Get enough sleep
  3. Change your scenery
  4. Exercise regularly
  5. Eat healthily
  6. Plan your day
  7. Connect with family and friends

Let’s get started with the discussion!

A woman is resting inside a hammock, looking out at nature.

1. Relax

Life is short. We have become a busy society where many people hurry to get from one place to another. Does the phrase “escaping the rat race” resonate with you? Or maybe, you have escaped the rat race but still maintain a hectic lifestyle.

A word of wisdom to you, slow down. Learn to relax and enjoy life. Take time to have fun! Step away from work or anything that causes stress and do something you enjoy.

There are many ways to relax. You can read a book, listen to music, work on crossword puzzles, meditate, or sit out in the sunshine and enjoy the outdoors. Please find what you enjoy doing and take the time to do it.

Look at this as a way to disconnect from everything. Just as we need to recharge cell phones or refill our cars’ gas tanks, we also need to recharge with some downtime.

Relaxing is vital to maintaining a healthy mindset and allows you to take time away from the things that cause you stress.

2. Get enough sleep

Getting an adequate amount of sleep is also essential. Per the National Sleep Foundation, newborns between 0-3 months need about 14-17 hours of sleep. Can you imagine that? However, as we enter adulthood, the amount of sleep needed is 7 hours or more daily, almost a third of our day.

Are you taking time to get enough sleep each day? Do you get the recommended 7 hours of sleep or take naps to help replenish your energy?

I know that some individuals may not require as much sleep. However, it is crucial to get enough sleep to allow your body to feel rested and perform at its best. If you neglect taking time to rest, it can affect your health. For example, it can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, or potentially a stroke.

Practice cutting off the TV and disengaging from social media 30 – 60 minutes before bedtime so your brain can settle down to prepare you for better sleep.

Take care of your body and mind by slowing down to rest. Treat sleep like your life depends on it because it does.

 3. Change your scenery

When did you last take a vacation or take time to get away from your everyday surroundings? Changing your scenery helps you break mundane routines that can cause burnout and stress.

When possible, plan a time to leave and travel somewhere different from what you are accustomed to. It can be another city or a drive to see the countryside. If you do not have much time available, take what you can and use it to experience something new or different.

What matters more than anything is that you change your scenery to disconnect and give your mind time to experience new things.

4. Exercise regularly

An amazing thing about exercise is that when we were in school, physical education was often part of the curriculum; however, after leaving school, some individuals may have lost the desire to exercise or have become too busy to do it regularly.

Exercise does not have to be an intense workout, and you do not have to train for a triathlon event. Exercising can be as simple as walking, stretching, or some activity that helps you move and use muscles to keep them active.

Exercising regularly is important because, over time, it affects our health. Think of exercise as preventative maintenance to help you maximize the mileage in your body. Make exercise a part of your routine to get more out of life.

5. Eat healthily

Eating a well-balanced meal is so essential for our mental and physical health. The food we eat affects our moods and our mind. It is harder for your brain to function at its best when it does not get enough vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to nourish it.

Take time to prepare healthy meals or have someone prepare them for you. Do a weekly meal plan to know what ingredients to select when grocery shopping.

Along with eating healthy, minimizing the amount of caffeinated coffee or drinks is also important. Based on a study by the Mayo Clinic in March 2022, consuming more than 400 milligrams of caffeine daily would be too much. That is equivalent to about 4 cups of coffee per day.

Drinking too much caffeine can have side effects such as headaches, irritability, nervousness, and an elevated heartbeat.

The downside of not getting a well-balanced meal is a reduction in your energy and brain memory. While it is okay to cheat and eat that dessert or unhealthy snack occasionally, neglecting to eat healthily can have a long-term effect on your life, so please, take time to eat healthily.

6. Plan your day

A way to slow down your pace, so you do not have to rush is to plan your day and week. Take time to write down or update planned activities on a calendar.

Why is this important? This is important to keep you from over-extending yourself with too many activities.   When having too many activities or functions to do can cause unnecessary stress.

Having activities documented for your day or week allows you to evaluate how to manage your time more wisely and not feel rushed to do too much. This is an effective habit for your work and personal life.

7. Connect with family and friends

There was a time when families would sit at the dinner table together or around a porch hanging out, enjoying each other’s company. The value of enjoying your family and friends is to help build relationships and establish stronger connections.

When we feel connected to others, we create lasting memories. This is important to help keep us grounded in the moment and focus our time on what matters most.

At the end of our lives, we may not remember all the work projects or tasks we did, but we will not forget the time spent with our loved ones.   So, build relationships to help you minimize stress and establish a network of family and friends to help you as you journey through life.

Final Thoughts

We have discussed seven ways to reduce stress in your life.   These included relaxing, getting enough sleep, changing your scenery, eating healthily, planning your day, and connecting with family and friends.

While these are just a few ideas for reducing stress, taking time to slow down and enjoy daily life is very important. This not only helps you manage stress better, but it also helps you be a better version of yourself each day.

Remember to live, laugh, love, and enjoy life with less stress. Please share your comments or ideas on how you have reduced stress.   Thanks for visiting! Your time is appreciated.

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