Stress is something that everyone deals with in some way or another in their life, but just because it’s a common (and biological) occurrence, doesn't mean that it’s something we can’t alter. Stress affects not only the body, but the mind as well, and when it starts to become a chronic phenomenon, it really begins to take a substantial toll. When stress becomes a persistent player in your everyday life, your quality of sleep, food choices, hormone levels, skin condition, heart & digestive health, immune system and moods are affected.
So how do you keep stress down to keep yourself from experiencing anymore of these bad effects of stress? Here are six simple ways to decrease your stress levels and live a more stress free life. And when could be a more fitting time than during Stress Awareness Month!
1. Go Exercise - Exercise is good for stress relief in many ways. The endorphins released when you exercise create positive feelings in your mind and body, and reduce pain cognizance. When you exercise you also tend to sleep better and feel more confident in yourself. Now this doesn't mean that you have to start lifting heavy and running on the treadmill at the gym. Find an exercise routine that you enjoy! Go outside and take a walk in nature, participate in a yoga class that meets a couple times a week, join a local sports team or go out dancing!
2. Listen To Music - Music is extremely powerful. It has the ability to make us feel joy, sadness, boost our energy and minimize stress. Instrumental music has a soothing effect. It lowers blood pressure, slows heart rate and can be a great tool for meditation, another stress reliever.
3. Spend Time With Animals - Animals are the best, there’s no doubt about that, but did you know that they also help to relieve stress? Our pets help to lower our blood pressure and cortisol levels, and increase dopamine and endorphin levels. It’s not just our pets though, even just a brief amount of time spent with a non-pet animal has been proven to reduce stress. So if adopting a dog or cat isn’t something that is viable for you, go spend some quality time with our four-legged and feathered brethren at an animal sanctuary.
4. Take Up A Relaxing Hobby - Taking a break from the things in your life that are stressing you out is very important, and there are a variety of hobbies to pick from that do just that. Knitting and crocheting are great for keeping your hands busy with a repetitive motion that is much like meditation. Reading and writing are great as well. Reading allows you to escape reality for awhile, and writing things out gives you the opportunity to reflect on what’s going on in your life in a healthy manner. Adult coloring books are another popular way to relieve stress!
5. Laughing Is The Best Medicine - Laughing can literally improve your health and lessen feelings of stress. Laughter alleviates physical tension by relaxing your muscles, boosts your immune system, increases blood flow, improves your mood and, just like exercise, provokes the body to release endorphins. Watch a funny movie, go out for coffee with a friend of yours who always keeps you laughing, watch a comedian act, and start laughing more!
6. Cut Out The Clutter In Your Life - Clutter causes stress is a lot of different ways. It’s distracting which keeps us from getting things that we need to get done, done increasing stress, it raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol, makes us feel embarrassed when others come into our home, and causes sense overload which makes it harder to think clearly and creatively. Your home should be your haven, not another stressor. Let Zippboxx help you cut down on the stress in your life by taking away your clutter! We’ll store your belongings, junk the bad stuff and donate any unwanted items to local charities.