There are endless ways to become stressed out but luckily, there are plenty of good ways on how to decrease stress and get back on track to restore your peace of mind.
Here are some interesting facts about stress:
- High levels of stress are a part of life and can negatively impact anyone at anytime. No one is immune!
- Studies show people who experience a higher level of job stress than others tend to have a higher body mass index. They find it much harder to keep the weight off!
- Managing stress effectively is dependent on whether or not you are willing to make changes to get rid of the stress. It’s entirely up to you!
Things to Do to Relieve Stress
With that said, here’s how to decrease stress even if you feel you are at the point of no return:
- Make sure you get enough sleep. Studies show the average adult needs approximately 7 to 8 hours of sleep on a consistent basis if they want to have a chance to feel good enough to ward off the negative effects of stress. However, keep in mind that lack of sleep can accumulate like a debt you need to repay. For example, if your body normally requires 7 hours of sleep and you reach that goal for 5 days straight, that’s wonderful. Let’s assume for the next two days, you only sleep 5 hours each day. At this point, you would be sleep deprived by 4 hours and you would be wise to somehow make up that sleep or a good portion of it by taking naps or sleeping an extra hour or so for the next 3 to 4 days.
- Use deep breathing techniques. Sit up straight in a chair and place one hand on your belly and one on your chest. Breathe through your nose slowly and deeply for about 7-8 seconds (your stomach should rise, not your chest) and exhale for the same amount of time. Repeat this 10 times. Deep breathing relieves stress and anxiety via a physiological effect where your body activates stress-reducing hormones.
- Pamper yourself at least once a week, if possible. If you are a female, getting a manicure or pedicure once every two weeks can work wonders for stress reduction as long as you completely disconnect from the outside world while you are at the salon. For men and women, a good regular massage every two to four weeks can make a huge difference in the reduction of stress levels. For inexpensive massages, you may want to try your local mall and get one of those deep-tissue massages for approximately 30 dollars! These are really good ways to relieve stress if you lead a very busy lifestyle.
- Drink your black tea, already! Studies have shown regular black tea drinkers experienced lower levels of the stress-inducing hormone, cortisol. Enough said! Research on this is still ongoing but it’s difficult to argue the stress-reducing benefits of black tea.
- Have more sex! If you want to get on the fast track on how to decrease stress naturally, engage in sex (not to be confused with masturbation). Your body will release those fee-good chemicals that make a big difference in your stress level. The estrogen and testosterone levels in your body are also more in balance when you have sex and this helps lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Be more organized. What is it going to take for you to get rid of all that clutter that continues to stress you out? While we are at it, why don’t you make a list of things to do on a daily basis instead of winging it and stressing yourself out when you miss an appointment because you simply forgot about it? The more organized you are, the less stress you will have. End of story!
- Get off the Internet and quit using the cell phone so much! Haven’t you noticed how stressed you are when all you do is answer call after call and issue text after text on your cell phone? What about the Internet? Is it that interesting where you can’t quit surfing the Web while straining your eyes and putting your central nervous system continuously into overdrive? Take breaks from these two every day…no, I mean long breaks, not the 15 minute kind, and you will feel a noticeable difference.
- Eat healthier foods. If you are eating tons of white bread, rice, pasta, and those delicious sugary smacks all the time you are merely trampling all over your body as your blood sugar spikes and crumbles down over and over. Mix in three non-lean steak nights every week and you’re looking at a disaster! The end result is you will always feel tired and stressed out. This one is fairly easy to fix even though your foods won’t be as tasty and enjoyable. Hey, maybe Mama was right when she said everything that tastes good is probably bad for you! If you keep eating all that crap, you will have a hard time learning how to decrease stress no matter how hard you try in other areas.
- Exercise daily. I know, I know, you say you don’t have time because you have to wake up every morning at 5:00 AM, walk and feed the dog, see the kids off to school, commute an hour and a half to work each way, then come back home and prepare dinner and help the kids with their homework! However, you can easily buy a pedometer on Amazon.com for less than $5.00 and make sure you work your way up to the recommended 10,000 steps a day for great health. C’mon people, just about anybody can do this!
- Watch or listen to comedy every day. If you have a smart phone, you can listen to the free Pandora app and laugh your behind off as Larry the Cable Guy talks about his grandmother’s walking flatulence or Nephew Tommy’s crank calls. Personally, I listen to it as I nod off to sleep every night so I can guess you can say I laugh myself to sleep! Laughter is said to relieve physical stress for up to 45 minutes and it also boosts your immune system.
You can also learn how to decrease stress in your own personal way by getting in touch with favorite routines that help you relax after a stressful day. For example, sitting in your recliner with a bag of popcorn (light on the salt) while watching your favorite TV shows can work wonders for you if that’s your cup of tea! The whole idea is to disconnect.