Sleep deprivation affects both our physical and mental health. It is also known to contribute to depression. Especially when stressed out, get as much as 7 to 9 hours of sleep.
When facing stressful thoughts, close your eyes and visualize yourself handling the situation in a calm and relaxed manner. Do not pay attention to how you currently feel. Just focus on relaxing and positive thoughts. This technique is coined as “guided imagery” and has been found to reduce stress.
Fight stress by planning for the day ahead. Make a schedule or a to-do list and develop certain habits that make you more productive. So, instead of wasting time looking for things that you need in the morning, try preparing them as early as the night before.
Physical clutter creates mental clutter. This means, a messy workplace can add up to your stress. Take 15 minutes of your time to tidy up your home or workplace. Also, strive to make cleaning a habit to keep yourself stress-free.
Bring a small flask of calming oil wherever you go. Essential oils such as basil, anise and chamomile can help you feel relaxed. They release tension and help you achieve mental clarity.
Breathing exercises are not only for panic attacks. They also keep your stress levels at bay. Short, shallow breaths make you feel more stressed out. On the other hand, if you take long and deep breaths, you are telling your brain to relax.
Kids and animals have an innate ability to play without stressing out about other things. Spare at least an hour of each day playing with your children or pets. You may also offer to take a friend’s dog out for a walk or babysit their child/children for a couple of hours.
Plan for some quiet time when you can completely disconnect yourself from the world. Take some time out even just for five minutes. Turn all of your gadgets off and let people know they won’t be able to reach you.
Research revealed that people with lots of social support react better to stress. This is because socializing stimulates the production of oxytocin, a hormone that helps your body reduce stress levels. Next time you feel stressed out, surround yourself with family or friends. Hang out, go for a walk or simple have a quick chat.
Research shows that smiling and laughing can reduce stress and prevent depression. So, smile no matter what your circumstances are. It’s always a good idea to take a quick break from stressful situations and get some giggles on your face.
Studies discovered that expressing your gratitude reduces stress. To cultivate the value of gratitude, start a gratitude journal. Every day, write down things that you are grateful for.
Stress can change our appetite. We might crave certain food or lose our appetite. Instead of caving in to stress, continue to keep your body healthy by eating more of food that nutrients such as vitamin B and omega-3s. Vitamin B is linked to good mental health and omega-3s help the body fight stress.
Scientists discovered that meditating reduces gray matter in our brains. This means, meditation allows the brain to release stress. Meditating is also a great way to examine and understand our thoughts.
Instead of stressing out about the future, sit down and create a vision board. It enables you to set concrete goals and take the edge off about the unknown. Take an hour to spend creating a vision board. If you are not the crafty type, you can create an e-vision board using apps like Pinterest.
If you are stressing over something, it is healthy to let yourself worry about it only for a certain amount of time. Commit to worry only for a maximum of 20 minutes. Think of the possible outcomes, figure out game plans and after 20 minutes, quit thinking about it. You may also have a friend call or warn you that the allotted time is already over so you won’t go beyond the limit.