Are you getting agitated at the slightest bit of provocation? Do you suffer from road rage? Is your mind in a state of chaos? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then do not despair. Because you are not alone…
In a 2006 Stress Survey by the American Psychological Association, 46 percent of respondents are troubled about the levels of stress they face in their lives.
We can attribute the rise in stress levels to factors such as the rapid pace at which we live our lives. Today instances of burnout are becoming increasingly common, especially among younger professionals. An example of burnout is when a person who was previously highly committed to a job, loses all interest as well as motivation.
Why Is Stress Harmful For You?
Stress tends to suppress the disease fighting functions of white blood cells weakening your immune system. Although stress increases the rate of your metabolism, the essential nutrients required by your body are not absorbed. As a result, your intestinal tract is often affected. In extreme cases, you could even sweat blood.
Thus, although high levels of stress may not kill you instantly, it will likely reduce your lifespan and may prevent you from enjoying a high standard of living. So what to do about it? Here are 5 tips that you can use to reduce stress from your lifestyle and live a longer and happier life.
5 Ideas You Can Start Using Today To Combat Stress
1. Get Sufficient Sleep
Most people require anywhere from six to eight hours of sleep. But this differs from person to person. To find out how much sleep is required by your body in order to receive sufficient rest, try out this technique for a week…
Sleep without an alarm and sleep for as long as your body requires. You could use earplugs and blinkers to ensure that you are not disturbed. In the morning, you can make a note of how many hours you were asleep. Do this activity for seven days.
Take an average of the number of hours you slept on the 5th, 6th and 7th day. This is the number of hours your body requires for receiving adequate rest and for reducing stress. If you receive sufficient sleep you will feel revitalized and energetic throughout the day.
2. Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is one of the most simple and easy techniques that can be followed for stress reduction. This activity can be performed whether you are at home, at work or traveling.
Here is a breathing technique that you can follow
1. Sit or stand with a good posture.
2. Breathe through your nose.
3. Inhale, filling first the lower part of your lungs then the middle part, then the upper part.
4. Hold your breath for a few seconds.
5. Exhale slowly. Relax your abdomen and chest.
3. Physical Exercises
Some people like physical activities such as trekking or hiking while others may prefer dancing or brisk walking. The key is to choose a physical activity that you enjoy doing. Any type of exercise is good to reduce stress and it is even more effective if you exercise regularly and do some earthing. Stress tends to build up over a period of time and the best way to reduce is to do so gradually. So remember, the next time you feel stressed out, hit the gym or just take a walk. This is one of the basic steps of any stress reduction program.
Physical exercise has a dual benefit for your body. First of all it helps you stay in shape and thus helps you look good as well as younger. Secondly, when you perform a physical activity, your body releases endorphins. These chemical substances have no harmful side effects on your body. Instead, they make you feel good.
4. Maintain a Stress Free Environment
Lots of noise and clutter increases your stress levels. So a good way to reduce stress is to ensure that your work place as well as your home is free of loud noises and clutter. You can start off by getting rid of unwanted documents, papers and other litter that occupy your desk.
You can also ensure that you are prepared for work the previous night itself by keeping essential items like your house and car keys, wallet and vital documents at a particular place. A little bit of discipline and organization on a regular basis will go a long way in reducing stress in the long run.
5. Reward Yourself
At the end of a stressful day, there is no better way to unwind than to treat yourself to a long relaxing hot bath or a steam massage. Irrespective of your choice, do make it a practice to treat yourself to an activity that you enjoy doing. And during that time do not worry about work or household chores or anything else. Instead you must solely focus on enjoying yourself.
It is essential to de-stress yourself from time to time. Rewarding yourself occasionally is an excellent way to relax as well as reduce your stress. Remember stressed spelled backwards is desserts.
Do you have any personal stress relieving tips to share?