Combat Stress: 7 Simple Ways

Here are 7 simple methods to combat stress:

1. Express Humor And Be Happy.

Laugh hard aiStock_000012818743XLargend loud. If you don’t have a sense of humor, find someone else who has. Laughter releases endorphins (happy chemicals) from the body, and it helps boost your immune system. Watch those silly cat videos on YouTube!  Our family sits around and just howls with laughter when watching these.

2. Take Control Over Your Time and Schedule.

You’ll be much more able to deal with stress if you have a good handle on your job, relationships, and other activities. When you are in control, you are more inclined to stay focused and calm.

Remember to leave room for unexpected events – both negative and positive. Be adaptable in rearranging your agenda. Get up 15 minutes early in the morning. Allow an extra 15 minutes to get to all appointments.  I love the hour I have each morning before the kiddo gets up and I need to get him ready for school.  I take this time to sip my coffee and plan my day, its a great head start!

Whatever needs doing, do it immediately. I always attempt to plan the thing’s I don’t want to do first or they will likely fall off my list and that will cause me more stress when I remember them!  Keep an appointment or record book.   I found I am no longer able to rely on my memory.  I use a day planner and update it throughout the day. I also have a white board near my desk for tasks that are really important so that they are “in my face” all the time until I can wipe them off of the board – oh that feels so good when I wipe them off!

Say “no” to requests that you cannot accomplish. It’s perfectly fine to say no so something, even if it is something good, so you can say yes to the better things.  This alone has helped eliminate a lot of time related stress in my life!

3. Work Out

Make it a habit to get some sort of exercise EVERY day.  It can be as simple as brisk walking, swimming or whatever appeals to you. Play a sport you’re interested in. Aerobic exercises can considerably reduce the stress and iMother,father and daughter doing yogancrease your energy for the rest of the day.  Exercise improves sleep and gives you time to think and focus on other things. It also promotes the release of natural soothing chemicals in your body.

4. Search Out A Support Group.

You’ll be able to manage stress much better if you have other people helping and supporting you. Did you know that married people and people who are outgoing (always meeting with friends), have considerably low levels of stress in their lives?  Join a small group at church, attend social gatherings, any way you can think of  to meet people who you can add to your support group will help you reduce your stress levels.

Choose positive friends who are not worriers. Friends who continually talk in negative terms about life will increase your anxiety. Invite a good friend to help you talk out a problem and get it off your chest. A long-distance call to an old pal can be great therapy.  Much better than a Facebook conversation!

5. Take Breaths Deeply and Slowly.

Relax your muscles, breath through your stomach and chest. Exhale slowly. Do it again several times. Follow your breath as it flows in and out. This is a good way to relax in the midst of any activity. This practice allows you to find a breathing pattern that is natural and relaxing to you.  Diffuse a relaxing essential oil like Lavender or Peace and Calming while you do this, the tiny particles of oil being diffused into the air will immediately head to the limbic system in your brain and will help lift your spirits and lower your stress levels.

6. Eat Healthy Foods at the Right Time.

Positive family preparing lunch togetherNever skip meals, especially breakfast.  Take the time to eat right no matter how busy you are. Take nutritious snacks to the office, or even the shopping mall. A nutritionally balanced diet is essential to your health and lifestyle. For example, researchers have found that even small deficiencies of thiamin, a B-complex vitamin, can cause anxiety symptoms. Pantothenic acid, another B-complex vitamin, is critical during times of stress. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large amounts of sweets, which can worsen symptoms of stress. Need a fast, healthy breakfast option?  Check out this blog post HERE!

7. Live Optimistically.

Live one day at a time.  Identify and enjoy the blessings in your life!

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