Stress is a normal part of life but, left unchecked, it can have a negative impact on your physical, mental and emotional well-being. While you can’t always avoid stress, you can take steps to minimize the negative effect it has on you. To create your own stress-busting toolkit, take a look at these top tips for reducing and managing stress:
If you aren’t getting the nutrients you need from your diet, your body won’t cope with stress well. Stress can affect nutrient absorption, so it’s particularly important to eat a healthy, balanced diet when life feels overwhelming. While you might be tempted to reach for sugary sweets or starchy carbs during times to stress, these can leave you feeling worse. In contrast, a healthy diet makes you primed to cope with the everyday stressors of life.
Exercise is extremely effective when it comes to reducing the impact stress has on you. When you’re frustrated or angry, a workout can help you to let off steam and recalibrate. Additionally, exercise releases endorphins, which can ease anxiety and boost your mood. What’s more – being active is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, so it will ensure you’re in good shape to cope with any stress that comes your way.
If you want to make exercise a regular part of your schedule, take the time to find an activity you enjoy. Hitting the gym or running for miles isn’t everyone’s idea of fun but there are plenty of alternatives. From home fitness sessions and e-fitness to cycling or abseiling, being active can be as much fun as you want it to be.
Try Vitamins and Supplements
Taking vitamins and supplements can be a good way to ensure you’re getting all the micro and macronutrients you need, and you can also use them to promote relaxation. Melatonin can help you get to sleep at night, for example, while the best CBD gummies can help you to unwind and alleviate anxiety. Alternatively, you could take a vitamin D supplement to banish fatigue or try a Vitamin B complex to boost your energy levels.
When you’re feeling stressed, it’s tempting to isolate yourself and turn down invitations to social events. However, spending time with the people you love can be an effective way of minimising stress. If you can’t meet up regularly, try video calls and virtual chats instead. Alternatively, stay in touch via instant messages or emails. Whichever methods of communication are right for you, make sure you stay in regular content with the people in your life if you want to reduce your stress levels.
Find a New Hobby
If you’re feeling worried or anxious, it can be hard to stop thinking about whatever it is that’s troubling you. While it can be helpful to come up with potential solutions to a problem, ruminating about something is rarely beneficial. Starting a new hobby gives you something else to focus on and can provide a distraction. Being engrossed in a book, doing some DIY or trying out a new recipe in the kitchen are things everyone can do, yet they’re surprisingly effective when it comes to beating stress.
Learn to Relax
We like to think we know how to relax, even if we don’t get the opportunity to do it often! In reality, learning to relax is something most of us can benefit from. Progressive muscle relaxation teaches you to do just that, so it’s well worth spending some time consciously relaxing your muscles. With practice, you’ll be able to notice the signs and symptoms of muscle tension much more quickly, which gives you the opportunity to relax them.
Stress can cause you to subconsciously tense your muscles, but muscle tension also sends signals to the brain that a threat is looming. This negative feedback loop can exacerbate stress, as well as causing physical aches and pains. When you learn how to relax your muscles, however, you can break the cycle and feel more relaxed.
You don’t have to start mixing essential oils or creating your own blends to benefit from aromatherapy, although these can be a great way to incorporate aromatherapy into your life. Simply placing a diffuser in your living areas, lighting scented candles or using a scented body oil can be enough to relieve stress.
Choose scents that are known for their stress-relieving impact, such as, lavender, lemon, Ylang Ylang, bergamot, lemongrass or orange. Alternatively, try comforting scents, like vanilla, cinnamon or sage, to help you feel at ease.
Banish Negative Self-Talk
Even without realising it, we subject ourselves to a staggering amount of self-talk throughout the day. Of course, this can make you feel upset, anxious, worried and worthless, even if you don’t link these emotions to your self-talk habit. Start by noticing every time you think or say something negative about yourself and you’ll be amazed at how often you do it.
Once you’re aware of how often you use negative self-talk, you can begin to replace negative phrases or chastisements with positive thoughts instead. Rather than being too hard on yourself, imagine you’re talking to a friend and show yourself the same kindness and compassion you would to someone you love.
Practice Saying No
If you’ve got a packed schedule and an endless ‘to-do’ list, it’s not surprising you find yourself feeling stressed on a regular basis. While some things might be non-negotiable, such as going to work, your list will undoubtedly include some things that you could remove. By reassessing your commitments and learning to say no to some requests, you can create a more balanced lifestyle and naturally reduce your stress levels.
Living a Low-Stress Life
You may not be able to eradicate all forms of stress from your life, but you can certainly adjust your responses to the stressors you encounter. Now you’ve got the tools and techniques you need; you can look forward to making positive changes and living a low-stress life.