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Our lives are so busy, sometimes it can feel hard to breathe and no way to relax and relieve stress. We spend our days running around multi-tasking, doing endless errands, cooking and cleaning, working and taking care of our families and the household.
Doing all the things all the time without a break in sight can take a toll on both your physical and mental wellbeing. You may find yourself more emotional, irritable, or depressed and you may struggle to stay focused.
Health-wise, stress can trigger chemical reactions in your body and constant stress can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. This can ultimately lead to illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.
Learning how to manage stress can help alleviate symptoms and prevent illness.
Here are 5 simple habits you can start practicing today to feel less stressed.
1. Practice gratitude
There are so many good things we can be grateful for, but when our lives feel chaotic, it becomes hard to see them. Learning to make gratitude a practice rather than a response can help relieve daily stress.
Every morning think about 1 thing you find remarkable or beautiful such as the bright blue sky or a stunning sunrise. During the day pick 1 way to express gratitude such as smiling at someone or letting someone get in front of you in line. At the end of the day choose 1 thing you are thankful for such as a kiss from your partner or the 5 minutes you spent connecting with your child.
2. Sweat it out
Physical activity can increase the production of endorphins which are your brain’s feel-good chemicals. Try a yoga session. It’s the perfect way to de-stress and work out the same time. Or try the new trend called Plogging. It is a mix between jogging and the Swedish word for picking up, so jogging while picking up litter. This is not only good for your body, but for the environment and your mind. The feeling of doing something good will lift your mood and you will feel less stressed.
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress. When you breathe deeply, you signal your brain to become calm and relax.
Try this morning breathing technique: Start in a standing position and bend forward at the waist, letting your arms dangle freely. Then inhale slowly and deeply into your stomach as you return to standing, rolling up one vertebra at a time. Breathe all the air out. Repeat a total of 5 times.
Similar to exercise, laughter bumps up the release of endorphins in your body and promotes a general sense of well-being. It also decreases stress hormones and strengthens your immunity. If you’re feeling stressed, take a couple of minutes to look up a joke to share with a friend.
I know there are days no joke seems funny enough to laugh… Then smile! Think of something that makes you smile. Maybe the bunch of flowers your partner got you one day totally out of the blue. Your last holiday, a childhood memory… Whatever it is, make it help you to release those endorphins, because a smile releases them as well.
5. Eat minerals to relieve stress
Foods rich in minerals such as zinc and magnesium can reduce anxiety and irritability. Eating foods like nuts and seeds regularly can provide these essential nutrients. Flax and chia seeds or almonds and cashews are great additions to a healthy diet.
If you want to find out more about stress relieving food, then you should read “5 Foods to reduce stress“.
Incorporating these 5 simple habits into your routine can help you relieve stress and improve your health and wellbeing. Pick one to try today.
What do you do to relieve stress? Let me know in the comments.
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