It seems we’re forever trying to de-stress and learn to relax. Why then, is it so difficult to actually achieve? A lot of the time we are simply trying too hard, or attempting to make big changes that won’t actually have much impact. The answer to reducing stress can be found in the small things.
Practising mindfulness by meditating for just 10 minutes a day could reduce stress significantly. Meditation sounds like a difficult practice, but it’s actually very simple. Find yourself a quiet and comfortable place to sit with a straight back and crossed legs. Focus only on your breathing, following the breath in and out repeatedly. As thoughts enter your mind, let them pass away like clouds and bring your attention back to your breathing.
Exercising is one of the best natural antidepressants. Going for a short walk every day is enough exercise to clear the mind and get the blood pumping. If you can manage something a little more vigorous, such a jog or a bike ride, then great! If you can’t, then no problem, take it at your own pace.
You always get out what you put in and eating is certainly no different. Eating well improves health, increases energy and boosts your mood. Start by cutting out as much processed food as possible. In a few weeks, you will never want to go back!
Sometimes the best medicine for stress is to spend time with our closest friends, especially the ones who make us laugh. If you can’t make the time right away, why not pick up the phone and call your dearest friend for a chat? We all feel better after a good natter with the one person who understands us best!
Get More Sleep
Lack of sleep is a big contributing factor to stress. It seems sleep is one of the first things we sacrifice, desperately trying to get more hours into the day. The problem is, it’s actually counter-intuitive to cut down sleep since your productivity will reduce during the day.
An untidy cluttered house is unsettling in itself, but when your mind is cluttered it doesn’t help that your living environment is too. Have a spring clean and throw out as many unwanted items as you can. You’ll find you’ve got more space and less to think about.
Focus on Yourself
Take some ‘you’ time. Run yourself a hot bath and light a few candles. Treat yourself to a shopping trip. Take at least a day, or maybe a few days to simply focus on you. You might not feel as though you can simply abandon ship and be selfish, but it could be exactly what you need. A little TLC.
Reduce Your Responsibilities
There are certain things you will always be responsible for and that’s just a fact of life. However, there are usually a handful of things we take on when really we don’t need to. Extra responsibilities at work for example.
Talk to Someone
We normally associate going out of our way to talk to someone with a disaster. The loss of a loved one, extreme financial problems, a divorce etc,. Often, stress is the result of lots of small things that have built up over time. You should never feel like you need a specific reason to seek help.
Listen to Music
Uplifting music can really help boost your mood and drown out those worries. Music is also proven to make you more productive and keeping busy is one way some people stop themselves from over-stressing.
Everyone has their own preferred method of shutting out the world and relaxing. Often, when stress feels as though it’s getting out of hand, it’s time to re-think your approach and try something new. Simple things can go a really long way, so if you’re feeling sceptical, remember you have nothing to lose.