When people think about being healthy they often think about exercise and diet, while these are important people tend to forgot that managing stress is also important for their mental state of mind. With the heavy demands that we have placed on us, we often don’t take the time to properly manage or monitor our stress levels. Sometimes people go for weeks on end in a tense state of mind without realizing the strain it causes in our relationships with our loved ones. If you find yourself getting burned out from work or life, be honest with yourself and look at what might be the source of your stress. Additionally, incorporating a few simple activities in your daily routine can go a long way in reducing stress levels; here are a few ones you can try:
Physical activity – exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress levels and release tension. Exercises such as swimming, yoga or Pilates are extremely calming and help put the body and mind at ease. Studies have shown that by engaging in regular exercise you are less likely to suffer from depression. Try to look for exercises that you enjoy doing, even if its walking the dog or taking a Zumba class at your community recreational center. Whatever you choose get in the habit of doing it regularly; having an outlet to express your frustrations can help you relax and prepare for the challenges ahead.
Meditation – this is a habit that is practiced by many successful persons because it simply works. Mediation is the process of spending a few minutes to clear the thoughts from your head and block out all the distractions in the world. Moguls like Oprah and Richard Simmons have long since spoken about the benefits of meditation. Mediation is a way to reset your mental clock to zero. It helps you to focus and obtain clarity in a world that in constantly bombarding you with information. Taking 5 minutes out of your day to meditate can help you maintain a sense of calm regardless of who stressful the circumstances are. Even though it is often overlooked having a strong mental state of mind goes a long way in helping individuals manage stressful periods in their life.
Deep breathing – believe it or not deep breathing exercises can be extremely helpful in relieving stress. For me I find that when I take a warm shower and take a few deep breaths I feel extremely relaxed afterwards. There is something about the slow pace of breathing in and out and focusing on the air pressure that calms your nerves. When performing breathing exercises, close your eyes and take in a large breath of air and release. Repeat this for a few minutes and eventually you will feel an air being lifted off. This exercise is so simple it can be done practically anywhere, so the next time your coworker tries to blow off your handle, close your eyes, take a deep breath and count to ten, hopefully you still have your job by then!
Journaling – ok now I know most of you will be quick to criticize this one but it works. Journalingis acathartic experience that helps you get all the thoughts of your mind and onto paper. The process of writing down your thoughts helps to release the emotions attached to those thoughts and leaves you feeling at peace. Most persons wonder, what should I write about? Write about whatever comes to your mind and write no more and no less than one single page. Not only is it a great way to express what is truly bothering you but it is a powerful mechanism to keep track of your memories at a specific place in your life. Once you’ve written a full page stop and leave it there for the day,
Listening to Music – Music has been shown to affect your mood and there are certain songs that no matter the moment can put a smile on your face. I find that right before I get started on a project for the day I listen to my favorite song. The positive feeling that I get from listening to the song carries on throughout my day and help me maintain a positive attitude. Even if it’s one minute of your day, spend the time to listen to a song that pumps you up and get your juices flowing, you’ll be happy that you did.
Take the time to consciously think about what steps you can make today to improve your health and well-being. Managing your stress level is an often overlooked facet of maintain a health and fulfilling life. Most of these activities seem simple on the surface but can truly make a difference when consistently practiced. Incorporating a few of these activities for even just a few minutes a day can have life changing effects; try one of these exercises today and see the impact it has on your life for yourself.