Stress is a common concern, with one out of four Americans reporting moderate to high-stress levels.
Some stress is normal and can even help us make better safer decisions. But stress doesn’t have to interfere with your physical and mental health.
Learn how to lower stress levels using these seven simple strategies.
1. Take Care of Your Body
Caring for your physical health is one of the most crucial ways to relieve stress.
Getting enough sleep and rest can help you unwind and de-stress after a long day. Eating anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce inflammation in the body caused by stress. And daily exercise can increase endorphins, which can lower stress levels.
Taking care of your body can improve your health and stress levels in more ways than one.
First, caring for your body can reduce some symptoms related to conditions or diseases related to stress. Second, taking care of your body can also stop stress in the first place, which can prevent some of those conditions from ever developing.
Hashimoto’s disease is one example. When fixing Hashimoto’s disease, a healthy, low-stress lifestyle is one of the pillars of treatment.
2. Face Stress Head-On
One of the most important things to do to relieve stress is to face the stress directly.
Not all stressors can be eliminated. But how we respond to stressful events can make a huge difference.
Instead of trying to avoid the stressor or procrastinate improving the situation, face it as soon as possible. This way, you can determine what you can and can’t change or influence.
For example, if you’re stressed about a big project at work, get started on the project right away. Look at what is most stressful or difficult about it, and tackle that issue first.
3. Talk It Over
If you’re feeling weighed down by stress, don’t think you have to deal with it all on your own.
Find a trusted friend or family member you can talk to. They can validate your experience and feelings, and they may even have helpful advice to share.
If your stress seems to never go away, chronic stress treatment with a therapist can help. With a therapist, you can discuss your stress and anxiety and some solutions to help.
4. Watch TV
You probably didn’t think that TV could help bust stress. But a specific type of TV show and movie can help to relieve stress and distract you from your worries: comedy.
Comedy shows and movies are great for reducing stress because they make you laugh. And laughter can have both short and long-term benefits in managing stress.
Get cozy on your sofa, turn on your favorite comedy, and soothe your tension after a long day.
5. Clean and Organize
When thinking of things to relieve stress, you likely wouldn’t consider cleaning and organizing your home. The thought of cleaning and organizing may make you feel more stressed.
But tending to some light chores can help you manage stress better.
A chaotic environment can increase stress, whether you realize it or not. But if you tidy up and declutter, your space will feel more peaceful, and so will you.
Cleaning and organizing can also feel like a meditative practice. When we take time to clean and dry each dish, vacuum every spot of the floor, and carefully fold each piece of laundry, it forces us to slow down and be in the moment.
If you think cleaning will only add to your stress, that’s likely a sign that you’re already neglecting your home. By staying on top of cleaning and organizing each day, it won’t feel so overwhelming.
And, in the process, you can wash your stress away while washing the dishes.
6. Do a Relaxing Hobby
If you’re resisting the thought of cleaning your way to lower stress levels, a relaxing hobby may be a better option.
There are a variety of hobbies to choose from. But the important thing is to choose one that feels like a fun and relaxing break from your daily grind.
Active hobbies can double as stress-busting exercise. Yoga, sports, or swimming are all great options.
Creative hobbies, like painting or knitting, can also help to lower stress levels.
Find a hobby that you look forward to, and make regular time in your schedule for it.
7. Give Up
If you’re showing signs of chronic stress like fatigue or irritability, it’s time to give up.
More specifically, it’s time to give up something unnecessary from your life.
Stress builds when we take on too many responsibilities without the time and energy to realistically handle them all.
We put too much pressure on ourselves to have it all, do it all, and be it all.
It can be hard to give up something when we’re so used to saying yes to everything. But if you’re struggling with chronic stress, something has to go.
Figure out what isn’t truly necessary in your schedule or life. Is there an activity you can give up? Are there meetings you can say no to? Or can you work less overtime hours?
If it seems like everything is necessary and nothing can be eliminated, then you must ask for help.
You could ask a family member to help pick your child up from school twice a week. Or you can hire a house cleaner to help you get your home under control.
No matter what it is, something must be sacrificed. If you don’t sacrifice something from your packed schedule, you’ll sacrifice your mental and physical health instead.
Lower Stress Levels, Higher Quality of Life
Start enjoying your life by tackling stress. From prioritizing your physical health to rethinking your schedule, there are several ways to lower stress levels.
Remember, some stress is normal. But stress shouldn’t take over your entire life and wellbeing.
Still, want more advice on managing stress? Check out our latest lifestyle and health articles for additional tips!