7 Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Stress

Stress is something all of us will experience multiple times in our lives. Whether you’re rich and famous or feel like your life is a dream, stress will unfortunately creep up on you.

It is described as feeling as if you are under abnormal pressure and it can come from any aspect of your life such as your workload, financial stability, an argument with a loved one or even just decorating your home. We all get stressed over different things, but it is very important to not get too overwhelmed as this can cause some prolonged issues that could interrupt your future.

Some noticeable signs of stress are:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings/changes
  • irritability/short temper
  • Low self-esteem
  • A feeling of overwhelm
  • Eating more/less than usual
  • Change of sleeping habits

We all want to avoid having stress in our lives as much as we can, but sometimes it’s inevitable. So, below are some lifestyle changes you can take on to avoid stress.

Have a Healthy Diet

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Eating healthy can reduce your risk of diet related diseases, and we all know getting sick can cause major stress as you’re missing work, not getting things done, and just overall feel under the weather.

Similarly to this, food really does affect your mood. The more sugary, fatty foods you eat, the more you are going to feel low about yourself. You will begin to judge your weight or skin, because the foods you have eaten are making you feel quite germy. Building an opinion on these things can easily cause stress on yourself as you’ll want to change it and you won’t be able to within a matter of minutes.

On the other hand, eating clean will make you feel good inside out. You won’t have a bloated or clogged feeling from eating greasy delicacies, but you will feel energised, refreshed and motivated to do things. This can make you feel a lot better about yourself by the end of the day because you can see the amount you have achieved, and how amazing you still feel hours after.

Exercise

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Going hand-in-hand with a good diet, a sustainable and beneficial fitness regiment is a perfect way to reduce stress. A good fitness routine is also beneficial to increase your concentration, fatigue and alertness.

Exercising releases a hormone called ‘endorphins’- this is essentially a chemical in the brain that works as a painkiller. It is commonly known as a ‘happy hormone’ as you are left feeling good and refreshed on the inside after exercising.

Your muscles however, may be a little tender…

Similarly to this, a practical and somewhat challenging fitness routine will have a positive impact on your quality of sleep. After exercising, we feel like we need to collapse on our beds. Well, this feeling is somehow great! It means you have worked the body enough throughout the day to have the feeling of needing recharge, so you will have a deeper, healthier sleep each night.

Take Time Out

It is massively important to take time for yourself and find a moment of peace. It is all well and good devoting a large section of your time to prioritising other people and becoming a responsibility to them, but you need to remember that you come first- it is okay to put your own self care before that of others.

Taking a break is also very beneficial for your mental health and allows you to have a moment of cleansing and rejuvenation. From a spa weekend, Forest Bathing escape or just a short couple of days at home away from work and the hassles of an average day allows you to catch back up with yourself and put your best foot forward after your time away.

Get Some Rest

Struggling to sleep at night is a very common cause of stress as many other issues come trailing after a poor night’s rest- you just want your brain to shut off!

Getting a good quality sleep at night (no more than 7.5 hours preferably) will allow you to feel well rested and motivated for the next day ahead. Annoyingly, too much sleep can only contribute to the issue of feeling rather dull during the day. Many of us assume a huge night sleep is the perfect medicine to feel better, but sadly it is not.

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Reduce Alcohol and Smoking Consumption

Many people smoke or drink alcohol as it gives a temporary feeling of comfort and somewhat ‘zen’. Drinking alcohol ( like exercising) releases the brains ‘feel good’ chemicals. Yes..i am on about endorphins. Smoking acts on the receptors of the brain to stimulate the pleasure centre. It is the nicotine in cigarettes and alcohol in our drinks that cause changes in the brain to bring a sense of calm and content-perfect if you are stressed out..right?

However, doing these things only brings a temporary change. A temporary sense of calm and contentment, which is why so many people become hooked and addicted as they want to obtain the feelings released from doing these full time.

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Using these two stimulants actually only makes the issue worse. Infact, becoming hooked and almost reliant on these things only causes more stress to yourself. This is because it becomes a part of your day to smoke or drink alcohol to feel good, and, when you can’t get to either it causes an intense amount of stress.

Similarly, especially with smoking, it has been found that adults who do it are far more tense and anxious than those who do not smoke.Tension and anxiety are one of the biggest causes of stress because you feel trapped and want to calm down but your body just won’t let you.

Don’t be Too Hard on Yourself

As a person, having opinions on everything around us and even on ourselves, is normal. However sometimes our heads can get slightly carried away and we can critique our own features or work very harshly. You don’t realise initially, but recognising these things and keeping them on your mind induces a huge amount of stress- usually because the opinions are based on things we cannot change.

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Continuing with having a bad day, it is a common thing to us all. Some people can brush it off easily and take each day as it comes, but it hits down quite hard on the rest. One important thing you must remember to reduce stress is that a bad day is universal, everyone has one and the world is not out to get you- you are allowed to have a bad day and feel down about it, but tomorrow is brand new. Try not to bring yesterday’s problems with you.

Similarly, you are allowed to feel like you have failed, or haven’t accomplished as much as you would have originally liked, it is all apart of being human. So don’t neglect yourself or feel like you are not good enough- because you are, you’re just causing more stress for yourself by thinking these things, which is something you’d like to avoid!

Have a Fulfilling Social Life

We don’t always have the free time to go out and see friends, or go for meals with loved ones, sadly. But, it is good to make arrangements when you have free time.

Getting out of the house and doing something as simple as a dog walk, is still being social and it is a perfect way to reduce stress and clear you mind for a while.

Socialising , without even realising, boosts your confidence and your mental health. Positive relationships in which you can socialise with regularly is a perfect way to reduce stress as it increases the hormone that fights back at anxiety levels to help you feel as great as possible.

you could even help out the local area and do some volunteering at a care home for example. you will be helping both yourself, and others by socialising with them, and it will make you feel really great after.

You may feel like you don’t have the motivation to go out and see people on your only day off, but just having a small catch up with someone is so beneficial, and will take your mind off of work, or money issues, or anything that may seem to be clouding up your head space.

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Summary

Feeling stressed is natural, and we will all face it at some point. But learning how to reduce it or control it before everything gets too much is very important, if you want to always maintain a happy mindset and healthy lifestyle.

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