Is it any surprise that everyone seems stressed out these days? The economy, the job market, raising kids– just about anything can send our stress levels through the roof. I talk to more and more people who spend at least one hour a night worrying about their job or their bills when they should be sleeping. This is a problem since it isn’t really a good sign to consistently wake up at 2:00 am thinking about a deadline or your bills and then be unable to get back to sleep
At some point something has to give–and it will usually be your health.
Part of a well-balanced health plan deals with ways to manage daily stress and keep it from turning into crippling anxiety or other serious physical health issues.
Here are three simple things you can do everyday to keep your reactions to stress in check:
1) Practice Mindfulness. Most people think of meditation when they think of mindfulness. And they are right–to a point. One of the best ways to calm the mind is to sit in stillness for a period each day. Quietly sitting and concentrating on your breathing is a great way to improve your focus, resiliency, and peace of mind.
Meditation is not the only way to reap the benefits of mindfulness. Most of us don’t actually take the time to be aware of what is happening around us. Oftentimes we have already moved on to the next project or problem before we even have a chance to experience the current moment. Always being concerned with what is about to happen robs us of joy experiencing what is actually happening.
Sometimes we just need to slow down and realize what we are doing. Going for a ten minute walk in the garden, smelling each blossom or noting the variation in color on a single stem is a variation on living a mindful life.
Take time to really be aware what you are doing in the moment, such as making dinner. It may feel like a chore but don’t rush through it because you have to get to the homework. Savor what you are making, and how you making it. When you let yourself really think about what you are doing, making dinner can turn from a chore into a very satisfying experience.
There are many ways to incorporate mindfulness into your routine. However you choose to practice it, mindfulness is a great way to reduce stress and give you a new perspective.
2) Make Something. Many of us lose touch with our creative side as we age. Work and family become the focus leaving little energy for anything else. As children we made things everyday. Bring back some of that creative spark by trying something new. Maybe learning to paint in watercolors, or woodworking, learning to play a new instrument, or even creative writing. Feel the need to be more practical? Try your hand at home improvement projects or gardening.
No one can argue that creating something new is a very satisfying feeling. It builds confidence and happiness, and that is a great way to battle stress.
3) Break a Sweat. No surprise here. Exercise is one of the best ways to counteract the negative effects of daily stress. It doesn’t matter if you choose a high impact aerobics workout or a brisk thirty minute walk. What matters is that you move. A regular exercise regime is one of the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle. And contrary to popular belief, exercise can be fun.
It has been said that the best way to deal with stress is the way that works best for you. There is no one remedy that fits every situation. But if you are finding yourself overwhelmed and stressed out on a regular basis, you may want to give these three ideas a try.
Who knows, this just might the plan that works best for you.
And wouldn’t it be a great thing to sleep through the night again?
Ready to deal with your stress, improve your fitness, and calm your mind? Schedule a thirty minute consultation and get a free personalized blueprint for a healthy new lifestyle . After all, we all age–you may as well do it well!