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Life is stressful. That’s a plain and simple fact. There are a myriad of things that cause stress in our lives.
Here are some common stressors that most of us can relate to:
- Work stress
- Money issues
- Relationship problems
- Weight gain
- Screaming kids
- Bad grades
- Lack of sleep
- Car issues
- Home repairs
Some of those may have given you stress just reading them. But what can you do to lessen the amount of stress in your life if you can’t do anything to change the things that are causing you stress?
1. Choose your battles smartly.
You’re not going to be able to change all of the things that go wrong in your life. Focus on the things that you can change. Take baby steps in the right direction.
If your car keeps breaking down, but you can’t afford a new one, you shouldn’t spend every day angry about your car. Get it fixed, drive it as little as possible, and start saving up. You might not get a new car right away, but you’ll be working toward an endgame.
2. Take a breather.
My mom used to count to ten when she was upset. That’s smarter than punching a wall. Your breather should be about more than just calming your nerves or anger—use it to relax even when your stress is mild too.
How can you find relaxation?
- Do yoga
- Take a hot bath
- Go for a walk or a run
- Read a book
- Give yourself a facial
- Take a cat nap
3. Get a hobby.
Having a healthy hobby to give your attention to from time to time can do wonders for your stress level. Just make sure that you keep your hobby something that you can enjoy (don’t turn it into work or it will start adding to your stress).
Hobbies can be anything. Some people like working on cars, some people like knitting, while others like to write or draw.
4. Hang out with your tribe.
If you have a good tribe, you have a group of friends that are there to help you feel relaxed and less stressed. Spend some time with the people in your life that give you peace and calm.
Peace isn’t normally found at the bar; keep that in mind. Find a walking buddy. Play tennis (exercise is great for relaxation). Or just have tea or coffee together and chat.
5. Get your heart pumping.
Exercise might make you feel a little less than relaxed, but deep within it’s giving your body the things you need for real relaxation. People that exercise regularly sleep better at night and have less stress.
A cardio workout (jogging, running, dancing, or aerobics of any kind) pushes the release of endorphins, those feel-good hormones. Endorphins are a natural way to kick stress and boost energy.
6. Add more positivity to your life.
It’s easier to relax when you’re feeling good about life. One way you can work to see the good in life is to be a more positive person.
Use affirmations. Hang positive quotes around your home. Kick out negative self-talk when it sneaks in.
7. Practice self-care.
Even your morning shower can be relaxing. Take care of yourself and your hygiene. Self-care is about more than just getting a facial or taking a nap. Many of the things on this list already fit into self-care, but there’s more to it than that.
Self-care also includes eating healthily (including picking healthy snacks), getting a good night’s sleep each night, and paying attention to your mental health, as well as your physical health.