12 Ways to De-Stress Everyday

12waystodestress

STRESS really should be a four letter word, it often seems THAT BAD.

Just hoverin’ around, always waiting to pounce, often when you least expect it.

Stress isn’t just in our heads. High stress levels lead to all kinds of physical issues – from headaches to weight gain to even more serious issues like cancer.

Bottom line – reducing stress does your mind and body good.

We can all agree on that, however, the problem is – BUT HOW?

Good news – I’ve got several ways to de-stress every day. Check them out and see what fits for YOU.

1. Make a plan the night before

I hate that feeling of rushing around, wondering what you’ve forgotten and then having a rough start to the beginning of your day because you basically woke up stressed.

Take a minute the night before to pack your gym clothes, fix the kids’ lunches, and put the mail by the door.

You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

2. Put on your pink glasses

So many times folks believe that objects or people in the outside world determine how we feel and behave.

Not so.

When I work with kids in therapy sessions, we talk about how putting on your “pink” glasses on will help you have a better day, which simply means looking for the good things in your day.

When you have your pink glasses on, you’re able to spot out the most small, but awesome, aspects of your day, which helps you feel better and also helps you behave in a way that leads to better choices.

Think of it as a positive pink ripple effect.

3. Make time for you

Again, easier said than done right?

But doing this could be the difference between you making it through the day without a break down and losing your mind in the middle of your child’s soccer practice.

Don’t make it long and elaborate, it could be a just 15 minutes where you sit and stare out the window, smell a nice candle, or talk to a friend on the phone.

Whatever it is – it’s just for you.

4. Get nature in your life

Studies repeatedly show that being out in nature actually lowers the levels of stress hormones in your body.

Even if you live in an urban jungle, just having a plant or a view of some type of greenery will do the trick.

5. Have soothing texture

I’ll admit it- I’m a texture nerd. Having my favorite soft sweatshirt on at the end of a long day is close to heaven for me. Maybe for you, it’s your puppy’s soft fur or those just for you (see # 11) sheets that you splurged on last winter.

Pay attention to the things you touch.

Even if you aren’t aware of how it affects you, your sense of touch gets laid down in memory, which does affect your overall mood.

6. Move

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that exercise is good for you. However, your everyday life is better with just movement.

I’m not talking about running a marathon or even getting on the elliptical. Getting your body moving in a different way has major benefits with resetting your mental state.

7. Connect with others

Our brains don’t have to work as hard when we are in connection with others. Like literally they don’t use as many calories or as much energy.

So, when we feel connected to those we are care about, our brains and bodies have the ability to manage emotions with less fuel.

It’s like getting 60 miles out of a tank of gas rather than 30 when you are in connection with others.

8. Laugh

Laughter makes you feel better and can help you fake it til’ you make it. Researchers have found that just holding a pencil in your mouth (this forces you to make a ‘smile’) tricks our brain into finding things around us as more enjoyable.

So, hold a pencil in your mouth, pull up a funny You-Tube video, or just listen to a little kid tell knock, knock jokes. Instant feel-better juice.

9. Pay attention

We run so much of our life on auto-pilot. Our brain is set up to do this to save energy for those things we can’t use auto-pilot for, such as figuring out how to handle your defiant teenager or how to get 5 dollars out of a quarter to pay the bills.

The downside of having such an active auto-pilot is that we miss so many things that could make our day better.

We miss the sound of our children in the bath.

We miss the beautiful blooming tree in the corner of our street.

We miss the little things that add up the big blessings we receive every day.

10. Have a spiritual path

Having a spiritual path doesn’t mean attending church every time the doors are open or meditating a billion minutes a day (you, of course, can do these things, but they aren’t necessary to decrease stress).

Again, we’ve found over years of research that those folks with a spiritual outlet or even mindset do better stress wise.

So, even if you’re church is in the woods or in a fishing boat, be there as much as possible. And when you can’t every day? Develop a practice of that mindset of what it feels like when you are there.

11. Treat yo’ self

If you’ve ever watched the hilarious show Parks and Rec you’ll remember how Tom and Donna LOVED their ‘Treat yo’ self” days.

Unfortunately, we can’t have a ‘treat yo’ self’ every day but we can have moments of it daily.

Maybe for you it’s getting that new library book or Netflix movie. Maybe it’s taking a long bath with relaxing bubble bath. Whatever it is, you must treat yo’ self daily.

As adults, it’s up to us.

If we don’t do it, no one else will.

12. Do what gives you energy

All of us have different things that give us energy. If you’re an introvert like myself, you get energy from being alone with your cat and watching a good movie.

But, if you’re anything like my mother, your energy comes from being with people.

Neither are better than the other – we all just have different needs.

Know what gives you energy and make that a priority every day. Read that chapter in a cozy nook or call up a friend to chat.

Again, it’s up to you.

Now that you have lots of ways to make your every day life even better and less stressed, the challenge is to implement just a few of these.

Don’t take them all on at once, do a couple each day and see what happens.

What more help with that stress that just want go away? Feel free to email me at amyf@truehopecounseling.org or give me a call at 8707614673.

Can’t wait to meet you and help you get de-stressed!

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