Tips to Reduce Stress Almost Instantly

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Stress, although unfortunately very common these days, is such a dirty word.

It can lead to so many health concerns – problems sleeping, elevated blood pressure, weight gain or loss, digestive issues, zero energy and much more.  It can also effect the relationships your have with your friends, family and co-workers.

According to a study through WebMD, an astonishing 70% of American adults report feeling some sort of stress in their lives.  While stress is a common occurrence for many people, it shouldn’t have to affect your day to day life.

Manage Your Stress in 5 Simple Ways

1.  Turn off the phone, shut your computer down, and press power on the TV remote and curl up with a good book and a glass of wine (or tea) (or water) (whatever).  

Sometimes sitting in front of the computer can mean obsessing over ways to help reduce your stress (like how you might have found this article).  While I thank you for visiting and reading my stress article, it’s important to remember that no-one and nothing can help reduce your stress besides your own self and the power of your own thoughts.

By curling up and making yourself comfortable with a good book, you can ease your stress by simply relaxing and setting your mind on something else.  This isn’t going to get rid of your stress altogether, but you may find that you’ll sleep a whole lot better tonight.

2.  Take a Hike

This may not work for everyone, so if you’re not the hiking-type, then go shopping, or fishing, or out for a nice meal…just do something that makes you happy that doesn’t require any negative energy.

This summer has been super duper stressful for me – I’ve been faced with a few big life decisions lately (being an adult isn’t always so easy…) and I’ve just about had enough of it by now.  I needed a change of scenery, so I googled some hiking spots up north and found a 4.4 mile hike in the White Mountains through Mt Welch and Mt Dickey.  It felt so good to be so far away from everything normal and to literally feel like I was on top of the world.  When I reached the summits of both mountains there was nothing but pure, beautiful, greenery surrounding us, and my only concerns were not falling off the sheer drop-off 10 feet away from me.  It was thrilling, exhilarating, and everything I needed to get back to myself.

Even crazier was we stopped at a sporting goods store on the way up, bought a tent, sleeping bags and sleeping pads, found a little general store in town for supplies and camped out in the woods afterwards.

Doing something you love is a no-fail way to reduce stress and get back to yourself.

3.  Cook, Bake, Eat & Enjoy

Taking a little time to create something delicious is a great way to take some time to breathe and relax.

Whether it’s kneading dough, smelling the aroma of freshly baked cookies, pounding the crap out of a chicken breast or seriously concentrating on finding the right flavor for your sauce or marinade…cooking or baking can be a fantastic and healthy way to reduce your stress.

Take a cooking class with friends or your significant other, find a yummy recipe to try on CD or just make up your own creation!

Make it even better with a glass of wine if your cooking or cup of hot cocoa if your baking.

4.  Exercise!

This is a no-brainer!  Exercise releases endorphin’s that naturally make you happier, so why wouldn’t you?

Whether it’s a brisk walk after dinner or a crazy spin class before work, you’re bound to feel better afterwards.

Need a little help getting out of bed tomorrow morning to start that exercise routine?

-Pack your gym bags, set the coffee and make your lunch tonight.  That way, you won’t be waking up and scrambling around trying to get organized.

-Plan out what you want to do for your exercise so you have good direction and less thought process so early in the day.  I like to write out my entire workout the night before so I know exactly what I’ll be doing – that means less time dilly-dallying.

5.  Talk to a friend, call your Mom or just snuggle with your pet.

Being able to share your thoughts with others who will listen is a very comforting way to reduce your stress.

Remember that no-one and nothing can help your stress, only you, but let others be a sounding board if they’ll listen, because sometimes just saying it out loud can help to make things more clear.  Pets are a great stress reliever – studies have proven that petting an animal can help bring down blood pressure and calm the mind almost instantly.

I hope these can be helpful and that you can find some peace in your day today.

-Lauren

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