Little Known Ways to Reduce Stress

{HABIT: Relax}
Month: 10 / Week: 1

reducestressThis month, we’re all about reducing stress, inside and out. Relaxation and stress reduction is an overlooked habit. The norm for most people is a super busy overworked stressed out email 24/7 life. And sometimes, we just need to stop and breathe.  

So take a minute this week, and do something calming each day. I’ve given you a list of ways to reduce stress to get you started.

{Relax}: to rest or engage in an enjoyable activity so as to become less tired or anxious
  • Give yourself a timeout. Go somewhere where you can be alone– a quiet room or somewhere outside (a park, the beach, the mountains… wherever is conducive to where you live). Leave the electronics behind.
  • Lie down. Take a nap, rest your eyes, or simply just lie down. The act of getting into this position calms your body down.
  • Go for a walk. If stress has leaves you anxious and full of nervous energy, use that energy to power a walk. The exercise will produce good for you endorphins and clear your mind. Better yet, grab a friend and talk out your problems. Having someone else’s insight may help you reach a solution to your problems.
  • Try aromatherapy. Herbal and floral scents can be calm and soothing, even if it’s just because it transports you back to being in a spa. If it works, it works!
  • Get outside. Sunlight increases serotonin levels, which makes you feel good, and happy.
  • Laugh. Find something that makes you smile. Whether it’s a friend, a video, a comic strip or anything else, laughter can brighten up your day and make you feel less stressed. Like they say, laughter is the best medicine. And it truly can be.
  • Get a massage. Paying for a massage isn’t always doable but if you can, it’s very much worth it. If you’re lucky enough to have a spouse or friend who’s willing to help out, ask! I find this works best if you offer to give a massage in return.
  • meditatethinkThink of 10 things you’re grateful for. Write them down or say them aloud. Remembering the good things in your life will help reduce your stress.
  • Take a warm bath or long shower. There’s a reason so many people do this after a long hard day. It’s calming and soothing. It’s YOU time. If you have family, tell them you need this 20-30 minutes to yourself.
  • Unplug. Turn off the phone, the TV, the computer, and any other electronic device you’re tied to. Let it go for at least an hour. Take a break from the notifications and consistent time suck. This can really drain your energy. Save it up for things that matter (and not the cutest dancing cat video)
  • Hug it out. Find a family member or friend who you can hug. We’re just animals when it comes down to it, and this connection with another human being can reduce anxiety.
  • Try yoga or a light stretching routine. Put on some calming music and just let go.
  • Pray or meditate. This goes for anyone, religious or not. You decide how you want to use it.
  • Create a calming playlist. Select 10-20 songs that calm you down when you hear them. Listen to this list whenever you’re stressed out.
  • Breathe and visualize. Take slow, methodical breaths and visualize yourself free from your current stress. Visualize the solution to the problem you’re having. That solution may be as simple as acceptance. There are some things we just can’t control. Visualize yourself accepting the problem and moving on.
How do you de-stress when things go sideways and pie hits the fan?
CHALLENGE: Pick one calming thing to do every day this week and devote at least 5 minutes to it. You can choose from this list or find something you prefer better. It doesn’t matter to me what you do, just do it!

New to the healthy habits challenge ? Start here.

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