Top 5 Ways to Reduce Stress

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It seems like in life we go through periods of high stress, periods of complacency, and spike right back up to high stress. RARELY do I find myself in a low to no stress zone. With jobs, and kids, and mortgages, families, finances, and our health, it's a wonder we ever sleep! Currently in the higher stress arena, I have formulated the top 5 things that I believe relieve stress the most! Some of these may seem like "no brainers", and some may just inspire you to give them a try.

1. Sip away your stress- Literally. NO- not with an alcoholic beverage. Drinking a glass of water proves to be a stress reliever as simple as it sounds. It makes sense though. All of our major organs need water to function to their highest levels of efficiency, including our brain and heart. Being just a half liter dehydrated can cause stress on your Cortisol (stress hormone), increasing your overall level of anxiety.

2. Love the stress- Saying the phrase "I love you" to someone you care about, can drastically reduce your stress level. I state this one from personal experience. Reminding yourself that you are loved, and that you love in return, is extremely gratifying. It seems to lessen the pressures of the world, when you can bring yourself down to earth, and recognize the small things that really matter.

3. Laugh at stress- We all know that laughing makes us feel better, but the main reason laughter is so important to reduce stress, is because it reminds us not to take life or ourselves too seriously. Being about to recognize yourself as simply "human", and finding humor in every day situations, improves our levels of Serotonin (happiness hormone). Inclination of happiness, often times OVERRIDES the Cortisol, allowing us to reduce our stress levels.

4. Stress is PURRRRfectly fine- yes, studies show that "petting a cat" can reduce stress. Again this raises your Serotonin and Dopamine levels which triggers happiness and relaxation. It's a combination of soft touch, and calm disposition.

(PS. You can borrow my cat for this one. Go ahead and get her declawed while your at it too)

5. Pin away your stresses- For those of you who use , you know how stress relieving it can be. If you don't know what pinterest is, then get on and check it out. There is something about looking at stuff you may never otherwise think to look up that tends to calm me down. Pinterest isn't the only way to take a break. By putting your stressful situation aside and reading an unrelated article online, browsing your favorite stores website, or catching up on Facebook can be a nice anxiety reducer. It is important to take breaks in our daily work/routine. This allows us to take our minds off of the stress and focus on something that we find enjoyable.

Overall we all have stress, and it's important for each of us to develop our own PRODUCTIVE strategies to limiting it. Simple things like those mentioned above, tend to be the easiest to continue to utilize. While techniques such as yoga and meditation can also be good stress relievers, the time, space, effort, and energy can often times be overwhelming and causes us to procrastinate these methods. Just remember... It's important to reduce your stress before your stress reduces you.

...and that my Dear, was all she wrote...


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