We’re all under stress, it’s part of modern life. Here I’ve listed the top ten ways to reduce your stress.
- Release Endorphins – Endorphins are nature’s pain relievers and can also induce feelings of euphoria. Do something every day that releases endorphins – exercise, dark chocolate, chili peppers, even chewing.
- Cut Back on Processed Foods – All those highly refined carbohydrates such as white sugar and white flour are adding to internal stress.
- Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of anti-oxidants that can help counteract the free radicals produced by the stress response. But go for the real thing – most commercial juices are highly processed. Processed juices are mostly the sugars from the fruit. Many of the vitamins and most of the fiber is lost.
- Reduce or Eliminate Coffee, Alcohol and Tobacco – These all contribute to adrenal fatigue and stress.
- Start a Gratitude Journal – Each night, just before you go to bed, write down 5 things that you are thankful for. OR five things that went really well for you that day. Or some combination of the 2. Let those be your last thoughts before you go to sleep.
- Take Time for Yourself – Every day, find some time that is just for you. Even if it’s only 15 minutes. Maybe you’ll spend it reading or soaking in a bubble bath. Whatever helps you relax and unwind. Turn off the phones (really, it’s ok if you do) and escape for a while.
- Take up Yoga or Pilates – This is especially good (although difficult) if you’re a Type A personality. Yoga and Pilates require that you slow down and concentrate only on them. It’s a great way to get your mind off everything else.
- Meditation – This doesn’t have to be formal meditation. Simply find a quiet spot and think back to a place or time that you really enjoyed. Imagine you are back there and let your senses take you back.
- Herbal Tea – Drink some chamomile or peppermint tea.
- Seek Positive People – Stay away from negative emotions and pessimistic people. Don’t get sucked into the “How Stressed I Am” game. There’s nothing to be gained from this.
- Laugh (BONUS!) – Every day include some fun, humor and play in your life. It’s another good way to release endorphins.
Photo courtesy BLW Photography via Flickr.