Simple Ways to Reduce Stress
Stress is one of the biggest negative conditions in most people’s lives because it wears you down and causes you to be far less effective in your day-to-day life. Sometimes it seems as if there is nothing you can do to lower your stress levels, which is why many people end up just accepting stress as a fact of life with which they must learn how to deal.
In reality, though, stress is caused primarily by your thoughts. Stress occurs when your thoughts are focused on a potential consequence that is contrary to the result you desire. One thing that many people do not realize is that it is far better to prevent stressful thoughts from occupying your mind than to stop them after they start. So, here are some preventive measures you can take in your own life to keep stress at bay:
- Meditate. Daily meditation changes the brain’s neural pathways, making you more flexible and resistant to stress. A few minutes of practice per day can help ease anxiety. Just sit up straight with both feet on the floor or sit in the lotus position and close your eyes. Let any distracting thoughts float out of your mind as quickly as they enter and recite a positive mantra.
- Listen to music. Take a break and listen to relaxing classical music if you are feeling overwhelmed by a stressful situation. Calming music has a positive effect on the brain and body that can lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress.
- Eat right and sleep well. Eating poorly prevents your system from functioning properly and not sleeping well prevents your body from being able to fully regenerate at night. If you have racing thoughts that keep you awake at night and you can’t fall asleep, try this simple breathing trick: cover your right nostril and breathe through your left for three to five minutes. Your body will start to relax and fall asleep in no time.
- Be on time. Being late is always stressful because you have to rush to get ready and out the door in order to reach your destination in time. You worry about looking bad and being late, which quickly compounds the stress level of the situation. Make a conscious effort to start getting ready earlier and leaving earlier.
-Germaine Parra Avila