The last few years have been challenging to the general population for a number of reasons. In more ways than expected, everyone has been tested and their stress levels have been increased. With that in mind, consider reading this article to learn how to reduce your stress levels.
Improve Your Diet
A classic change in your life that can have numerous benefits comes in the form of improving your diet. This could be done to help you lose weight, or at least manage your weight, or it could be another way to relieve your levels of stress. Stress eating is a common example of something that can harm your mental health as well as your physical health.
Hydrate Yourself More
Don’t underestimate the importance that hydration can play on your life. If you don’t hydrate yourself, then you could be susceptible to a few bad side-effects. This comes in the form of fatigue and body aches, amongst other health concerns.
This means you should look to hydrate yourself more. Hydrating yourself can be difficult to do, or at least harder than you’d expect. Where possible, you should look to motivate yourself to hydrate more, such as with little rewards throughout the day. You could also purchase a water bottle with time slots etched onto it, showing how much you needed to consume before a certain time passes. This helps give you a goal of something to head towards.
Whilst your diet and hydration levels all contribute to your overall health and fitness, you will be able to boost this further by engaging in more exercise. You may be surprised to hear that exercise helps release positive chemicals into your body. These positive chemicals can help push on your body and help your mind.
This has what’s led to the saying, exercise away your stress. If you’re ever stressed, it may be worth you going for a brief walk outdoors. Being outdoors can also help your mind heal and give you some daily exercise with minimal effort. It can be a short walk around your neighbourhood, or you could go further out to somewhere like the woods or other natural beautiful locations.
Swap Out Toxic Habits
If you are able to identify any toxic habits in your life, then you should work hard to try and replace them with more positive ones. Positive ones don’t necessarily mean perfect, just something that is a vast improvement on what came before. Toxic habits can come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, so you should try to think about the ones that have a negative impact on your life, no matter how small.
It could be something as simple as biting your nails repeatedly, which can start as a coping mechanism but quickly evolve into a stress mechanic itself. If you notice this habit that you’ve started to pick up, you may need to work hard to find a way to stop it. Whilst stopping bad habits out right can be difficult, there are methods to deal with this, coming in the form of swapping them out or slowly engaging in it less and less.
Take smoking as an example. This is a classic toxic habit that millions of people engage with around the world, not just the UK. This is a classic example of a habit that can easily be swapped to a more positive habit. Consider the reasons that you currently smoke. It may be that you smoke every time you are in a social setting, or it could be that you smoke when you’re stressed.
You may have started smoking when you’re not even stressed purely out of habit of being stressed. This could mean that even if you’re not stressed, smoking gives you the impression that you are. Consider looking into vaping alternatives, as studies show that e-cigarettes can help boost your mental health. It can help you give up on smoking in general, which helps your mental health in other ways.
Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing exercises can be a great way to get over some stress that may be going on in your life. It doesn’t matter what the stress is that you have going on, deep breathing can help relax your body and mind. You could engage in some yoga which combines both physical exercise with breathing techniques.
Breathing exercises help lower your stress levels as they allow your body to physically relax and give you more control over your breathing. Controlling your breathing allows your body to release more positive chemicals into the body. This can naturally lower your stress levels, which is big bonus.
You can sign up to yoga classes in your local area if you’re unsure on where to get started, or you could look into online resources. For example, plenty of videos are available on sites such as YouTube that show you breathing techniques. You could mix these two concepts and sign up to virtual yoga sessions, which help get you into yoga from the comfort of your own home and promote more social activity.
Use Social Media Less
Something that can be quite draining to engage with over a long period of time is social media. In fact, using your mobile phone for extended periods can also be quite stressful, so try to find ways to limit your contact with these devices and platforms wherever possible.
Perhaps set a limit yourself, so that your phone would not allow you to engage with certain social media accounts after a certain amount of time. Otherwise, there should be apps available on your phone to browse, that should help you organise how much time you spend on your phone.
Social media can be toxic due to the amount of negativity that can be on the sites. Of course, there are positive elements to social media, but each individual negotiates differently with them and has a different relationship. With that in mind, you should look at yourself to better understand what relationship you want with your phone and social media in general.
Be Wary Of The News
On the topic of using your phone, engaging with too much news can also cause you stress and anxiety. The news can be overwhelming to those that aren’t ready to hear it, so take it in small batches. It can stress you out to only hear about negative things happening in the world, especially with some news sources more than others that focus on bad news.
News outlets will do this as they believe ‘bad news is good news’. Essentially they believe that bad news will always attract more readers and viewers than good news, which is why they try to focus more on those stories. They believe it is fundamental that people aren’t interested in reading good news, at least not the majority of people.
Connect With People In Your Life
Where possible, you should try to connect to more people that are in your life. Of course, it will help if these people you are connecting with are positive people in your life, as you won’t want to add more negativity and stress.
There will be different ways you can connect with people, either directly or indirectly. Even a weekly phone call with relatives you don’t see very often can go a long way in relieving stress or boosting your mental health in general.