Tips to Reduce Stress

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What comes to mind when you hear the word stress? It’s a word that’s around us every day and feels as we older and older it gets bigger and bigger. It’s something intangible that drives all of us crazy and we would love if we never had it in our entire life. For most people, it’s something everyone seeks to avoid when in reality it’s the wrong approach. Rather than avoiding stress, it should be handled and managed appropriately. I know that’s easier said than done but here are some tips that I have found useful in managing your various amounts of stress levels.

  • Breathe Deeply: This can come in the form of yawning, sighing, or simply taking a long breath. Personally, I’m a big “sigher.” For some reason, sighing is associated with tragedy, stress, and has a negative connation but I use this technique throughout my day and has worked well for me. To be honest, it’s actually quite relaxing. It’s almost like a good morning stretch that can be done throughout the day.
  • Go for a walk: I know this sounds cliché and simple but when going on these walks, silence your phone. Trust me sometimes you must leave your Twitter followers and Facebook friends behind for a bit. While walking it’s the perfect time to just watch the world go. If you’re in an office, walk around your business property, or set yourself a goal to walk for 15 minutes straight. When you’re starring at a computer screen all day this can help you from feeling like a zombie.
  • Drink some water: Another no brainer right? This technique can also help with breathing deeply by allowing yourself to refocus on the task at hand. This is a great technique because water has underrated health benefits and has great ability to pick your body back up. And since you are already stressed, I can bet money that you haven’t eaten properly. Water can help with this so you don’t end up overeating.
  • Get up and stretch: If you are crunched on time and don’t have the ability to do any Stressmajor physical activity to take your mind off of things I highly recommend stretching. I’m not talking about doing any midday yoga type stretches in your office but keeping it simple. Stretches such as touching your toes to stretch your back, reaching for the sky to stretch your abdomen and back, and swinging your arms in small circles all can be great stretches. The purpose here isn’t to break a sweat but to take a small break to re-gather yourself and move the blood around in your body.
  • Exercise: This is perhaps my favorite technique to relieve stress as this technique not only helps reduce stress but it’s a way to hit a reset button to your mind. There are so many advantages to exercise that it should leave you a bit guilty for not doing this more often. Exercise means many things for individuals but remember this should help relieve stress not add more stress to you. I recommend doing some light jogging, perhaps shooting some hoops indoor or outdoor, playing a quick game of racquetball, or logging some miles on a stationary bike even if it’s for 30 minutes. Exercise encompasses so many things that I’m sure you can find some kind of activity.
  • Laugh: This is perhaps the hardest to do when you are crunching to meet a deadline or complete a project on time but it’s rather simple to do especially on your lunch hour. Take a break to find a kneeslapper online. This can be quite easy to do as you can search for practically anything online from the latest funny memes and gifs or simply watching videos on YouTube about the latest pranks being committed across the nation. Trust me there is always something funny going on and a good hard chuckle might be the extra push you need to make it through the day.
  • Go for a drive: Keep in mind when I say go for a drive it doesn’t mean going on a getaway trip but rather to focus on the task of driving. It’s quite similar to going for a walk as mentioned above. This is a great time to just have some “you time.” There is nothing wrong with that but to fully get value out of this time I recommend not turning on the radio and rolling down your window and listening to the music of the streets.
  • Play some music: I don’t know about you but music always puts me in a good or better mood so I use this to my advantage. I’m not saying for you to blast your music instead I recommend you play certain types of genres to keep you on the right track. ninjaThis is where websites like Pandora and Spotify are perfect because all you do is type in the genre and enjoy. These might not be your hit music tracks but they will keep you concentrated. I recommend classical, jazz, or piano stations.
  • Turn off the lights: Ever think you’re always in the spotlight even though you’re really not. Maybe that’s because you are always under the lights, figuratively speaking. If you ever feel this way, then turn off the lights for a bit to put your mind at ease. If you can’t or work in a facility where you don’t have access to the light switch I recommend you put a towel over your eyes to use this technique. The way I look at this technique is like ninjas do. They do their best work in the dark and maybe you can too.

Try one of these techniques or try several different combinations of these techniques to see what works best for you.  If you are currently using other techniques I would love to know of other methods. Feel free to leave your comment below.

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Having Fitness Goals Is Step 1 To a Dream Body

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Everyone dreams of having a smokin hot body. Ok maybe not everyone wants a hot body but no one woke up saying they wanted to be unhealthy. What someone might consider as their dream body might differ to someone else’s dream body. But generally speaking most women would like to have a nice tan and some tone legs among other things. For men, this consists of having some washboard abs, huge arms, and being the fittest among your inner circle. But let’s face it; having this dream body seems like a lot of sacrifice to achieve in the first place and even harder to maintain afterwards.

Sacrifice will come with anything in life but creating fitness goals can help remedy some of the growing pains that come with having your dream body. There is a simple 3 step process. The first step in having your dream body is actually identifying what this would look like. It only makes sense to write out what your ideal self would look like because we all have varying opinions on what our “smokin hot body” would look like. This is actually the fun part because you get to dream and imagine what you would like to see yourself as.

Once you have established what your dream body looks like, the second step is actually writing your fitness goals. Most folks simply like to say their goals out loud but unless you write your fitness goals down you don’t have a way of holding yourself accountable. Something I first used was a note card to write down my fitness goals. However, I would run out of space so since then I have moved these goals into a focus wheel. I have seen others use small notepads or detailed fitness sheets to keep track of these goals. The method is simply a matter of preference but the main gist is to write your fitness goals down and not to simply say them out loud.

So how far out in future should these fitness goals be out to? And how detailed should these be? This is the last step in creating fitness goals. Personally, I like to set my fitness goals at different time spans. I categorize my fitness goals into 4 different spans that include: weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual fitness goals. I normally set anywhere from 1-5 fitness goals within each of the categories. The more goals you set for yourself, the more accountable you can expect to hold yourself so beware of how many you set for yourself.

Again these goals have to be consistent with your dream body. Don’t make these goals seem like obstacles because that’s not what they are meant to be. They are intended to help push you and serve as checkpoints along your journey to a new you. This is the way I am currently tracking my fitness goals, how are you tracking your fitness goals?

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