Tips to Reduce Stress

stress (1)

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.

Related Posts

Importance of Breakfast

The Untold Story of Caffeine

Image Credit, Image Credit, Image Credit


Sleeping to Success


We only have 24 hours in a day. And of those 24 hours in a day we spend on average 8 hours sleeping. So that means that we spend 1/3 of our entire life sleeping. Or do we? Sure we all intend to sleep 8 hours straight but I’m pretty sure we don’t get 8 hours of quality sleep. Common reasons that we have a hard time sleeping range from suffering from a sleeping disorder to simply not finding a comfortable sleeping position throughout the night. I am by no means a sleep expert but like most out there I enjoy a great nights sleep. Here are 10 suggestions that you should strive to improve so you have success sleeping every night.

1.) Don’t drink caffeine so late. Notice I didn’t say don’t drink caffeine at all. Lets face it caffeine is around us within our favorite drinks but we shouldn’t indulge in this later than 5 pm at the latest. The reason is because caffeine stays in your body for 4-6 hours depending on how fast your body digests it. So think twice before you gulp on that extra sugary drink late in day.

2.) Drink a glass of water before you go to sleep. This glass of water will do several things. First, it will prevent you from drinking anything other than water. Secondly it helps you relax and helps your body repair and feel rejuvenated for the next day. Even if you’re not a habitual water drinker throughout the day this shouldn’t stop you from drinking a glass before you go to sleep. What’s the worse that could happen?

3.) Another sleeping tip is to not eat so late. From time to time, dinner might get pushed back a couple of hours due to your schedule but don’t accept this as a permanent change. Besides it preventing you from suffering from lack of sleep it can cause further health problems like getting heartburn or suffering from indigestion. Research shows to go to sleep no earlier than 3 hours after eating.

4.) Don’t go to sleep on an empty stomach. This might be worse than eating on a full stomach because you will get hungry at some point throughout the night. Then when you should be sleeping you end up devouring anything in your path to stop the hunger. Then you throw away your chance for restful sleep.

5.) Commit to some form of daily exercise. Not everyone is meant to be a weightlifter or the next marathon runner but even walking daily will cause you to be tired and have more peaceful sleep. Ever wonder why kids have an easy time falling asleep after a full day of running around? I’m not trying to inspire anyone to bring out their inner child out but I am encouraging you to find some activity that leaves you physically tired at the end of the day. Trust me you will thank me afterwards.

6.) Say no to TV at the end of the night. Some might argue and say how is this preventing me from sleeping? I would look at it in a different way and say how is it helping you fall asleep. Lets face it, when you are watching your favorite show on TV you are more likely to rationalize another episode and before you know it you have binge watched yourself to another late night. This could have been avoided if you set yourself a timer or a self imposed curfew. It sounds childish but who is in control? You or your TV?

7.) Stay off your phone! This is tough for many myself included. But what I found helpful is please-do-not-disturbusing the do not disturb features or silent mode for my phone late at night. I normally put it on from 10 pm-6 am  This will prevent me from checking emails late at night, prevent me from checking any of my social media apps, or prevent me from reading latest news. Again who is in control? You or your phone?

8.) Dim your lights! This is a great way to get in the zone and ready for bed. It helps you unwind, gets your mind off of things, and it relaxes you all in one. Trust me, even if you’re not tired a dim lit room will put you in a sleepy mode. Don’t believe me, try it out for yourself.

9.) Wear your favorite set of sleeping gear. For most it might consist of your favorite set of pajamas for others it might be your sleeping in your underwear. Whatever you choose to wear it should be comfortable and relaxing and not restricting and a reason for keeping you up at night.

10.) Take the time to find and buy a set of pillows, blankets, and most importantly a bed that you will enjoy sleeping in. This was crucial for me because I have different kinds of pillows and not all of them do the job right. You wouldn’t think pillows make a huge impact on your sleep until you wake up with a stiff neck the next morning. In regards to purchasing a bed, this might be more difficult but knowing the types of firmness you seek in a bed will help you. Trust me when I say there is different kind of sleep when you go from a twin bed, to a queen bed, to a king sized bed.  Size does matter when it comes to your bed size and you shouldn’t be stuck at square one if you have the choice and chance to upgrade.

These might have sounded like no brainer tips but lets face it you are are probably guilty of at least one of those “don’t’s” that I mentioned. I’m not saying to adopt all of these suggestions at once but I am saying that you should really take the time to improve your sleep otherwise you are losing the sleep battle before the war begins each day. Feel free to leave your comments below or follow me on twitter. 

Image CreditImage Credit