Life can be stressful. Our families get ill, our jobs create stress, finances pile up, even traffic jams causes stress.
Research says 73% of people in the U.S. experience psychological symptoms related to stress and 77% of Americans develop physical conditions caused by stress.
So what can we do about it?
We can let it overwhelm us or we can choose to fight the dangerous effects of stress by using simple life hacks that nurture our minds and strengthen our bodies.
Here are 13 simple life hacks to help you beat stress.
Simple Life Hacks to Help You Fight Stress
1) Do Deep Breathing Exercises
Our jobs are one of the biggest stressors we experience. We’re often overworked, covering for our co-workers who are out sick, on vacation or doing extra work while waiting for an employment position to get filled.
This often requires skipping lunch or eating at our desk to make our deadlines.
Being overworked can affect our health, and it is important to be able to relax our body and mind and find time to destress during the workday.
One of the greatest exercises to help us relax our bodies our deep breathing exercises. Deep breathing balances our metabolism, relaxes our muscles, slows down our heart rate, and reduces blood pressure.
Deep breathing exercises also send oxygen to our brains and calm our entire bodies.
Performing abdominal breathing exercises for 20-30 minutes a day help decrease stress and anxiety. The great thing is you can do them at your desk or step outside for your breathing exercises during your lunch break.
This is how you do it:
Take a deep abdominal breath, let your diaphragm expand and fill with air. Hold your breath in for at least eight seconds.
Slowly exhale and release your breath and visualize the stress leaving your body. It’s important to exhale slowly and not rush your exhale.
2) Going for a Walk Outdoors is One the Best Simple Life Hacks that Works
Similar to deep breathing, walking briskly brings oxygen to our bodies and brains and helps to relieve stress, especially when we’re outdoors.
Walking in the park or somewhere near trees allows us to inhale the oxygen trees emit into the air, taking it in as we walk.
You’re likely to notice the difference immediately. Have you ever gone for a power walk for 30 minutes and returned refreshed, relaxed, and invigorated?
For the best results, take a daily power walk at the same time every day if possible.
3) Join an Organization To Help a Cause
Playing your part in the world to benefit others or the environment like the coral reef alliance takes our minds off ourselves, our problems, and our worries.
Simple life hacks such as the act of giving–whether it be our time, a financial donation, or both– can make us feel that our contributions matter.
We are making efforts to help change environmental problems or to aid people who aren’t as fortunate as we are.
This enables us to see a bigger world picture and focus on something other than our own issues. It also makes us feel good about who we are as a human being.
4) Never Skip Your Workout Routine
No matter what, don’t miss your workout routine. This is one of those simple life hacks that’s important to stick to.
If your goal is to go to the gym three days a week, don’t skip one day. Whether you aerobics, build and tone your muscles on machines, or pedal on stationary bikes, keep it consistent and it will help you fight stress.
Not only does working out help you lose weight, it helps our moods, balances glucose, leptin and insulin levels and fights off disease like ulcers.
5) Practice Good Communication
When something bothers us and we don’t express ourselves, stress builds up in our bodies. It causes physical tension and makes our muscles constrict.
This is an effect of anger, but when we communicate our concerns and ‘get it off our chest’, so to speak, it helps us release it. This is something psychologists have talked about for years.
Can you think of a time this happened to you?
Have you ever blown up at someone for something small; then you realize you’ve still mad at something this person did weeks ago?
It’s not uncommon.
This can happen with your spouse, a family member, a co-worker or your boss.
No matter who it is, it’s important to address issues immediately by practicing assertive communication. When you do this, you’ll ‘nip the issue in the bud’, feel emotionally relieved and lift the tension up and out of your body and mind.
6) Write in A Journal
Another way to release stress is to write in a diary or journal. Journaling triggers and frees negative emotions that are buried deep in the subconscious.
When you acknowledge these thoughts and bring them to the surface, you can rewrite them by changing them into a positive thought.
This action has a healthy effect on the mind. That’s why journaling is one of simple life hacks that helps you to think positively.
7) Realize When Something Is Out of Your Control
When people feel fearful, it’s natural to begin obsessing about their situations. It’s important to realize whether something is within in your control or outside of your ability to change the situation.
For instance, if your company is downsizing, that’s outside of your control. There’s a chance you can lose your job, but you might not be able to change the situation, depending on the circumstances.
When something is out of your control, you can practice what psychologists call ‘self-talk’. Self-talk is a reality check.
An example of self-talk is saying to yourself there’s a possibility that you’ll lose your job, but there’s also a possibility you won’t.
You can prepare yourself by taking action and begin searching other employment opportunities in your field in the event you are laid off.
This will take you out of stress mode and put you into action mode, which creates more value than worry.
8) Take a Warm Bath with a Glass of Wine
While most people who have bathtubs take showers, taking a bath is much more relaxing, and it’s even better with a glass of wine.
Warm herbal baths relax the body, especially when you put a pleasant fragrance or herb into the bathwater.
For a relaxing bath, pour in an aromatherapy such as eucalyptus oil, which also energizes the body and helps you breath better, or trickle in a little chamomile, a herb that relieves muscle tension.
Herbs and grapes: two simple life hacks created by nature.
9) Eat Stress-busting Foods
Certain foods are good for the body and mind, making them great simple life hacks.
These foods lift your mood, release anxiety, balance glucose levels, and normalize metabolism.
Some of the best foods you can put in your body include salmon, spinach, cashews, avocados and low-fat cheeses.
Here are some of their benefits and some tasty recipes:
- Salmon – rich in Omega 3, manages cortisol levels, the stress hormone, reduces adrenaline and decreases anxiety.
- Spinach – Rich in magnesium, this heart-healthy leafy vegetable regulates stress, lowers adrenalin, and reduces glucose levels.
- Cashews – This tasty stress-fighting nut, packed with zinc, enhances our moods and fights both depression and anxiety.
- Avocados- These green babies will give you all the vitamin B’s your body needs, reduce stress and anxiety, and lower blood pressure.
10) Get a Massage
Scheduling a massage is a great way to relieve muscle tension that ends up in your neck and back.
Book an appointment for a warm oil aromatherapy massage, rich in plant oils and extracts, or a Swedish massage.
Most massage therapy spas play soft music in the background while you are engrossed in a heavenly massage, an added relaxing touch.
11) Take a Yoga Class
Studies show that yoga helps relieve stress. It’s also a mood enhancer and improves the practitioner’s well-being.
Yoga can also help manage risk factors for heart disease and high blood pressure.
The practice of yoga includes meditation, a variety of poses, and breathing exercises.
12) Make Time to Socialize
Meeting friends for a meal or a drink is a great way to relax, especially when there’s a lot of laughter around the room.
Make sure to meet with people you enjoy spending time with, not someone who is toxic or someone who drains your energy.
‘Laughter is the best medicine,’ so meeting with friends who are fun can be just what the doctor ordered.
13) Do Things You Enjoy
Doing hobbies such as gardening or cooking are simple life hacks that reduce stress. If an activity brings you joy and comfort, it’s likely to relax you.
Another great way to fight stress is to spend time with your pets. These furry friends can make us forget all our woes, at least for a while.
When we pet our loving cats and dogs, we give our pets affection, but we also massage our inner spirit.
Now you have 13 great strategies to reduce stress! Do you know any other good stress-busting tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!
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