Friday, September 25, 2020
Reduce your Stress
Self-Care

14 Effective Ways to Reduce Stress & Improve your Life

Some time ago I was under the clutches of stress. I didn’t know though that what I was feeling, the negativity that was creeping up on me had anything to do with stress.

I went on about my day to day tasks bearing this unsettling feeling of failure and worthlessness that was brought by stress as something that was my fault. Then one day during a chat with a friend, she suggested reducing my stress.

That’s when I realized that I was under a lot of stress. So I retraced my steps to figure out what initiated this stress and how I was able to stay stress-free at that moment. Being the journal loving person I was, I wrote everything down and came up with a de-stress list for me.

There are a few things that I do on a regular basis to keep stress away from me and it works well too.

Manage your Stress

In this post, I list down a few ways to keep yourself stress-free. Now, before we begin let me be clear.

It is not important that you follow all the activities listed below.

It is not important that you follow at least one activity down below.

It is important that you figure out what relaxes you and do that activity to help you destress.

It would do a lot of good if you create your own de-stress list which you can flip back when you are under the attack of stress.

So, let’s begin:

14 Ways to Reduce Stress

Make sleep a priority – In our busy lives, sleep is of least importance. I remember a younger cousin of mine once remarked that sleeping was a waste of time. She was a teenager at the time. Thankfully I never thought of sleeping as misusing of my time, but still, I don’t get a good proper sleep. It’s shocking to learn that millions of people do not get proper sleep. I read these comments on many articles and videos where people are wasting their time online in the wee hours when they should be fast asleep. The tragic part is these are almost always young adults who are busy with their studies.

‘Well rest’ has everything to do with keeping you stress-free. How can you expect to work well during the day time and yield a good result if you don’t sleep well in the night time so that your body and mind are rested properly?

Sleep deprivation is the worst kind of torture for both mind and body. Only a well-rested mind and body will help you take care of your stress.

Develop a routine that suits you – I am a big lover of routines. I like how my mornings are almost always retracing the same steps at the exact second. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I love coming back from a vacation trip – I can get back to my routine. Having a manageable morning and night routines would help immensely in managing your anxiety level.

Be out in nature – Nature is the best stress-buster, do you agree? Going out for a walk, alone or accompanied by a couple of friends, is a good way to bid bye to that nasty stress that follows you around. If hiking or rafting is up your alley go for it. Sometimes just sitting in the balcony watching the world go about also works wonders.

Picture courtesy – Pixabay

Spend some time with people who influence you positively – Be with people who are positive and uplifting and that attitude will rub on you too. Problems are going to be there, that’s why it’s better to spend our time with problem solvers and those who have the ability to take it easy.

Spend some time nurturing your creative side – Do you like to paint? Do you like to speak in front of a group? Go for it. Tending to your creative side is essential in keeping stress at a bay.

Picture courtesy – Unsplash

Stay active Exercise is the need of the hour for all of us. Workout every day, not to stay in shape or to lose pounds, but because that will keep you in a good spirit with serotonin and norepinephrine and all in your system.

Eat healthy – Eating junk food affects memory and causes the stomach to bloat. Choosing to eat healthy on the other hand will aid you with better health. And that’s a lot less to stress about, right?

Count your blessings – I write in my gratitude journal every night. It is such a positive filled activity that helps me sleep a little better. On a regular day, I write three things I am grateful for, but if I feel particularly ungrateful on a day I write five things I am grateful for. It helps in seeing what matters when my mind is clouded. I highly recommend keeping a gratitude journal. Many days when I feel rather gloomy, I flip through the previous gratitude journals which instantly puts a smile on my face. Often this instant gratification from the yesterdays is enough to pull me back up from the gloom. I have been using a gratitude journal for almost four years now and it is a life savior.

Related Reading “Today I Am Grateful For…

Write in your journal – Along with a gratitude journal, I also keep a journal to pour my heart out. All the apprehensions and worries stay in these pages clearing my mind from holding on to those unnecessary thoughts. Writing down in my journal gives me permission to stop worrying.

Related Reading “Morning Pages – The Self-Care Exercise

Picture courtesy – Unsplash

Pamper yourself at the end of the day – Living is a big deal. Making through day after day needs a lot of patience and courage. Start your day keeping in mind how you are going to reward yourself at the end of the day.

Related Reading “Practice Self-Love And Self-Care Every Day – Podcast

Let it go – This year one intention I am keeping is to forgive. I cannot forget that easily when someone hurt me. But now gradually I see the benefit of letting it go. I am not completely there, but being able to think about people and moments that hurt you without feeling like ripping their head off is a huge stress reliever as far as I am concerned.

Deep breath in – This is my go-to tool to keep stress away from me. Deep breath in, and imagine that what bothers you is a big ball of smoke. Now, breathe out, and imagine the smoke of worries dispersing into nothingness. It’s gone, the stress is no longer looming above your head. Take a couple more breaths in and out and you are good to go.

Appreciate yourself – Do you say thanks to yourself for taking care of you every single day? Do that, write it on a paper, on the front page of your journal or in your gratitude journal every day. This one activity will uplift you, no doubt.

Related Reading “Welcome 2019

Learn something new which you always wanted to – It could be photography, dance, a musical instrument, drawing or anything else. Do not think about how this skill is going to help you in the future. Just start learning to give your mind a productive boost.

Bonus:

Listen to this podcast from The Life Coach School which talks about how to feel better. Essentially, by changing your thoughts, you can change how you feel. Does it make sense to you?

I would urge you to create your own de-stress list and keep it handy. Even if you don’t do the activities listed above on a regular basis or if even after doing those you fail to connect it with your emotional well-being, having a list of your favorite activities to reduce stress will definitely act as a reminder. Just looking at that list would help you, I am certain.

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How do you manage your stress? Which of the above activities do you practice?

Vinitha
<p>An IT Professional, an author, an accidental blogger, a lover of words and a recent self-care addict. I love stringing words together, which I lovingly call a poem. You can read my affair with words at Void Thoughts(http://thevoidthoughts.com) and Reflections..(https://www.vinithadileep.com)</p>

8 thoughts on “14 Effective Ways to Reduce Stress & Improve your Life

  1. This is a well structured post on a relevant topic. I am perfectly sure these are the right methods to reduce one’s stress levels. I shall rate the point of getting adequate sleep the highest among all. I felt glad reading about doing work-out to feel good rather than losing weight and getting in shape because when the latter are the motives then any shortcomings tend to create more stress. Writing in a gratitude journal did not prove helpful to me when I was experiencing hyper stress and anxiety levels. I felt I was writing points just for the sake of it and it appeared to be all superficial to me since the big stuff and issues were making me unhappy. Yet, those days have passed and now my stress and anxiety are down to manageable levels. I can add a 15th point to this fine list which is creating positive affirmations to relieve of the stress causing thoughts. I have a small diary in which I compile my positive affirmations (one page for each affirmation) to deal with the negatives and of which I turn the pages and read it every morning upon waking up.

    1. Not getting enough sleep is the main reason for my high stress levels. Without rest I am no good. Working out to lose weight increases my stress levels. 😀 It’s better to do the activities that help you and ditch those which affects you negatively no matter how well it worked for others. Oh yeah, positive affirmations work well too. I write them in my morning pages, not daily though.
      I’m glad you liked the post, Anamika. I value your feedback always. ❤️

  2. These are such sensible and practical tips, V. I still struggle with letting things go and perfectionism. But I have been very successful at making sleep, and exercise a priority. So I’ve made progress.

    1. That’s good news, Shantala. With good sleep and workout health is taken care of. That’s a good start for stress management. 😀

  3. An excellent list with good examples. I do pretty well on most of these, except #1. I should probably be sleeping right now. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

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