5 Easy & Effective Ways To Reduce Stress

woman feeling stressed
Alexander Grey

Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or unmanageable. With a few simple changes to your lifestyle, it’s possible to reduce stress in and make your day-to-day feel more manageable.

There are many easy and effective ways to reduce stress, from taking breaks to developing better coping strategies. Here are a few of the simplest stress-reducing tips and how they can help you live a happier and healthier life. 

1. Start By Getting Active

One of the easiest ways to reduce stress is to get moving. A recent study found that exercising can reduce anxiety significantly, in addition to helping you sleep better! If you aren’t sure where to start, consider joining a class or gym such as Fitness Cartel to meet new people and make exercising more social.

Or, if that feels too overwhelming, start by fitting exercise into your week. As this becomes routine, try to add small workouts into each day – simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator can burn around 36 calories per hour, and allocating 10 minutes to crunches or push-ups each hour can also be great to sneak exercise into your daily routine!

2. Practice Mindfulness

Research suggests that practicing mindfulness is a powerful way to reduce stress and anxiety. Mindfulness is the art of focusing on the present moment rather than worrying about the past or fretting about the future. This can be achieved through meditation, yoga, and other mindful activities.

Mindfulness-based therapies are particularly effective at treating anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. If you’re new to meditation, try a guided meditation to make it even easier to get started. Simply listening to an audio guide can help you to clear your mind and make space for relaxation. This is especially helpful if you find it challenging to meditate alone.

3. Improve Your Diet

While eating a balanced diet is essential for everyone, it’s particularly beneficial for stressed individuals. A study found that eating a low-glycemic-index diet can reduce feelings of anxiety. This diet is low in refined carbohydrates like sugar and white bread, which are quickly digested and can cause high blood sugar.

Instead, a low-glycemic-index diet is rich in fiber-rich whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and legumes, slowly breaking down in the body and releasing energy into the bloodstream at a more consistent rate. Eating a healthier diet is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress, mainly if you’re currently eating a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.

4. Get More Rest 

When you’re stressed, it can be easy to find yourself skipping out on sleep. But getting enough sleep is essential for managing stress and improving your health. Sleep deprivation can increase the production of cortisol hormone, leaving you anxious. Getting enough sleep is also necessary for your immune system, regulating your appetite and improving your mental health.

Aim to get around eight hours of sleep each night, particularly if you’re stressed. Create a sleep schedule to help regulate your sleep and make getting in eight hours easier. Avoid drinking caffeine, eating large meals late at night, and staying up late.

Stress can have a detrimental impact on your health, and taking proactive steps to reduce stress can benefit you in many ways. 

Featured Image Credit: Alexander Grey
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