Let’s get one notion out of the way: It is impossible to live a completely stress-free life. We have families to care for, kids to raise, and job responsibilities to meet. We live busy lives filled with complexities, distractions, and unexpected detours. If life consisted of just getting from point A to point B, it might be safer and more predictable, but it would certainly lose nuances along the wavelengths of stress and serenity.
Stress can be motivating. We have deadlines to meet and goals to achieve. But as most of us know stress can be toxic. So many health issues can be attributed to stress infiltrating our very being, causing physical symptoms to erupt and mental health problems to establish a foothold.
As with any issue we face that can impede the peace we want in our lives, dealing with stress can be addressed methodically with solutions in mind. It is just too easy to say “relax” or “try not to think about that”, but these comments have no real effects that elicit change. There are plenty of simple solutions to incorporate into our daily routines and a few more creative options for those of us who want to broaden our selection of choices.
Look to the Tried and True Methods for Stress Relief
Stress relief can take many forms, but a natural, mindful approach is the best place to start. Try to eliminate the more medicinal or chemical choices like tranquilizers, muscle relaxers, and pain medications, as well as nicotine, alcohol, and illicit drugs. These substances may lessen some symptoms quickly but have their own stressful components when used long-term or in high volume.
These simple and accessible steps to relieve stress and invite calmness are a great way to start:
- Incorporate a healthy, well-balanced diet to avoid quick fixes and emotional eating. Take the time to prepare meals at home and then eat slowly and thoughtfully. Learn how to eat for sustenance and pleasure so both can lead to a positive result. There are a variety of resources that offer healthy baking recipes and cooking recipes that details what is the healthiest flour for baking and tips for baking with gluten-free flour.
- Increase your water intake to avoid dehydration and help all of your body’s systems to function efficiently.
- If you engage in exercise then consider adding an additional workout or something different you’ve never tried. If you don’t regularly maintain physical activity, now is the time to begin. Activies to burn some energy and worries should always be included in creating a calmer life.
- Make time for things you enjoy. This option covers a lot of ground. What activity helps your stress melt into a puddle of nothingness? Curling up with a good book and a cat at your feet? Or maybe throwing a lump of clay and watching it form into something beautiful? Whatever your choice is for a de-stressing activity, it is the right one because you know the effect it will have on you.
- Carve out a little sanctuary spot and spend some time in meditation. This environment should be quiet, peaceful, and free from distractions. Engage in mindful practice to relax each muscle and slow your breathing. As you become more proficient, you will be able to clear your mind and allow this tranquil state to dispel some of the issues that cause you stress.
The stress you feel can affect your body, mind, and spirit. It is unpleasant but often normal to experience fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, and depression during periods of high stress. Most of us want to solve our personal problems on our own without resorting to external support, but that isn’t always the healthiest approach to take. It is important to connect with the people you love and trust the most and ask them for additional support. Sometimes they can provide the encouragement you need to tackle the parts of your life causing stress and help you feel that solutions are within reach.
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