10 easy ways to reduce your stress load

Guardalavaca, Cuba - Feb 7 to 14, 2012 210

Every day, you generate stress and take in stress from your environment.  How about getting rid of it? 

Stress doesn’t have to be dramatic and sudden.  I’d guess that most of your stress comes from the accumulation of small things through each day: whether it’s because you didn’t get enough sleep, you work near a grouchy colleague, or face too many demands and impossible deadlines.  In the same way you accumulate stress, a little at a time, you can lower it, one step at a time.  Integrate a few of these suggestions on a daily basis and see what happens!

  1. Get out. Literally just take a few minutes and get outdoors.  Look up at the sky. Take a few deep breaths. Watch the clouds or count the stars.  Let yourself take a moment for yourself and feel more alive.
  2. Have a grateful moment. You are healthy. You have a home, a job, a family. You are loved. This is your reality check: you are so fortunate.
  3. Give a hug: whether to your dog, your kid, a friend or even your teddy bear, giving a hug pumps you full of happiness hormones.
  4. Feel cared for: Start your day with a plate of fresh fruit yummy to eyes, body and soul; follow with a big glass of water in which you squeeze a fresh lemon… Doing something healthy for you helps you feel you’re taking care of yourself.
  5. Shower away the stress of the day, and water makes you feel good and clean, then start anew with fresh, comfortable clothes that make you feel good.
  6. Let the sun shine in. There is something inspiring and real about natural light – it fuels your spirit and helps you feel good. If you heard of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) caused by a lack of natural bright daylight, you know that bright daylight will brighten your mood.  Give yourself a chance.
  7. Sleep more. Put away the electronics, give yourself a break and fall asleep on a book.  Aim for 8 hours, and wake up feeling refreshed.  Lack of sleep in itself is a stressor.
  8. Make new friends. Choose authentic, caring, optimistic people who make you feel good about yourself & about life.
  9. Connect with nature: Walk at least 10 minutes in beautiful, calming nature, every day.
  10. Don’t expect miracles: you need to do a few of these on a daily basis to get results.  Build in a couple new habits, and see your stress level come down.  Enjoy!
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