6 Ways to Reduce Stress
6 ways to reduce stress and cultivate calm in your daily life.
Clear Your Physical Space.
Our environment directly affects by our mental space an vice-versa.
Simplify the number of sub-conscious decisions you have to make on a daily basis. Remove duplicate items in your kitchen, clean out your car, get rid of beauty products you don’t use. Try a capsule wardrobe. By reducing the number of items we have to think or deal with, we reduce the static in the background of our brains. That makes it easier to respond to bigger, more important stressors that come along.
As the day goes on, all those little decisions add up and suddenly simple decisions — like what to make for dinner — become extremely difficult to make. Decision fatigue also decreases our willpower, which means we’re less likely to be patient with our friends and family, and more likely to react poorly to stressful situations.
2. Connect with your breathe.
We live in a face-paced world. We switch between tasks so frequently that focused-attention is often considered a dying art. Yet, with all this stimulation, there are certain parts of the brain that light up only when we’re quiet. Using a breath-based meditation helps train our brains to be more mindful of what we are experiencing. This helps us be better prepared to respond to emotional triggers throughout the day with a sense of calm instead of panic.
“In just a two-minute span of time done for 21 days in a row, we can actually rewire your brain, allowing your brain to actually work more optimistically and more successfully.” —Shawn Achor, Psychologist
3. Eat well.
Garbage in. Garbage out. Your body (and your brain!) need the right kind of fuel to function well. That means being mindful about what, how much, and when you’re eating (or drinking). One of the best ways to ensure you eat well during the week is to start meal prepping. By laying out a few healthy meals on a weekly basis, you’ll ensure that you’re choosing what you want before decision fatigue sets in.
4. Get enough sleep.
Bragging about how little sleep you’re getting is essentially like bragging about how drunk you are. Sleep deprivation reduces our ability to make good decisions quickly, makes us more likely to react vs. responds to stressful situations, and inhibits our body’s ability to heal itself. Getting good night of slept is essential to functioning well. If you’re having trouble sleeping, and you’ve tried all of these ideas, it’s probably time to call in the professionals. Check out the MN Sleep Institute.
5. Take a walk.
Go for a walk, a bike, a swim. Play tennis. Join the company volleyball team. You NEED 30 minutes of exercise everyday. Exercise reduces stress, increases your energy and leaves you feeling happier and more relaxed.
6. Practice Gratitude.
Taking time to practice gratitude helps us program our brains to look for all the good in our lives and in the world. And being in a state of gratitude helps us see the big picture and live in the present. Try creating a daily gratitude practice.