Life throws us curveballs every day. We do our best to deal with the unexpected situations and challenging events in our lives. However research shows that prolonged stress and anxiety can reduce life expectancy. Simply put, stress is a killer.
Are you able to identify and acknowledge the stress that you are experiencing? You can probably count at least 10 ways that stress has impacted your life negatively. Awareness is crucial in order to begin strategizing your survival plan. So what are you doing about it? Learn these 5 super stress buster tips that are sure to not only help you get through it and survive, but actually thrive.
Stress Buster Tip #1: Meditate daily.
Even if it's only five minutes a day, meditation helps you to take a few moments to calm down, relax, breathe deeply, gain clarity and focus in your life. Through your meditation practice, you are acknowledging and prioritizing YOU. You are guiding yourself to set daily intentions or personal goals. You are setting yourself up for success. If you've never mediated before, no worries. There are a variety of quality meditation apps that are easily available to guide you as you explore the benefits of meditation, many at no charge. You will start feeling calm and confident again and will begin to feel your stress melt away as you practice daily meditation.
Stress Buster Tip #2: Practice physical self-care activities.
There's no doubt that you are aware of the importance of the basics of self-care: a healthy and balanced nutritional plan, daily exercise and adequate sleep in order to live your best life. Knowing is one thing; doing is something else. Self-care addresses and reduces the harmful effects of stress on the body.
Be purposeful in practicing these three tenets of self-care:
Be vigilant about the foods that you eat. Plan ahead and make sure you are nurturing your body with a healthy and balanced regimen of nutrients including protein at every meal, a variety of vegetables, fruits and lots of water. Eating healthy provides positive energy to your body and is key to a healthy quality of life.
Be mindful of organizing your day to include a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise. Endorphins are released when you exercise, boosting your emotional outlook and providing a greater sense of well being. In addition to the physical benefits, when you incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine, you feel less stressed, more relaxed and ready to meet any challenges that come your way. In fact, many people claim that they do their best problem-solving and brainstorming during their daily workout. Whether it's running, yoga, working out at the gym, or even walking your dog, make it a daily habit and embrace the opportunity to re-energize and de-stress.
Be laser-focused on making sure you are getting a full night's sleep that is restful, restorative and recharges you to wake up every morning ready to take on a brand new day. The quantity of sleep varies for each individual. Whether it's 7 or 8 hours, or a little more or less, studies have shown that maintaining a consistent schedule of going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning is key to optimal good health. Sleep relaxes you and recharges your personal battery, equipping you to face whatever challenges come your way, without undue worry or stress.
Stress Buster Tip #3: Practice attitudinal self-care.
In addition to the three basic fundamentals of self-care as noted above, let's add another critical element of self-care: attitudinal self-care. You've heard the expression “You are what you eat.” Similarly, one of my Essential Mottos is: “You are what you THINK.” Practice positive thinking as much as possible. You've heard the expression: “If you can conceive it, you can achieve it.” With more positivity in your life, comes less stress or at the very least, manageable stress. You will be able to brainstorm solutions to your everyday challenges. Do you see the glass as half-full or half-empty? With a focus on attitudinal self-care, you will begin to see the glass as half-full. And then, it is likely that your vision of your world will be more open to infinite possibilities and probabilities. Another one of my Essential Mottoes is: “There's no such thing as problems… only solutions.” See your glass as half-full. See the infinite possibilities. Smile and practice positivity every day, as much as possible. Your positive attitude will enable you to stress and worry less, and you will likely reap amazing benefits to mind, body and soul.
Stress Buster Tip #4: Reach out to a friend.
Social isolation increases the likelihood of loneliness, negative self-esteem and stress. Interacting with family and friends will help you to neutralize the anxiety and stress that you may be feeling. Reaching out to a trusted friend or family member is a positive step forward. Even if you are reluctant to make that call or send a text, know that there is a loving and supportive network out there for you to contact… and encourage yourself to connect with others. Caring for a pet is therapeutic as well. Positive social interaction and connection is key to reducing your stress levels.
Stress Buster Tip #5: Be more resilient.
A Japanese Proverb reminds us that, “The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.” You may notice that some people seem to be able to handle their stress better than others. You may also wonder, in particular, why they seem to handle their stress better than you. Learning how to become more resilient will enable you to take things in your stride, cope better and handle difficult situations without undue anxiety or stress. Practice more flexibility in your life. Be less rigid. Become more resilient. You will stress less and become stronger like the oak tree in the Japanese proverb.