Life is stressful, and it’s only getting more so as we get older. The good news is that there are many things you can do to reduce the stress in your life. Here are five healthy practices that will help you have a more stress-free lifestyle:
- Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly has been proven to lower stress levels and improve your mood. It’s important to choose an activity that you enjoy and stick with it, because if you don’t enjoy it or have trouble sticking with it, it won’t help reduce your stress levels.
- Eat well
Eating well helps prevent illness and promotes good gut health. It also helps keep your mind clear as well as your body strong. If you don’t eat well, it can affect your mental health and increase feelings of depression and anxiety — two things that lead to feelings of stress!
- Get enough sleep
Sleep is essential for our bodies and minds to recover from the day’s activities and prepare for the next one ahead. Getting enough sleep can help keep your stress levels down by helping you feel more energized throughout the day.
- Practice positive thinking and self-care every day
It’s important to recognize when you’re feeling stressed out — like when you have trouble concentrating or feel overwhelmed by feelings such as anger or sadness — then take a few minutes to relax before things get worse (for example, take a walk outside). If a situation truly isn’t under your control (like traffic jams), remind yourself that it won’t last forever and try finding something positive about the situation (like chatting with another driver).
- Reduce caffeine intake
Caffeine is an addictive drug that can cause physical dependence after just a few weeks of regular use. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain; this results in increased alertness and energy levels – at least temporarily – which may make it seem like the perfect solution for coping with stress but over time it can lead to chronic fatigue, irritability and insomnia.