We have a lot of stress riding on our shoulders today. According to a 2015 survey from the American Psychological Association, more than 25% of American adults reported being under extreme stress. Additionally, this same report found that stress levels at the time rose form 4.9 in 2014 to 5.1 in 2015 on a 10-point stress scale.
Between creating a work life balance, giving it your all at your job, trying to make it to the gym, and meal prepping to stay healthy, you definitely don’t have a minute to spare in your day. At times, it can feel like we actually have negative minutes to give to what we need to do, and it’s that exact feeling that instills a deep sense of stress in our bodies.
The problem is that the more stressed you feel, the more likely you’re going to stress yourself out even more and contribute to the constant state of panic you’re in. It’s incredibly important to take a step back and identify what it is that’s causing the stress, as well as how you can calmly and healthily reduce the effects of stressors in your life.
Here are 5 sustainable ways to remediate the stressful strains on your lifestyle today:
Take a Break:
We’re taught that we don’t get any breaks as adults. It’s all on us to do the right thing, all the time, and show up with a smile on our faces. But, as humans, we all know that living this way just isn’t sustainable. First, you need to take a step back and identify the stressors that are affecting your day. Is it your job? Is your work demand mounting? Do you have an upcoming move?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, that’s ok! It means you’re normal. If you’re stressed from work, try taking some personal time to relax and identify if your job makes you happy or not. If your family is stressing you out, ask your spouse to watch the kids for the night so you can go to hot yoga. Whatever the stressor may be, ask for some help so you can just take a break. We need some time to rewind and focus today.
Sure, exercising is good for you on a physical front, contributing to weight loss and the building of muscle. But, from a psychological perspective, exercising actually releases endorphins that help you feel better – and happier. If you think there is just absolutely no time in your day to fit in exercise, you are wrong. It’s a matter of priorities. Instead of sitting on Facebook every night for 2-hours before you go to bed, fall asleep one hour sooner and wake up earlier to hit the gym or go for a run.
It may seem like a rough lifestyle change at first, but your body will grow to appreciate it from the happiness and invigorated energy you are providing it by making a fitness and exercise commitment.
Just like exercising, laughing actually releases hormones as well that makes us feel happier and healthier. When was the last time you laughed? Have your days gotten so serious that you barely find yourself smiling anymore? It’s easy to fall into a sad cycle like this. But, it’s up to you to pull yourself out of it.
Make sure you’re doing more things that make you laugh. Watch some sitcoms, spend some quality time with your children and your pets, or take some me-time to go to the movies and hang out with friends. The less serious you are about your job and your stressors, the more you’ll realize they’re nothing more than just obstacles in your way. You have everything you need to overcome them.
Human-to-human contact is really important for our psychological stability. We feel the most stressed in our lives when we take a step back from everyone and hole up in the corner; feeling like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. Although you may have a desire to withdraw from social circles as you get stressed, the answer is: that is the last thing you should do.
Instead, make time to socialize, with family, friends, and your loved one. It’s important to partake in dialogue and talk presently with other people who know you and support you. You’ll soon learn that you are not enduring this alone.
This can also be in the form of praying. Developing mental discipline is a very valuable tool that will help you avoid debilitating stress in the future, as well. Whether you call it mediation, mindfulness, or praying, taking some time to sit down, unplug, and just focus on your thoughts. Your breathing will help you pick apart stressors and motivators. Calm yourself, think slowly, and really identify what it is that brings you happiness and sadness.
Try and sort the two apart so you can go ahead with your day tomorrow and do everything you need to do to make it better.
Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to have some statistical data and information about your body’s stress and energy levels along the way. Having insight information about our bodies and what makes us tick is valuable for sustaining a healthier and happier future. Through our Welltory app, we are able to measure these characteristics simply using your heart rate. We’ll make recommendations, too, that should help you pursue a stress-free future.