Live With Less Stress And More Joy
Living with less stress will not only benefit your health but your overall wellbeing. People experiencing high levels of stress are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors.
For some, resorting to food for comfort helps them cope with stress. Others may choose to dive deeper into their addictions to alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes.
Each person handles stress differently. The best way to reduce stress and add more joy to your days is to incorporate healthier activities into your routine.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), nearly half of Americans claim their stress has increased in the last five years, and one-third is living with extreme stress.
With these numbers in mind, it is vital to acknowledge the impact stress has on your life and personal relationships and address it.
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20 Tips To Reduce Stress and Add More Joy
Here are twenty simple tips to have less stress and add more joy into your life.
#1 Stop Overthinking
How often have you suffered in anticipation of a situation causing you to be worried sick, and then everything turns out alright?
All the anxiety and suffering you brought to yourself was for nothing. Stop creating problems where they don’t exist.
Expect the best outcome for everything you do, and don’t keep waiting for the worst to happen.
#2 Put Yourself First
Fill up your cup first! Make yourself a priority, schedule time for what matters to you, and take care of your mind and body.
It’s stressful to keep running on empty, knowing your needs are not being met, and that you are not working towards the things that will take you closer to your goals. Make time for you!
Sleeping is crucial for your body to rest and your brain to recharge. Not getting enough sleep can increase stress levels.
Following a regular night routine will promote mental clarity, improve concentration, and boost your problem solver skills.
#4 Spend time with friends and family
Spending time with friends and family is a great way to reduce stress. They are the people you feel connected to and enjoy doing stuff together.
It’s very comforting to be part of a group you can relax and be yourself with no judgment. While at the same time having strong social support, you can rely on—people who don’t have that experience a humongous amount of stress.
And I can speak for that. I have no family around, and it crosses my mind more frequently than not what will happen to my daughter and dogs if something happens to me. I do fight these thoughts as they don’t contribute to anything positive.
Despite taking legal action and having an arrangement in place, there is still this worry in the back of my mind.
#5 Surround yourself with Positivity
It’s important to surround yourself with positive people that raise your energy. Your environment and experiences influence who you will become and how you feel.
Get rid of the toxic relationships and the negative people that don’t share the same mindset. Their vibes and beliefs will impact your decisions and be a source of stress and frustration.
Spend time with someone that inspires you and makes you want to be a better person.
#6 Adult Coloring Books
Some psychiatrists believe coloring complex mandalas is a great way to calm the mind. Coloring also stimulates different areas of the brain related to motor skills, creativity, and the senses.
Studies have shown the concentration required for coloring a drawing stops any anxiety you are experiencing at that moment, replacing negative thoughts with pleasant ones, helping you to de-stress.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils to improve your emotional and physical health.
Stress-relieving is one of the benefits of aromatherapy. It also assists in treating anxiety and depression.
For better results, combine the use of aromatherapy with massage or meditation.
Physical activity can act as a stress reliever. When you exercise, the body releases endorphins, the feel-good brain’s neurotransmitters.
During a workout session or game, your focus is on the movement keeping you in the present moment and clearing your mind from any worries.
Regular exercise reduces stress, boosts self-esteem, improves sleep, increases energy, and puts you in a great mood, making you happier.
#9 Stop Procrastinating
Leaving important tasks for the last minute to be done can be a major source of stress.
Make a list of your MUST-DOs and break them down in small actionable steps.
Tackle at least one important task a day, early morning when you start working. Block the time to work on it and don’t do anything else until it’s complete. Remove distractions and put your phone away.
When you get into the habit of checking things off of your list, benefiting from the results of your progress, you will be converted to an action-taker.
Yoga is an ancient mind-body practice that helps to fight stress, increase productivity, and calm the mind. It combines physical strength, balance, flexibility, control of your breathing, and meditation.
This practice has several techniques for taming the monkey mind, a term that comes from Buddhism to describe a mind that jumps from one thought to another, not allowing you to be present in the now.
Mindfulness is a meditation technique that focuses on living in the present, assisting in building inner strength, so stressor factors have less impact on your life.
As you gain awareness of your thoughts and feelings, you don’t react on impulse and instead take a moment to reflect. You get a greater sense of being and become more relaxed and in tune with your body and emotions.
Some researchers suggest mindfulness practice can change brain patterns increasing activity in the prefrontal cortex regions, which are essential for “top-down stress regulation” while reducing activity in the areas associated with the brain’s fight-or-flight stress response, particularly the amygdala.
#12 Listen To Music
With its soothing power, music relaxes your mind and body. Classical music, especially, can lower blood pressure, slow your heart rate, and decrease the levels of stress hormones.
Incorporate music into your routine to reduce emotional distress and bring more joy to your day.
Dancing is a fun way to have less stress and boost your mood, giving your brain a break from your problems.
Turn the music up! Have a playlist ready for when you are cooking dinner and have a little dance party.
Usually overlooked, breathing is a powerful tool to manage stress and reduce anxiety.
Focusing on your breathing, take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your belly with air, and let it all out through the nose. After practicing for a few minutes, you will feel the tension melting away and more at peace.
Being thankful for what you have and enjoying the little things creates positive emotions associated with pleasure and happiness.
Grateful people have a reduction in the level of cortisol, the stress hormone. They can handle stress better than others and are more resilient when facing setbacks and difficult situations.
#16 Caring For A Pet
Pet owners are well aware of how much their animal companion enriches their lives in every aspect, adding joy and unconditional love.
Sharing your days with a dog or a cat can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, get you exercising more, and add playfulness into your life.
Pets help you to enjoy the moment appreciating the present. And no matter what mood you are in, nothing beats a wet nose and a wagging tail.
#18 Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is a great way to disconnect from the outside world and turn inwards.
It is a very effective method to release tension from your body, putting you in a state of deep relaxation and improving your mood.
#19 Set Boundaries
It is necessary to set clear boundaries, so people know how you expect to be treated and what you won’t tolerate.
If anything makes you feel uncomfortable or doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Learn to say no to things that are not aligned with your values.
#20 Laugh More
Laughter is the best medicine! It lifts your mood, boosts your immune system, reduces pain, and relieves tension and stress.
Look for reasons to laugh as it will improve your wellbeing and positively affect your mental and emotional health. Laughter is contagious and will make you and those around you happier.
Be more playful and find humor in everyday situations.
Stress Less and Live Better
Look for the good in everything and believe things will turn out okay in the end.
Understand what is under your control and stop stressing about previous mistakes and failures, as that can’t be changed. Learn the lesson, aim to do better next time, and keep moving forward.
Don’t take life too seriously. Life is meant to be fun! Lighten up and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Live in the present and enjoy the journey!