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5 Easy Activities To Reduce Stress

01 September 2022

Stress is a part of life and there will never be a cure for its total removal. No matter how luxurious of a life we have, our bodies are programmed to feel stress at some point.

However, there are ways to reduce stress so that when it does hit you, you’re much more capable of dealing with it appropriately. Here are 5 easy activities to help you reduce stress:

Make Connections

Having a support network is a really important framework to have when you want to combat stress. A positive network of friends, family and even colleagues can help you deal with the stress you’re facing in daily life and at work.

If you don’t reach out and fail to connect with people, then you’ll begin to feel isolated and won’t have anyone to lean on when the going gets tough.

Having these connections can also make future activities that much easier to engage with and stick to, and also open up a bunch of other possibilities that you wouldn’t have had if you were alone.

Having said that, it is difficult to make connections and your individual situations may have made it hard to form a support network naturally.

In that situation it’s very important to try to take a proactive approach to build connections with new people: join a social group or club, pick up a hobby which involves others, or just be more sociable and engaged in your work environment.

Be Active

Getting exercise and being active is a great way to not only improve your physical health but also your mental well-being. Evidence shows that an increase in activity helps to improve our self-esteem, helps to establish goals and challenges, and releases chemicals into our brains that promote a positive mindset and mood.

Another physical activity which is great for developing mindfulness is yoga. Yoga has become an extremely popular form of stress relief and is fantastic to do with friends and family.

Whilst there is a broad variety of yoga to choose from, they all possess the common goal of joining body with a mind in order to create physical awareness. Many studies have shown that there are strong links between yoga and a reduction in stress, anxiety and depression. It’s well worth trying!

Diet

Our intake of food determines the way our body and mind feel, hence promoting a healthy diet is an obvious way of getting into a healthier lifestyle and mindset.

Processed foods and foods with a cube of high sugar and salt content are linked to higher stress levels or at least the perception of greater stress.

Furthermore, consuming these foods often leads to guilt or self-loathing which is clearly a negative state of mind to be in.

Not getting enough high-quality, nutritious and vitamin-dense foods can also affect the ability of our bodies to regulate our mood and stress levels.

To stop this from happening, we should minimise our intake of processed foods and switch to eating whole foods instead. Food items like vegetables, beans and nuts can provide the proper nourishment our body is craving and, in turn, reduce our stress levels.

Reduce screen time

A big one for a growing number of adults is a reliance on their devices and social media. Screens are a vital component of most of our days.

You are likely reading this article on a screen and I am writing this article on a screen, and so it is obviously not possible to totally remove screens from our lives – and neither would that do much good in the long run.

However, an overuse and over-reliance on devices has been linked with an increase in stress levels. In conjunction with social media usage, this creates a cocktail of stress, anxiety and mental health problems that any individual would struggle to cope with.  

Screen usage (especially in the evenings) can disrupt our sleeping patterns and prevent us from getting high-quality sleep - a lack of which has been linked to an increase in stress levels.

The solution is to get involved with daily activities that do not require screen usage. Creating natural breaks from our devices will decrease our reliance on them, and in the long term reduce overall usage.  

Create boundaries

Lastly, and perhaps one of the biggest factors, is learning how to create boundaries. Stress isn’t always personal; it is something we adopt from our work or social environments.

Taking on too much responsibility at work can place an undue amount of stress onto ourselves, making it difficult to unwind and release that stress after hours.

For work, the simple solution is to turn off your device and switch off when you’re not on the clock. Don’t look at your work phone or your work laptop and learn to say no to your boss or colleagues. Our lives are meant for living, not working!

This attitude is just as important in our social lives. Some individuals may add to our stress levels - saying no to them and placing a boundary is essential to protect our own wellbeing.

Final Thoughts

If you find yourself getting stressed, check out a few of the above activities to ease your mind. It’s important to be proactive early on, or your mental health will undoubtedly suffer later on in life. Best of luck!