Small Ways to Relieve Stress for a Happier Life
Living in the modern world undoubtedly has its perks, everything is at the tips of our fingers from information to movies to even basic necessities like food, and we don’t even have to leave the comfort of our house to enjoy them.
But sometimes those perks come at a price and when the price is our mental wellbeing - our peace, then it is up to us to decide whether that is a price we are willing to pay.
Everyone experiences stress, it is one of the most common emotions and even if some people can conceal these feelings they are still there.
In some cases stress can be good for you, it urges us to work harder, more efficiently and to reach our goals to satisfy those feelings. It can even be motivating to some of us. It is when stress becomes crippling that we should reexamine what is and isn't healthy stress.
There is a way to get rid of some of the unhealthy stress that we experience on a daily basis and thus lead us to live a much healthier life.
Simple tasks such as the ones outlined below, when done often and with care can overall improve your mood, your wellbeing and of course your happiness itself.
According to an article in Positive Psychology: Robert Emmons, a well-known mental health specialist, conducted several studies on stress and health which indicated that gratitude effectively releases stress hormones and increases positive emotions like happiness.
What this tells us is that the practice of gratitude can certainly aid us in our path to relieving stress in addition to improving our life overall.
So how can we incorporate gratitude into our routines? Gratitude Journaling is one method that seems to come up the most, another is thank you notes, a gratitude wall, give back, walk down memory late - you name it. The most important thing is to do this consistently and soon it will be more of a habit than something you have to consciously remind yourself to do.
In name only, journaling can be seen as the same thing as gratitude journaling but there are a few distinct differences. With gratitude journaling, we write down the things we are grateful for, with journaling we wrote down everything.
Journaling allows us to express ourselves in a much more concise and beneficial way, by writing about things that make us happy, sad or stressed we can look at them from a new perspective and you will often be surprised by what you discover about yourself when you incorporate this practice into your life.
USE THE UNFOLLOW BUTTON
Do not be afraid to unfollow people who make you sad, stressed or depressed. We are constantly bombarded with such a vast array of information - positive and negative that it becomes easy to fall into the trap of jealousy and feelings of inadequacy.
That is why it is so important to take some of that burden off your shoulders by simply no longer seeing the things that make you unhappy on a daily basis.
By nature, many of us are yes sayers and there is little fault to be found in that. We want to help people, we want to achieve and we want to be useful but when we take on too much it benefits neither us nor the tasks we’ve set out to achieve. At the end of the day, it is so much better to do one thing really well than to do five poorly at the expense of our mental and physical well being.
ASK FOR HELP
Reaching out to others for help is neither admitting defeat nor should make us feel guilty. You will be astounded by the kindness you are bound to receive when you reach out for help.
Whether that be to colleges at work when your workload feels overwhelming, friends and family when something is weighing you down or even strangers on the internet when you need help on a certain topic.
There are Facebook groups, subreddits and so much more dedicated to helping people with whatever problems they face and it is up to you to reach out and grab a helping hand from time to time.
POSITIVE SELF TALK
During my mental health recovery, somebody told me that if punishing myself was going to work it would have worked a long time ago.
Positive self-talk has many different faces and there is always one that will work for you. Whether that be positive affirmations, checking in with yourself, identifying your pitfalls and avoiding them or anything else - the important things are once again consistency and finding what's right for you.
When saying positive affirmations out loud every morning made me feel strange I instead turned to writing them and that was the right choice for me. Finding the method that works for you and then doing it often even when you don't feel like it is going to help a great deal not only in lowering your stress levels: “I’ll never finish this in time” instead turns to “How can I use my time and resources to complete these tasks”
Here are some of my favorite affirmations:
I will not worry about things I can’t control.
I am proud of who I am becoming.
I am becoming the best version of myself.
Lastly and, in my personal experience, one of the most effective ways of combating stress is meditation.
There has been a shift in our culture lately that has promoted mindfulness and meditative practices relentlessly and I couldn't be happier at the thought. Beginning your day with even a small 10-minute meditation has been scientifically proven to not only reduce stress but help cope with anxiety, promote emotional health, enhances self-awareness, and more.
In addition to that, meditation has been made more accessible than ever - youtube videos, apps like headspace and calm, as well as books and blog posts have brought the ancient practice and modernized it, making it easier than ever to utilize it and benefit our lives.
Stress is impossible to avoid but we don't have to let it dictate our lives, by using any one or all of these practices we can lower our stress levels and increase our happiness leading us to live more fulfilling and pleasurable lives.
Have any questions? Reach out to us and we’ll be glad to help!