How To Reduce Stress

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If you’re searching for unique ways to relax and decompress, look no further. Plenty of natural, easy remedies exist to combat feelings of worry and anxiety. From developing a morning schedule to improving your eating habits, read ahead for 4 ways to alleviate stress.

Brace for the Mornings

funnyA few studies link stress to morning routines. One website advises moms to take it easy before school, warning 8:25 a.m. is the time most women find themselves stressed.

How can you prepare for the morning? For starters, be sure to engage in plenty of rest the night before. If you’re a parent, allow for some “me time” while the kids are still asleep. Often we feel stressed without a plan of action. Ever since beginning the mornings with a daily planner in hand, my anxiety has subdued. Jot down three to-dos for the day, so you know where to pick up after the kids are dropped off.

Commuting to work on crowded roads hardly eliminates stress; the inability to control one’s situation exacerbates driver’s feelings of irritability. So another major inducer of stress would be traffic. But why?

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Eckhart Tolle mentioned in his revolutionary read, A New Earth, how humans have become hard-wired to resist the present moment. And as Tolle points out, “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.” Resisting the current circumstances only causes more harm than good. Huffington Post articulates ways to enjoy a relaxing commute here, and be sure to also review ways to reduce road rage.

Eat Well

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Have you ever considered the impact of food on your mental health and well-being? We live in an age where most cures derive from pharmaceutical measures. But in recent years, nutrition programs advocating for food as the new medicine are gaining leeway and becoming more popular. NPR discussed the pleasant results and benefits of learning about nutrition on All Things Considered.

WebMd also offers advice on which foods to consume for stress reduction purposes.  While noted chemical responses to food consumption may include indulging in complex carbohydrates to increase serotonin levels (think whole-grain breads and beans), even something as simple as munching on raw, crunchy veggies can ease physical tension in the jaw.

Discover Your Creative Outlet

Another way to brush off stress? Develop a new passion. Over the years, I’ve become much more familiar with various cooking methods, different types of foods and foreign dishes from unexplored cultures. Mediterranean and Indian food have become favorites of mine.

Besides cooking, tending to The Earth Boxes and Indoor Succulents have kept me busy during Winter. Preparing for Spring gives me something to look forward to, because it doesn’t stress me out and gives me the chance to plan ahead.

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Successful summer harvest last year

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Ornamental Kale/Fall and Winter Assignment

Last year I thoroughly enjoyed re-purposing windows, but the hobby became a bit…cumbersome. Even so, the hobby kept me present and alert. Surely you’ve heard “Jack of all trades, master of none”, right? Hone in on a few interests which you are TRULY interested in! There’s a difference in embracing hobbies you enjoy versus the ones you wished you like. Determine what that might be for you and use this as your escape from stress.

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Added a shelf to this re-purposed window

Also, use your resources wisely. Since I landed an impressive collection of Sharpies during Christmas, I’m eager to try my hand at a few marker projects discovered on Pinterest, once these first few weeks of homework are knocked out.

Recognize Your Thoughts

Become familiar with stress patterns. Usually if you’re sad, bitter, remorseful, feeling angry or ashamed, you’re stuck in the past. Feelings centered around anxiety, worry, and nervousness, on the other hand, indicate you’re fretting about the future. Identifying negative thoughts is one of the most important ways to eliminate stress. Just remember:

Thoughts –> Feelings –> Behaviors

Sometimes we unconsciously allow the mind to drift, which could be considered a coping mechanism. If your present moment seems unpleasant, naturally you tend to think of something else. Try to dig deep within yourself and determine what it is about the present moment you might be trying to avoid. Examiner.com delivers 10 Ways to Return to the Present Moment, an excellent article worth saving.

Lastly, refer to Mantras to derail negative thinking. Replacing cynical beliefs with an optimistic attitude begins with a willingness to change and an unshakable belief in your ability to relieve stress. Since most of my personal stress triggers revolve around a lack of time, I wanted to share what mantras works for me, in case you feel pressured to stay busy:

I complete assignments in a timely fashion.

Remember to breath slowly.

Make time for yourself.

I feel alive.

How would you appear to someone else right now?

Lastly, check out this TED Talk, supplied for all you visual and audible learners. Kelly McGonigal’s cutting-edge advice offers a glimpse into how viewers can take advantage of their bodies psychological responses to stress.

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12 thoughts on “How To Reduce Stress

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  4. I totally agree about the importance of diet. But darn it, there has to be someway that I can work an occasional Twinkie into the mix. Maybe I can count it as a cream filled noodle.

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