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If you are on a mission to reduce your stress levels, it doesn’t mean you have to change your entire life. What helps you the most might be the smallest changes each day that lead up to a reduction in stress, worry, and anxiety. What you might find is that you have many other benefits as a result of these daily changes, from thinking more positively to being a more mindful person in general.
Keep reading to find out how you can make small, daily changes to help you manage your stress.
Try Guided Imagery
If you want to manage your stress, you can try a really simple meditation technique called guided imagery. This is simple to do and gets you used to meditation without having to put too much pressure on yourself. Plus, it is a wonderful way to be more optimistic and visualize your hopes and dreams. This helps a lot when you feel like you are being held behind with the amount of stress you are dealing with.
Guided imagery is typically provided by someone else, though you can use visualization techniques at any time when you want to relieve stress. What you want to do is have a scenario that puts you into a peaceful, calming environment. You might be at a beach, laying in the sand, walking through a mountainside, or in a garden of wildflowers.
The great thing about guided imagery is that it is easy to do and only takes a few minutes a day.
Have Healthy Daily Habits
Another daily change you can make to reduce your stress is to develop some healthy habits. Many of your current habits might be making stress worse, while others just simply aren’t improving it. Start thinking about your physical health and emotional health together, and find healthy daily habits that are sustainable for you, and can improve your health. You will notice that the result is a lower amount of stress.
Some healthy daily habits to consider are:
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. What you put into your body makes a big difference in how you feel, not just physically, but mentally as well. You can nourish your body and mind by eating a healthy diet.
Getting regular exercise. Exercise is wonderful for relieving stress, and is a healthy habit everyone should make a daily habit. It doesn’t have to be hitting the gym or spending hours working out. Walking every day, going on a hike, yoga, riding a bike, or dancing in your living room all count as daily exercise.
Avoiding unhealthy habits. There are also some unhealthy habits that might be making your stress worse. For example, if you drink large amounts of alcohol or participate in recreational drugs, they are covering up your stress in the short-term, but in the long-term are actually making it much worse. Excessive amounts of caffeine can also make your stress worse.
Making sleep a priority. Everyone needs sleep, so don’t feel like getting little sleep is doing you any good. You need high quality sleep, no matter how busy your schedule is. Don’t make light of only needing to sleep a couple hours a day, because this is NOT normal OR healthy for you.
Getting rest every day. Just like sleep, you also need rest every day! If you have a busy schedule, then make an appointment for rest and self-care if you have to. This is a priority to reducing stress!
Focusing on mindfulness. Mindfulness is regularly recommended for stress because it helps you live in the moment, and have a better understanding of your thoughts and worries. Practicing mindfulness every day, such as during your self-care routine, is a healthy habit you can start doing now.
Use a Stress Journal
Stress and worry journals are amazing for reducing your stress. These are going to provide many benefits for you, including seeing when your stress peaks, understanding more about what is causing your stress, and keeping track of any stress-relief methods you try out.
You will also see the other side effects of stress and worry, such as headaches, digestive issues, increased anxiety, problems sleeping, and work productivity issues.
Avoid Unnecessary Stress
There may be sources of stress in your life that are completely unnecessary and optional, even when it doesn’t feel that way. If you are already dealing with a lot of stress in your life, the last thing you need to do is encourage more of it.
To avoid unnecessary stress, start by learning how to say no to people. You do not have to yes to everything, from hosting parties to taking on extra projects at work. Manage your time and choose what are priorities for you.
You also want to look at your current sources of stress and make a list of anything that is from something optional – such as an extra responsibility you took on, that you could delegate to others.