Long days at the office, trouble with your partner and growing piles of bills can all cause or contribute to unhealthy stress levels. Unfortunately, stress doesn’t just affect your mood; it can have a serious impact on your health as well.
If you are feeling on edge, tossing and turning at night or seem to have a much shorter fuse than you used to, it might be time to start taking measures to get your stress levels under control. Here are a few free, simple and effective habits for dealing with excess stress in your life.
Put Things in Perspective
There is no doubt that dealing with an irate customer at work or getting stuck in a major traffic jam on the freeway stinks – and it definitely ruins the moment. What it doesn’t necessarily have to do is ruin your whole day. As the saying goes, one bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch, so when one minor detail of the day goes wrong try to focus on how the whole of the day has been (or can be improved).
Get More Exercise
When a long day has beaten you down, the last thing you probably want to do is head to the gym for a workout. When looking at the big picture still hasn’t fully mellowed you out though, grinding through a tough workout can help you take our mind off things. As an added bonus, participating in regular workouts will help you look and feel better overall – and starting the day off already feeling good makes it much easier to continue the rest of your day in a positive light.
Improve your Diet
A machine only runs as good as the fuel that it runs on. While there is nothing wrong with an occasional cookie, chip, glass of wine or beer – attempting to survive on these things alone is a recipe for feeling down in the dumps. Over indulging in sugar, caffeine, unhealthy fats and alcohol can contribute to all types of issues with your body (including weight gain, digestive issues, headaches, etc.) which puts you in no position to focus and function through the adversity that you may face on a given day.
This goes hand in hand with exercise – making healthy eating a habit will make your body function properly and will help you feel better. This puts you in a much better position to properly handle the bad things that come your way.
Get More Sleep
Being tired can make you cranky and put you on edge from the start, which makes it tough to perform at a high level. Set an appropriate bed time and wake up time (one that will allow for at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep) and a half hour before you are scheduled to turn in, turn off. Get away from the TV, get away from the tablet, get away from the PC and get away from the Smartphone. Unplugging and allowing yourself to unwind will help you get ready for a sound night’s sleep that will fully prepare you for all situations you’ll encounter following day.