As anyone could tell you, stress doesn’t feel good — but the negative effects of being chronically stressed out go far beyond just feeling anxious and irritable.
Chronic stress can ruin the quality of your sleep and leave you constantly exhausted. It can seriously undermine your immune system. It can significantly diminish your willpower. And it can definitely make you less personable and positive on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, chronic stress isn’t exactly uncommon, particularly when you factor in global trends like reduced job security and concerns surrounding the pandemic.
Here are a few daily practices for busting stress that can help you to get onto a more even keel.
Try out a yoga routine
Finding the best yoga studio in your area and signing up for a regular class, or even just downloading a good yoga app and taking up a purely at-home practice can potentially work wonders when it comes to helping you to combat stress.
Not only is yoga a great moderate-intensity form of exercise that helps to release endorphins and other feel-good compounds within the body, but even just the practice of yoga itself is largely about learning how to relax and breathe through discomfort.
When you take up a regular yoga practice you will be improving your stability and flexibility, helping to tackle aches and pains, shifting your mindset to a more present-focused perspective, and more.
In many cases, it’s difficult at best to just think your way into a less stressed out state. But by moving your body regularly, without overdoing it, you’re likely to find that a lot of stress just melts away.
Try to clear your thoughts and to focus on what’s right in front of you
Meditation has really been spreading in popularity in recent times, with plenty of different apps and courses that offer teaching us all how to sit calmly, observing our breath instead of getting caught up in our wandering thoughts.
When you really think about it, you’ll likely notice that a lot of what stresses you out is based on your fears or projections about the future, or your hangups about the past. By focusing on what’s right in front of you, instead, you immediately centre yourself much more and gain a greater ability to influence things directly.
Whether you take up a meditation practice, or just go for regular strolls in the great outdoors, finding ways of bringing your focus into the present moment and clearing your thoughts a bit can be great for reducing stress.
Make time for a bit of calm each day, ideally somewhere green
If you’re already experiencing a significant amount of stress in general, you’re bound to find it difficult to relax and catch your breath if you’re constantly working to maximise productivity, while downing endless espressos.
Making time for a bit of calm each day is very important. Time where you aren’t rushing, but are just hanging out.
If you can go somewhere green for those moments of calm — like a park, meadow, or even a garden — the stress-busting benefits will likely be even greater.