3. Set aside time to relax. Relaxation means something different to everyone. Carve out “me” time in your calendar to do something you find relaxing. This can include things you can do easily at home on a regular basis, such as yoga and meditation, or something that may be more of a special treat, such as taking a vacation or getting a massage.
2. Limit salt and caffeine. High caffeine intake can lead to jitters and doesn’t always mix well with the physical signs of stress. Set aside the salt shaker and read nutrition labels to determine the amount of sodium in the foods and drinks you consume. Limiting salt and caffeine intake is especially important if you have high blood pressure, which is the second leading cause of kidney disease and also increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. (The salt thing is really for this, your kidneys vs blood pressure).
4. Exercise regularly. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins – chemicals that have been shown to boost mood and reduce feelings of pain. Regular exercise can also help lower high blood pressure and even small amounts of physical activity have been proven to lower stress levels. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, lift free weights while watching TV, and park your car further from the store or get off the bus a stop early to increase your steps. (Dancing is my favorite form of exercise…the MAJOR key here is endorphins, exercise amounts that provide long term stress relief…many of us are ‘afflicted’ with something! So may be painfully difficult at first, walking is another choice)
6. Maintain a positive attitude and outlook. How you think impacts how you feel, so maintaining a positive outlook and reducing stress can play an important role in staying healthy.
7. Get plenty of sleep. A good night’s sleep goes a long way. Being well rested is more important than many people realize. Did you know that studies have shown that not getting enough sleep may lead to an increased appetite and in turn, weight gain?
8. Don’t keep your feelings inside.Talk to a friend, loved one, spiritual leader, or healthcare professional. Write about how you’re feeling in a journal. When you put your problems on paper, it’s easier to think about possible solutions. Making a list can help you evaluate and prioritize what issues need to be addressed, in order to calmly tackle the causes of your stress. (As Christians, we have Yeshua to speak freely with…who would’ve thought that being with Christ leads to a less stressful lIfe?- Great Atheist argument, plus…what are the statistics health wise, for those who know/repented much they have followed Christ vs those who ‘enjoyed’ sin? 🙂
9. Set goals and expectations. Try using the SMART method so that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Trackable.
10. Listen to music. Whether slow and soothing, or beats to get you moving, listening to music (and even dancing and singing along!) can put you in less stressed mood.
(Hmmm, advocate how a life in Christ provides less stress, a support system too! For no one speaks of the LACK of support/help one receives living willfully alone. Willfully alone, in Christ, one is not alone.)