7 Options For Your First Step Toward Better Stress Management

Stress is something in life we’ll never fully eliminate but it is something we can manage. After reading countless articles on stress relief and stress management, I came up with a solid seven ways to get in control of this tedious strain.
“Life is as simple or complicated as we make it."
- Donna Smallin

1. Journal
Write it down. Journaling is a great way for someone to write down their inner most sacred thoughts. By doing this, we can find out things about ourselves we never knew or couldn’t comprehend without laying it all out there.
The journal topic never matters, just as long as you’re writing down your thoughts. It could be about your goals, hopes, past experiences, struggles, anything that’s going on inside. Let it out!
Journaling is a great way to gain clarity and insight on what’s affecting life.
2. Zone out
It’s good to zone out and take a break from the world your consumed with.
Whether it’s in the morning with your cup of coffee, on your lunch break, laying in bed at night, or just any moment you can pause, do it.
For most us, we don’t get many moments in the day when we’re not feeling rushed or thinking about what’s next on the list of things to do. It’s healthy to take a step back once a day for five to ten minutes and not think.
3. Laugh
Laughter has always been a sound prescription to eliminating stress.
Laughter is proven to stimulate your organs and increase endorphins your brains releases. It soothes physical tension and relieves the stress responses that leave you feeling uncomfortable.
Laughter also has been thought of by some doctors just as important as exercise is in our daily lives.
4. Exercise
We have countless opportunities in our day to pick exercise over the leisurely thing to do such as taking the escalators over the stairs. Take the stairs. The stairs require no special skills, equipment, or clothing, and it burns twice as many calories as walking.
We only need thirty minutes of exercise a day to feel physically strong and mentally sharp.
5. Eat well
Certain foods and drinks can reduce stress levels while others can aggravate you more. It’s good to know which ones to stay clear of when your feel a bit anxious.
When you have a lot going on and need to keep your well-being balanced stay clear of coffee, energy drinks, fast food, butter, cheese, sugar, alcohol, soda, almonds, macadamias, and coconut oil.
Eat foods that are high in fiber, carbohydrate-rich foods, fruits, and veggies.
If you’re having a weak moment of indulgence, eat a sweet potato, sautéed veggies, or an apple with cinnamon. Stay clear of sugar!
6. Do something kind for someone else
Whether its opening the door for a mom carrying her new born or simply smiling at a stranger, do it! Happiness spreads and it’ll make you feel empowered.
7. Forgive
Don’t hold onto things. Learn to let things roll right off your shoulders. When a colleague drops the ball on a big work project, don’t become bitter. Or if someone hogged your favorite weight machine at the gym don’t let it anger you. Negative emotions only keep you down and eat away at your core.
It’s proven with study after study, those who forgive not only tend to have less stress but fewer health problems in life.
Forgiveness is hard but once you learn how to and practice it it’ll only get easier.

For those of you like myself, I challenge you to try one of these seven steps on managing stress for a week - just one week - and see how you feel by the end of it. When the week is over, post your week experience on the blog and let us know how it went!

Article by Megan Monticone

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