Today it’s pretty rare to find anyone who doesn’t have some level and degree of stress in their everyday life. Whether it’s work-related anxiety with deadlines and angry colleagues or simply the stress of having too many things on your plate and less and less time to do them, stress and anxiety can be all-consuming for the average person.
The worst thing you can do when you’re suffering from stress is to think you just have to live with it. Dealing with stress in your everyday life doesn’t have to be a complicated thing, sometimes it just takes a few easy steps.
Here are four easy tips that will help you become stress-free today.
1. Learn To Breathe
One of the simplest tricks on the list is something you do every single minute of the day.
That’s right, one of the easiest paths to reducing stress is breathing more, but more importantly, learning to breathe properly.
Learning to control your breathing has been proven to have many benefits¹, including lowering your blood pressure and calming and relaxing your body. These are two crucial steps in relieving stress, that is typically an emotional reaction to what your body is trying to tell you.
There are several different kinds of breathing techniques that are recommended² for stress relief. The easiest to do is “belly breathing” which involves lying flat on your back with one hand on your belly. As you take a deep breath, you’ll want to ensure your belly is moving up and out but not your chest.
This is a great technique not only to de-stress after a long day of work but also to add to your weekend routine during a workout or yoga routine to get into zen-mode before the stress even hits.
2. Eat Better
You may have thought of dieting as a way only to get more physically fit, but a good diet can also do tremendous things for your mental health as well.
There’s a lot of science behind how different chemicals affect our brain chemistry altering the way we feel in certain situations and around certain people. Interestingly enough, certain foods can affect this brain chemistry greatly. Things like sugar or caffeine can create too much adrenaline and mess with your ability to focus.
On the other hand, diets that are high in things like blueberries and leafy greens will help you not only obtain more essential nutrients but also contain benefits for focusing and memory which will help to mellow out your moods.
Try switching out certain foods one at a time. Opt for natural substitutes like coconut oil for butter or raw honey for sugar to see how they might affect your moods day to day.
3. Exercise More
If you’ve ever felt that “high” after working out, you’ll have an idea why exercising isn’t just beneficial for your physical health.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America³, exercise works as a kind of natural painkiller. It’s proven to work well in improving people’s focus and concentration as it produces endorphins in the brain that help you sleep better.
If you’ve ever had one of those beautifully deep sleeps after a big workout, then you’re feeling the effects of this science! Because lack of sleep is one of the biggest contributors to stress in adults, finding natural and healthy ways to help you sleep better are always a plus.
Overall, a consistent routine of physical fitness has proven to do wonders for the brain. Not only does it improve sleep, it also alleviates tension, calms erratic moods, and improves one’s self-esteem according to the ADAA.
Looking for an easy way to integrate exercise? Even just taking the average 8,000 steps a day will get you on the path to a stress-free life. Try a step-counter to keep you on track!
After breathing, this is probably the second easiest tip on this list. If you listened to your mother as a child, you’ll know that 8 glasses of water a day is pretty much a miracle worker. It can do everything from boosting energy to achieving a healthy bowel to helping you lose weight faster.
But did you know hydrating also has a big effect on your brain?
Many studies⁴ have been conducted on how hydrating frequently and consistently can be a great way to reduce stress levels. When our bodies are dehydrated, they lack the essential requirements in producing healthy chemicals and performing its basic functions. One of the main chemicals it’s essential to is cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone, that studies show can greatly increase even if you’re only half a litre dehydrated.
So, start drinking that water! 8 glasses a day can go a long way to not only a physically healthier you, but also a happier and stress-free you.
Have you tried any of these tips? Let us know how they worked for you in the comments!
Chiropractor at Burrard Chiropractic and Foot Orthotics
Dr. Farokh Zavosh, DC is a chiropractor practicing in Downtown Vancouver since 2001 helping Vancouverites to stay physically fit, healthy and pain free. Dr Zavosh is a Certified Activator Method chiropractor in addition to family chiropractic. He is a Palmer College of Chiropractic-West graduate.