We all get stressed out. Unfortunately, that’s a side effect of life. Things happen, the house is a mess, you were late for work, the kids are fighting, or for some, there are much larger issues that cause lasting stress.
Chronic stress, when not dealt with properly, can be detrimental to your health. Some of the side effects include:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Achy muscles
- Low energy
- Frequent sickness
- Chest pain
- Loss of sexual desire
This list goes on. But if you find that you are constantly stressed out about something and you experience any of the symptoms from this list on a regular basis, it’s time to start managing your stress.
Here are a few things you can do each day in 5 minutes or less to help de-stress.
It’s easier to remove our stresses from our mind when we think about the things we are grateful for in life. If there’s a certain time each day that you feel overwhelming stress, start a gratitude journal.
At that time when your stress is the highest, sit down, take a few deep breaths, and write down three things about your day that you are grateful for. You’ll find the immediate effects of this practice amazing.
Prayer can be a form of meditation. It helps you focus on something other than your stress. If you are religious (or not but think it will help), say a prayer and ask for help to overcome your stresses. Prayer can help us not feel so alone in our daily struggles, almost like a form of therapy.
Believing that someone out there is listening to you and understands what you’re going through is sometimes all we need to pick up and keep going.
Like prayer, meditation helps us focus on the present moment and our physical body and breathing rather than our stress. Turn on some relaxing music and sit or lay down and focus on your breathing for a few minutes.
If you have a hard time meditating on your own, there are many apps and videos available that can guide you through a short meditation. Checkout Calm in the apps store or lookup a 5-minute meditation on YouTube.
Eat a Snack
Stress eating isn’t always a bad thing, you just need to do so mindfully. Hunger often induces stress, hence the term “hangry”. It’s hard to focus on anything when you are hungry, and sometimes this can lead to unhealthy habits in our diet which just leads to more stress.
When you find that you are bordering that “hangry” line, stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and find something to eat.
Don’t eat just anything though. Pick something that will fill you up, with healthy fats and protein, like one of these:
- Half an avocado
- Hard-boiled egg
- Celery with peanut butter
- Handful of nuts
You’ll find that you can focus and you feel much happier after a quick snack.
Ditch the Screen
Whether you work in an office, are frequently on your computer at home, indulge in Netflix binges often, or just can’t put your phone down, take a break from the screen every now and then.
Just step away for 5 minutes here and there to talk to a co-worker, grab a snack, use the bathroom, go for a walk, or anything that doesn’t involve screens.
This is especially important if you have a hard time sleeping at night. A study has shown that uninterrupted screen time can lead to fatigue, stress, and trouble sleeping. So take breaks when you can.
If you are among those who experience chronic pain, whether due to a preexisting condition, stress, or new diagnosis, www.tetoncancer.com suggests using relaxing techniques such as these to help with pain management.
Stress is unavoidable in our lives, but that doesn’t mean that you should suffer the symptoms of its frequency. Take action and find out which stress management techniques work best for you and enjoy life a little bit more.