Halloween has ended and the countdown to Christmas begins - only 54 more nights.
Before you start worrying about holiday shopping, today's national day is one we can all get behind - Happy National stress awareness day!
Stress is one of the leading causes of many illnesses and diseases. We are here to help! Read below for eight easy ways to relieve yourself from the high demands of life.
Meditation is a tool to counteract stress. In meditation, your body releases stress and reverses the effects of the flight-or-fight response. Guided meditation is one of the easiest meditation techniques available. All you have to do is press play, close your eyes, and follow the voice instructions. Meditation downloads can be found free online. Meditate 1-2 times per day for a minimum of 5 minutes per session.
2. Eat Clean
Nourishing your body with the right food will give you the energy you need to act accordingly. Eating clean is what your body really wants even though your mind is saying otherwise. When you eat foods that are high in nutrients, your body is programmed to keep you healthy. Take advantage this month and avoid foods with unnecessary fats, sugars and salts. December will be most likely be a write-off from all the holiday feasting.
3. Sober November
It is also important to stay hydrated with water throughout the day. Your body is already aware before your mind tells you are thirsty for a drink. Start bringing an aluminum water bottle everywhere you go. Water has endless health benefits and should be your number one drink of choice, for at least this month. Try the "Sober November" challenge and avoid ordering the sugary and high-calorie cocktails.
4. Gratitude Practice
Gratitude is a powerful force that you can use to expand your happiness, improve your health, and more importantly, help cope with stress. Many scientific studies, including research by renowned psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, have found that people who consciously focus on gratitude, experience greater emotional well-being and physical health than those who don’t. Practice gratitude by acknowledging things you appreciate and sometimes take granted for. Taking the time to be grateful for all the blessings you already have received will give you the bigger picture that everything will be alright.
5. Say Cheese
Laughter is the best medicine! Research has found that even a phony smile can help you handle stress. So if you’re looking for a way out of stress, you’ll need to smile more. Simply moving the face will activate the muscles to give some life. Go find a compilation of silly videos online, watch "Friends" on Netflix or take some time perfecting a smiling selfie!
6. Minimal Life
Don't let the things you own weigh you down. Start thinking about the stuff you actually use and get rid of the junk that just collects dusts in your space. When you live a minimal life, you begin to separate the things that add value versus things that don't. Life also gets easier because you spend less time in making decisions from what clothes to wear and what beauty product to apply. The key to de-cluttering is separating a little at a time. You don't want to overwhelm yourself. Try going through your makeup first and continue from there.
7. Time Manipulation
Take back your time! Don't allow the clock to run you, instead it should be the other way around. With a busy schedule, you end up hurrying through the day and multitasking, which will only increase stress levels. Creating cushions in your schedule is a good tactic. Leave yourself enough time between getting from point A to point B—whether getting to and from meetings, classes, or getting from home to work to dinner plans—to help diffuse potential stressors that may arise that are out of your control. For example, if you know that you have to be on time to your 9 a.m. meeting and it takes you 20 minutes to get to work, leave yourself 30 so you don’t have to rush or get stressed out if you hit traffic.
Last but not least, be in love! Do things that serves your passion whether it is a hobby or better yet a professional career. Surround yourself with people that make you happy and provide the positivity in your life. Finding whatever meaning of love applicable to you is the greatest relief from stress.
By Thor Villagomez