You're stressed. You know it, and I know it. We live in a society where we are constantly on the go and always rushing to do something. While this can be extremely productive, it can also take a toll on your health due to the amount of stress we put on ourselves. When we are stressed, it raises cortisol levels, which can lead to weight gain. In an effort to help you reduce stress and feel better, I have put together a list of strategies for you to try and see which works for you.
1. Read a book
Reading a book slows down the world around you. You get so focused on the content of the book that you forget about all of the hustle and bustle around your life. It's just you and a good book. Find an enjoyable book. While I love self-help type books where you can learn something, I would prefer you to find a book that would help take your mind away from work for a little.
If you can sit down and read a book each night for anywhere between 30-60 minutes, that will make for a great strategy to help you reduce stress and feel better.
While not everyone's cup of tea, meditation can drastically reduce stress and tends to relieve some of the tension you may be feeling in your body. During meditation, you can either sit in a quiet and dark room or in a dark room with some soft and soothing music playing in the background.
All you want to do now is focus on your breathing while clearing your thoughts. Remove yourself from the stress in your life and from work. Focus on taking deep breaths and exhaling out all the stress you feel.
While the complete opposite of #2, exercise is a fantastic way to reduce stress. Personally, when I'm stressed out or upset over something, I'll go get in a workout and take my stress and frustration out on the weights. Generally speaking, some of my best workouts are when I'm stressed out or angry over a situation that put me in a bad mood. I highly suggest you give it a try.
Now, don't go crazy and load up a weight you can't handle and think you're going to move it, that could lead to injury. Stay within your strength, but it's ok to push yourself a little harder when training with weights or doing cardio on a piece of equipment. Or better yet, go hit a punching bag (with gloves on, of course).
4. Go to Your Happy Place
It seems comical to say "happy place," but in actuality, putting yourself in an area or location that helps put you at ease is a great way to reduce stress. This could be anything from the beach, the woods, the lake, a bath, a spa, a salon, wherever you deem your "happy place." This is a place that instantly puts you in a better mood. It removes your brain from the madness we live in life and the schedules full of appointments, deadlines, and meetings.
When you're in your happy place, just let go of all the negativity and stress you are feeling. In the end, it will help you reduce stress and feel better.
5. Get a Massage
When we are chronically stressed, it takes a toll on not only our mind but also our body. We tend to get knots in our neck and back that limit our mobility and bring constant discomfort. Treat yourself to a massage and release all of the tension and knots you may be feeling from all the stress you've built up. A massage is a great way to take your mind off of the things causing you all this stress and increase blood flow throughout your body.
A massage also breaks up toxins in your body and releases them to be eliminated. For that reason, it's always smart to drink water following a massage to help flush all of those toxins out of your system. Following a massage, you're bound to feel better and may find you were able to reduce stress levels.