Stress is a common part of modern-day life, but it doesn’t have to control you. By becoming aware of your stress levels and taking intentional steps to manage it, you can find inner peace and improve your overall well-being. In this blog, we’ll explore seven simple but effective ways to manage stress, including tuning into your body, taking inventory of your daily schedule, elevating your stress mindset, building your stress fitness, invigorating your senses, getting deep rest, and giving thanks. With these tools at your disposal, you can reduce stress, boost resilience, and live a happier, healthier life.
Becoming aware of your stress is essential to manage it effectively. You may not realise how stressed you are, especially if you’ve become accustomed to it. By checking in with your body, you can recognise that you carry around unconscious stress even when you think you are relaxed.
One effective way to start de-stressing is to tune in to your body and ask yourself where you are holding tension. Mindfully check your body at least three times a day to determine which emotions you are holding on to and what worries you have. This practice can help you identify what you can control and what you can’t.
Taking inventory of your daily schedule is also helpful in reducing stress levels. Most people pack their days with to-dos and don’t leave themselves time to transition between action items. By prioritizing what’s essential, you can create more ease and space within your day. Reviewing your to-do list can help you identify at least one thing that you can remove to reduce stress.
It’s important to elevate your stress mindset and focus on stress-relieving statements. What you tell yourself when you’re stressed matters, and arming yourself with positive affirmations can shift your mindset. Instead of replaying negative thoughts, such as “I’m probably not going to get this job” or “I hope I don’t mess up,” pause and tell yourself a more compassionate story, such as “I am prepared, and I’ll do the best I can.”
Building stress fitness is similar to exercise; the more you practice it, the easier it becomes. By intentionally creating stress within a safe container, such as a hot sauna or a cold shower, you can manage stress better. This practice is known as stress fitness, which is like exercise for the mind. Aerobic exercise, extreme breathing practices, or cold water immersion are other options that can help you build stress fitness. Start with one or two minutes and work your way up.
Stimulating your senses can also help relieve stress. Being in nature is a powerful option. Mindfully walk through a park or forest, touch the leaves, smell the eucalyptus, and listen to the birds chirping. Invigorating your senses in this way can put your mind at ease.
Deep rest is essential to restoring your body and brain. While sleep is the most restorative practice, you can also restore yourself while awake. Yoga is a great restorative practice, and prolonging savasana can make it even more restful. Conscious breathing is also helpful. You can immediately release tension and create a sense of ease in your mind and body with just five minutes of breath-work a day.
Finally, expressing gratitude is an incredibly powerful stress-reducing practice. Practicing daily affirmations or expressing gratitude in conversation with a friend, partner, or family member can be extremely impactful to your well-being and the well-being of those around you. By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, you can effectively manage your stress levels and live a more peaceful life.