Stress! It’s the nation’s No. 1 killer, ahead of heart disease, strokes and even cancer. But there’s good news. We can effectively control our stress levels – provided we know the steps involved. Listed here are five proven remedies you can implement immediately to reduce stress levels so they don’t negatively impact your health.
Breathing deeply through the nose allows for increased levels of oxygen to penetrate our body’s cells and ensures full utilization of our lungs.1 According to the Breath Awareness Center in Lambertville, N.J., slow, deep breathing can significantly lower stress and blood pressure, end heart irregularities, improve poor digestion and decrease anxiety.
2. List and group each of the following day's tasks within a personal notebook.
Feeling overwhelmed? Writing down all that needs to be completed allows you to best organize your day and complete each task. Determine what are the most critical objectives to complete, then group them by determining those that can be done together or in quick succession. This way you save time, effort and your sanity by turning that list of 10 tasks into a more manageable two or three groups.
3. Turn off all electronics at least 30 minutes prior to sleeping.
One of the most profound stress producers is lack of sound sleep. When we engage in electronics (TV, computer, etc.), our brain's electrical activity increases–producing the exact opposite mental state conducive to productive rest.2
Instead, use this time to read a book, speak with family members or just clear your mind.
4. Resolve all disagreements with loved ones.
No matter how much we believe we’re correct, going to bed angry is a sure stress inducer. While not all arguments can be resolved immediately, at least working toward resolution before sleeping can be enough to significantly reduce stress levels.
5. Wake five minutes earlier than normal to stretch and enter a positive state of mind and body.
Find a quiet place to remember all that went right yesterday and eliminate negative thoughts, while you stretch your muscles from head to feet. You’ll be shocked how much better your body feels with a bit of stretching and how much more prepared you are mentally to tackle the day’s challenges.
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