Five fresh ways to stress less

Five fresh ways to stress less
Photo: lograstudio, Pixabay

Creative roadblocks can cause substantial stress; this stress compounds and creates more roadblocks, leading into a vicious cycle. Even the energy surrounding a positive event like completing a long project can initiate physiological changes identical to those from a stressful event. When you find yourself in the throes of such tension, consider the following tips.

Take a deep breath

Yes, it sounds cliché, but it’s true. Deep breathing soothes the central nervous system and oxygenates the blood, helping you feel calm and think more clearly. Find a quiet place for even five short minutes. Sit up straight, but without being rigid; close your eyes, place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Focus on taking deep breaths in through your nose, lasting for 5 counts each. Make your exhalation the same pace and length. Feel your chest and stomach expand and relax with each breath. It won’t take long to feel a sense of calm. You can also try meditation. Headspace is one great app for meditation. You can also try pranayama breathing. It is an ancient Indian technique that can be helpful in improving focus, reduce headaches and mental stress related issues.

Check out your lunchbox

Photo: RitaE, Pixabay

You are what you eat. When we are feeling crunched for time and low on energy, it’s easy to head for fast food or a vending machine’s sugary snacks. Having a protein-packed bite instead will keep your blood sugar levels constant, and will help you maintain a clear frame of mind. Try on-the-go snacks like yogurt, a bit of cheese, jerky, or a banana with peanut butter. Fruits, milk, dairy products and dry fruits are a great way to get the nutrition your body is looking for.

Don’t eat these

Talking about diet, it is very important for you to know what you are eating. Sugar and salt are the two whites that should be eaten only in moderation! Yes we all love donuts. A lot of us have a sweet tooth, however, it is really important that we try to limit our consumption of sugar and salt. Opt for a coffee with no sugar instead. It’s not much, but it’s a start. Having a poor diet, particularly one high in salt and sugar has been linked to other serious conditions, like diabetes.

Accentuate the positive

One of the best ways to work out of a bad mood is to remember a few things we’re lucky to have in our lives. You may feel grateful that you have a terrific spouse or child, a new outfit, a good job in a frightening economy, or a friend who makes you laugh. Whatever makes you say “thanks” is worth considering, and consciously remembering the fullness in each of our lives can be powerful encouragement. Maybe consider some self-empowering literature to get started.

Get some fresh air

Again, we’ve all heard it before, but it bears repeating. Even in the most hectic days, we can find ten minutes to walk outside – even around the block if you feel like it. Look up at the sky, breathe in the fresh air, and take a look around. Combine this with the deep breathing and gratitude exercises above, and you’ve got a fast and easy stress-free break! Even if you are super short of time, you can always spare ten minutes for a walk. Try and limit your use of a motor vehicle for short trips. Go for a walk instead! Once you start walking, you realise what you have been missing out on.

Keep your eyes on the prize

Remember the ultimate reason you do your job or practice your craft. Or the reason why you started any particular task. Perhaps it’s to support a family, to support yourself financially, or for your own creative expression. When our days get crazy, it grounds us when we think about the “big picture.” Sometimes we get distracted and start losing hope under pressure. At the the end of all things, the reason why you started matters the most. Keep your vision straight and keep going.

The happiest people in the world know a valuable secret: we can’t be totally happy all the time, so it’s best to enjoy it when we are.