Top Six Ways to Reduce Stress

stressThese days, we’re finding that we have more stresses than ever trying to hold down a job, a family and a home. Getting home at the end of the day quite often spells the start of another working day where we have to clean the house, do the washing, iron the clothes and sort everything out for work the following day. That’s not to mention trying to keep our private lives intact. Really, it’s no wonder that we all feel under more pressure to perform at our best at all times. So how can we de-stress? I give you six simple ways of reducing stress and tension, ultimately leaving you feeling happier and calmer.

Unplug

Quite often, we feel stressed because we’re pandering to what other people want. For example, our place of work might be calling us after hours, or our friend might be texting us for some advice at 11 o clock at night. To de-stress, simply unplug from all of these items. Turn off the laptop, turn off your mobile phone, and turn off the television. Sit still and relax for a while –  if you want to, unplug your house phone. Read that book that you’ve been meaning to read or watch that television program you’ve had on record and cherish the peace and quiet.

Learn to Switch Off

This doesn’t mean switch off literally – it means switch off from the stresses of the day. Don’t think about work stresses at home and equally, don’t think about home stresses at work. Try to establish that your work and your chores are things that have to be done, but switch off from stressing about them.

Take a Break

If something is really getting you down, be it a pile of work or a pile of chores, take a 15 minute break. Studies show that taking just a small break if things are getting you down means that you’ll be far more productive when you go back to doing whatever it was you were doing before your break. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a situation if you’re getting stressed out as it will give you time to reflect and calm down.

Say No

We’re often pulled in several different directions every day by lots of different sources – our family, our jobs, our friends, our pets. Learn to say no to some of these people sometimes as you won’t feel like you’re letting people down if you don’t manage to complete the task that they’ve asked you to do. Feeling guilty for not being able to help someone out is a terrible way to feel, so arm yourself against that feeling by just saying no.

Exercise

Although you may think that forcing yourself to do exercise could make you even more stressed, doing a little bit of exercise every day helps to release endorphins that lower your stress levels. Exercise also helps to maintain your body weight, which in turn helps with your body image and the way you feel about yourself. You don’t need to do anything strenuous – simply go for a walk, have a dance around the house or go for a swim at the local pool.

Keep an Eye on Your Caffeine Intake

High levels of caffeine can make you feel irritable and stressed out. If you’re the sort of person who needs a coffee to wake up in the morning, that’s fine – but if you need three or four to properly wake up, you need to cut back. Don’t drink any caffeine after six pm as it will keep you awake, causing you to be more stressed.