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How do You Lower Stress and Stay Calm in Turbulent Times? What are the best ways to lower stress?
Nowadays – It is so easy to feel stressed out. The most simple of things can cause stress. Just turning on the big screen and watching the news can be stressful. Everybody wants to lower stress and stay calm, but how can you do that? In a hurry? Skip ahead to the 25 best ways to lower stress and stay calm.
It’s important to know the difference between everyday stress and stress that is caused by an anxiety disorder. Although good relaxation practices can help you lower stress and stay calm, there are times when seeking professional help is appropriate.
Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily. It’s important to lower stress and stay calm in stressful situations.
Know the Difference Between Everyday Stress and Anxiety Disorders
When you think about everyday stress, relate it to the normal pressures of everyday life. Stress is a part of your everyday life. There are different levels of stress. Some stress is easy to deal with, and some stress is not.
Examples of everyday stress
- You worry about meeting bill deadlines or paying rent on time.
- You worry about meeting work schedules and deadlines.
- You feel nervous before a big event or family gathering.
- You are stressed after a minor conflict with a friend or colleague.
There will always be things that happen during your daily routine that may cause stress and make it hard to stay calm. In these cases, there are lots of things that help you lower stress and stay calm. Some of these techniques and practices are discussed in this article.
You may feel stressed out when you fall behind in your daily tasks and commitments. This is everyday stress and can be dealt with. Simply trying to stay caught up on things is stressful. Sometimes just getting to work on time in the morning is stressful.
There are also times when you may feel excessively stressed out and anxious. This may be a sign that you have some level of an anxiety disorder. If one or more of the following examples are a regular occurrence in your life, you should consult a professional for help.
Examples of an anxiety disorder
- You avoid social situations because you don’t want to be criticized or you fear that people will judge you, or laugh at you.
- You fear things that are actually not a danger to you, the fear is only in your mind.
- You shake, or break out in a sweat, a basic panic attack.
- You are obsessed about everyday stressful situations to the point it interferes with your normal life.
These are all signs that professional counseling may be needed to help you deal with the anxieties that interrupt your normal daily activities. If you are not sure how serious your stress and anxiety are, there are resources that you can access.
The Harvard Medical School, through its Harvard Health Publishing website, offers great advice. Here’s the resource: Staying calm in turbulent times. The tips they provide can help you stay calm in stressful situations.
And, if your stress and lack of calmness are minor there are many things you can do to lower everyday stress and stay calm. Usually, you can lower stress and stay calm by simply taking a few deep breaths. Always do that first, then put other solutions into action.
Laughing Off Stress Has it’s Benefits
There are some things you must live with, stress is one of those things. Sometimes stress works in your favor by pushing you to do things to get them out of the way. You get the task done so you don’t have to stress over it.
Stress is not healthy for you, it can compromise your immune system and affect your health. This article is about controlling stress, and laughter should not be overlooked as a way to relieve stress.
“Laughter is an instant vacation.”MILTON BERLE
Laughing has physical, emotional, and intellectual benefits
- Physical benefits — Laughter decreases your blood pressure and increases your heart rate. Your muscles become relaxed and the presence of endorphins in your body increases.
- Emotional benefits — People like to be around a person who laughs and has a positive outlook. Laughing helps to find positive ways to face problems. Laughing relieves stress by making you feel better emotionally.
- Intellectual benefits — Laughing creates a positive outlook and influences creativity. Laughing enhances resilience and influences creativity. This in turn can improve your confidence and your morale.
“And remember, always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.”LORD BYRON
25 Best Ways to Lower Daily Stress and Stay Calm
1) Adjust your sleep habits
Without a good night’s sleep, you start the day out on the wrong foot. It’s hard to be in a good mood when you have not had a good night’s sleep. A lack of sleep makes you more irritable than normal. When you’re irritable you can be easily stressed.
A lack of quality sleep can cause concentration issues and make it difficult to make decisions. Also, it’s difficult to stay in a good mood. A good mood in the morning sets you up to be able to lower stress and stay calm throughout the day.
It’s also a matter of the way you wake up, and the mood you are in. If you are stressed out when you first wake up you will start your day badly. If this is the case, try waking up to your relaxing music instead of an obnoxious alarm. Getting a good nights’ sleep is one of the best ways to reduce stress.
2) Be in control of your day from the start, imagine how it will go
Lack of control leads to stress and a lack of calmness. There are ways to organize your day and prepare yourself for it. Before getting out of bed you can take some deep breaths and imagine how your day will go. Go over the perfect day in your mind.
Anticipate doing the things that you will be doing during the day ahead. Try to picture your day ahead in your thoughts. Wake up 20 minutes early and take that time to ease into your morning routine. Don’t let other people stress you or get you in a rush.
Easier said than done! Keep in mind that while you are making a conscious effort to lower stress levels and stay calm, not everyone is. Don’t take the things people say or do personally. They are the ones that have to hang out with themselves all day. We can stay in control.
3) Change your diet and eat healthier
Eating healthier will make you feel better about yourself. When you shop healthy you eliminate many decisions that you have to make when shopping. You will only consider healthy foods. By treating your family to healthy meals not only will they benefit but you will reduce your stress by having a meal plan to follow before you go shopping.
A healthy lifestyle will reduce your daily stress. You know that a healthy diet has many benefits and when you maintain a good diet of healthy foods you will lower your stress. Just the thought of knowing you are making better choices for you and your family will make you feel better.
A bad diet can cause stress, and stress can cause excess abdominal fat. It’s a vicious circle when not addressed.
4) Avoid negativity throughout the day
Avoid negative people and negative situations. If you must subject yourself to a negative situation don’t let it rub off on you. And, if you find yourself having negative thoughts immediately nip them in the bud.
Stop the negative thoughts so you can lower stress and stay calm. Avoiding negative thoughts will help you stay calm in stressful situations. Your negative thoughts will have an impact on your mood, attitude, and friendships.
The art of meditation can help you to learn how to change your negative thoughts into positive ones. It’s a matter of viewing your thoughts from the outside, as someone else would view your thoughts. Here’s a good resource for mindfulness anxiety meditation techniques. You’ll find it helpful in lowering stress and correct your negative thought patterns.
5) Do one thing at a time – Stop multi-tasking
Multi-tasking can create stress. Taking on too much at one time can create a false sense of urgency. Very rarely do two different things have to be done at the same time. Prioritize the tasks during your day. Complete the most urgent, and then move on to the next. This will help you to lower stress and stay calm.
Multi-tasking can have the same effects as an interruption. You lose your train of thought and have to regain it. It actually causes short-term memory. Multi-tasking can cause long-term negative effects in regard to completing a task. Doing one task at a time allows for better focus, resulting in less stress.
6) Do something simple for a while
Sometimes shifting gears from complicated tasks and doing something that doesn’t take much thought can be relaxing, while reducing stress. Have you noticed that you are actually more relaxed when doing simple and repetitive tasks?
Doing a repetitive task can help you lower stress and stay calm. Next time you’re feeling stressed out try it, find a simple and repetitive task to do. Turning your brain off once in a while is good for your attitude. Try it, you’ll lower stress and avoid anxious thoughts.
7) Take some time to yourself
Whether it is reading a book, or listening to some music, alone time can reduce stress and help you stay calm. Isolation can give you a chance to put your day into perspective and allow you to finish your day stress-free.
Not only does time alone give us time to reflect, but it also eliminates the pressures we feel when we need to please someone. Anything type of social interaction has the potential of being stressful.
8) Clean your house, get rid of clutter, or do laundry
Sounds a little silly, especially to people that hate to do chores. But, when you accomplish something that needs to be done in your environment it gives you a sense of accomplishment and reduces your to-do list.
Sure, after a long day at the office, the last thing you want to do is clean up your or someone else’s messes. That’s understandable, but there are good reasons why housework can lower stress and help you relax.
Cleaning removes clutter which is good for your mind. Cleaning also gives you a sense of accomplishment which relieves stress. It’s also a form of exercise, which also relieves stress.
If all else fails just be thankful that you have a house to clean, things to clean, and laundry to do. Be grateful and notice how the stress goes away when we are being grateful for what we have.
9) Spend time with your pet
If you don’t have a pet, spend some time with a neighbor’s pet. Animals can give you a sense of tranquility. Pets are usually always in a good mood. That can remind you that the little things are not worth stressing over. Pets help you to lower stress and stay calm.
10) Take care of your health
When you take care of your health you relieve stress caused by uncertainties and lack of attention to your health. You also will tend to exercise which relieves stress and gives you a sense of calmness. Making and keeping doctors’ appointments also removes another item from your to-do list.
11) Play more – work less
Sports, games, and puzzles are great ways to avoid daily stress. When you spend time concentrating on things other than work it helps you lower stress and stay calm. You know the saying, “Too much work makes Johnny a dull boy”. Well, too much work also makes Johnny a stressed boy.
It’s hard to take time off work, and sometimes it’s just not possible. But, to manage your stress level you must find a way to fit in some fun. Small activities like taking a walk or doing a crossword puzzle can be done during your lunch break.
12) Minimize the time you spend making lists
It’s true that a list of to-do things can help to organize your day. That’s all well and good but long lists can create stress. As the list grows so does your stress level. It becomes so long that it appears impossible to tackle. Keep your lists as short as possible and prioritize the items on them.
13) Don’t get overwhelmed during the Holidays
During the holidays it’s hard to lower stress and stay calm. Throughout your entire life, you have been programmed to create excessively busy holiday plans. Concentrate on keeping your plans simple. Give fewer gifts, plan fewer get-togethers, and travel less.
During the holidays start your planning early. Don’t forget to enjoy the time-off by not overdoing the list. There’s that list again! Ways to reduce your stress and stay calm are to shop online for gifts, get family members involved in the planning, and reserve time for yourself.
14) Organize your computer files
Okay, I go this sounds stressful, but it’s the results that lower stress and calm you down. An organized collection of files creates chaos, and in turn, creates stress. When you delete files you never need and organize the ones you need to keep into manageable folders your stress level will drop.
You’ll know where your computer files are and have a better idea of the files you have. It’s amazing how fast you can accumulate an excessive amount of files you don’t need. Use that “Delete” button and lower stress and relax.
In addition to organizing your computer files, consider organizing your browser bookmarks. Boy, those really get out of control through the years. By simply creating some sense of organization in your browser bookmark bar can eliminate stress. No sense in having bookmarks you’ll never use again.
15) Clean up and organize those “precious” photos
As you go through and organize your photos you will realize that you don’t need to keep them all. The excessive amount of photos on your devices creates clutter, and clutter creates stress.
16) Take a break from your social media accounts
Yeah, right… No for reals, take a break. It’s true that social media allow us to stay in touch with friends and family and brings us joy. But it’s also true that what our social media friends expect from us can be stressful and make it hard for you to lower stress and stay calm.
When you spend time on social media you may find yourself comparing your life with other people’s lives. That’s a sure way to feel depressed. When you are depressed in those situations it becomes a normal feeling and you’ll become stressed. The occasional break from social media can lower your stress and bring about a sense of calm.
17) Quit being best friends with your credit cards
You don’t have to take your credit cards along with you everywhere you go. Sure, it’s a good idea to carry one for emergencies. But, you don’t need to have them all handy all the time. Credit cards can get you out of trouble during unexpected situations. They can also help you overspend on a daily basis.
Excessive credit card spending can get you in financial trouble. The feeling of interest compiling and increasing balances create stress and make it hard for you to manage your overall stress. It’s just one more thing that makes it hard to lower your stress and keep calm.
18) Be a minimalist, make do with what you have
You don’t always have to have all the things you think you do. When you change your attitude about material things it opens up an appreciation for life. Deep down you feel better. You become less fixated on the need for money and realize you can be happy without all those things.
I have never been so relaxed, calm, and stress-free as when I live in one of the most expensive states in the U.S. I moved to Hawaii, from California. Yeah, California is expensive to live in but Hawaii is more expensive. I realized that to live in Hawaii I was going to have to give a few things up. I would have to make do with what I had.
That attitude will allow you to lower stress and stay calm. You will have a better appreciation for the things in life that really matter. So, put a hold on your spending. Overspending can lead to a feeling of guilt, which in turn can cause stress and depression.
19) Get a haircut and Shampoo
Try it sometime for a stress reliever. If you go in with the intention of relaxing and enjoying the shampoo and scalp massage you’ll be surprised how well it works. Just sit back and relax.
Ask your stylist to use shampoo and conditioner with black walnut and cedar ingredients, or whatever aromatic combination relaxes you.
20) Treat yourself to a high calorie dessert
So, what about a healthy diet? A delicious high-calorie dessert is treating yourself to a special reward. You deserve it. Treating yourself and your family to a treat brings a good feeling to you. In turn, it reduces stress and creates a sense of calm. You deserve it!
The benefit of treating yourself to something special outweighs the obvious negative effects of a few extra calories. Treating yourself to something special is one of the best ways to reduce stress and relax.
21) Let go of the things that frustrate you
Learn to acknowledge when you are frustrated, and get over it. Frustration is something you can control. Reducing frustrations lowers stress. Don’t rerun the things that frustrate you over and over in your mind. Let go of them. Eliminate the things in your life that frustrate you (short of getting a divorce).
You need to figure out the things in your life that cause frustration and stress. You can’t get rid of everything in your life that frustrates you. There are times when you will just have to deal with things in a different manner. Nobody’s perfect, don’t try to be, and don’t expect others to be.
And, sometimes you need to say no to other people’s requests, in order to say yes to yourself.
It’s an imperfect world, and being flexible is one of the best ways to reduce stress. You can’t change the world. You can only change the way you deal with it!
22) Use relaxation techniques to reduce stress
Some people can do this naturally. You may have to actively seek out methods to relax. You need to know when you are stressed and know how to relax. You will use methods to relax that may be different from what others use. Everyone is different.
Find the relation technique that works for you. It may be listening to music, meditation, or other relaxation techniques. Some people get the most relaxation by exercising. Some people relax by playing video games. Perhaps a good book relaxes you.
23) Don’t try to be perfect – It’s an imperfect world
There’s nothing that can stress you out more than trying to be a perfect person in an imperfect world. Nobody can be the best at everything. No matter how good you are, you probably will always think you can be better. Learn to accept yourself the way you are.
Eliminate the added stress of not being perfect by not trying to be perfect. Accept others for what they are. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Instead of criticizing yourself, have a laugh with yourself. Laughter releases feelings that reduce stress.
You can’t hit the bull’s eye every time, even if you are the best dart player in town. Never stress over imperfection.
24) Try to be more optimistic
Looking on the bright side increases hope and reduces stress. Optimism creates motivation. Motivation gets you active, you accomplish stuff. An optimistic attitude can be developed, it’s not only for the eternal optimist among us. Things do not always have to stay the way they are.
Don’t let the things other people say stop you from doing what you want to do. Optimism is knowing the future will be brighter. A brighter future makes us feel good and reduces stress and depression.
It’s not about where we are, what we have, or the bad things that happen to us that dictate our mood. Our stress levels, the way we feel, and our mood are determined by how we think about things, and how we feel about them. Don’t live in the past, learn from it. Your future is bright. Lower your stress by acknowledging this and relax.
25) Learn to let the stress go – release the stress
It’s impossible for you to avoid all stressful situations. That’s why daily stress exists in your life. It’s a matter of how you deal with it. Learn to let go of the fears and worries that create stress. It’s easier to stay calm in stressful situations than you think.
When you feel stressed just let go of everything for 10 seconds. When you do this the stress has to go away with everything else. Allow your thoughts to get out of the way of your day and your life. Your life will move along just fine without your stressful thoughts getting in the way. Don’t get preoccupied with how things might end up, get rid of the fearful thoughts.
“Desire for the fruits of one’s actions brings worry about possible failure. When you are preoccupied with end results you pull yourself from the present into an imagined, usually fearful future. Then your anxiety robs your energy and, making matters worse, you lapse into inaction and laziness.”— Bhagavad Gita
Breathe easy to lower stress and relax
Anytime is a great time to try focusing on your breathing, especially when you’re stressed. Focusing on your breath will lower stress and calm you down. Breathing exercises can calm your body and your mind.
Here’s a simple way to get the most out of a simple breathing exercise.
Sit back or lie down, then focus and concentrate on your inhalations for 8 breaths. Then turn your attention towards your exhales for 8 breaths. Try it, and you’ll find that it grounds you and make you less stressed and more relaxed.
What is Deep Breathing?
While standing or sitting, take a deep breath through your nose. Hold your breath for 5 seconds. Exhale slowly through your nose. Repeat 5 times and feel the stress go away.
Taking care of your long-term mental and physical health is an important part of stress management. It’s important to know the difference between everyday stress and stress that is caused by an anxiety disorder. Although good relaxation practices can help you lower stress and stay calm, there are times when seeking professional help is appropriate.
When you think about everyday stress, relate it to the normal pressures of everyday life. Stress is a part of your everyday life. Some stress is easy to deal with, and some stress is not. There will always be things that happen during your daily routine that may cause stress and make it hard to stay calm.
In these cases, there are lots of things that help you lower stress and stay calm. Some of these techniques and practices are discussed in this article. This is everyday stress and can be dealt with. There are also times when you may feel excessively stressed out and anxious.
Quick note: In addition to all the techniques above that can relieve stress and help to calm you down, listening to music is a great way to relax. No matter what the song, music has a healing effect and can make everything seem all right. Just listening to music can be a quick fix for a bad mood. Soothing music, like jazz music, can be especially relaxing while enjoying your sleepy-time tea right before bedtime.
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Updated 10/05/2021 by Kirby Allen