As 2016 winds down and the stress of day to day living amps up, it is important to know the ways we can help reduce stress in our lives. Between work and life, the stress can really pile up. We know that to live a balanced life we need to take time for ourselves and de-stress. Here are 5 ways to help you reduce stress:

 

1. Practice Mindfulness:

Mindfulness is the intentional act of staying in the moment and being present with what you are doing. When practicing mindfulness the individual is required and encouraged to stay rooted in the present and share whatever it is they are feeling, seeing, and hearing right now rather than focusing on past or future concerns. By practicing mindfulness we allow ourselves to feel in the present moment and embrace the current feeling we are feeling without judgment. Mindfulness can help the individual to cope with their feelings, reduce stress by focusing on what they can control, and let go of the negative.

 

A practical and easy way to start practicing mindfulness is to light a candle, turn down the lights and look at the flame. Take note of how you are feeling, your breathing and your thoughts. Start with 5 minutes per day, and slowly build the time you spend practicing mindfulness.

 

2. Involve Nature In Your Exercise Routine

Exercise is a fantastic way to lower stress levels in general, but to take it to the next level bring your exercise routine out into nature. Head outside for your next workout, whether it is a run through the city, a hike up a mountain, or just getting outside for a walk. Time spent outside doing exercise is said to help reduce stress by 20% along with improving memory and attention span for those who exercise outside regularly.

 

3. Stay Away From Technology

We are surrounded by technology these days and while it can help simplify communication and business, it can also be detrimental to our health. By constantly being connected to a computer or a device we can get super stressed. The constant ding of a text or the buzz of an email can and will greatly increase stress levels. On a daily basis it is imperative to unplug from technology. Turn off your computer, phone, and TV, and just allow your brain to recharge. This will help reduce stress and anxiety.

 

Here at Eight Hour Studio, we like to turn off our mobile phone, tablet, computer and TV one hour before bed. We also turn down the lights and start to get our bodies ready for sleep. Even having this one hour being disconnected from technology has a noticeable positive impact on stress levels.

 

4. To Reduce Stress, Journal

Expressing our feelings is a great way to help day to day stressors. Journaling is a great way to get those feelings out of our brains and onto a sheet of a paper. The physical act of writing your emotions down on a sheet of paper will reduce stress, anxiety, and the likelihood of depression. Trying coupling this with a gratitude diary. After getting your feelings and to do lists down on paper, also note down at least one thing a day you are grateful for.

 

 

5. Use Affirmations

All of your thoughts and emotions have a chemical reaction in your brain and therefore impacting our physical health. Creating some positive affirmations for yourself when you start to feel overwhelmed, stressed, or negative can help you reduce stress and stay positive. When you begin to have negativity and stress take over in your life, start reciting (to yourself) your positive affirmation. This will help keep your stress level down and your positivity up. Here is an example of an affirmation: “I am a good person with a strong support system.” Saying an affirmation like this will help you feel reconnected with the world and take action to improve your life. 

 

We hope these 5 ways to reduce stress will help you stay less stressed this week. Share with us which ways are helping you reduce