While experiencing some stress is normal, feeling stressed out all the time isn't good for your health. Stress can be a contributing factor to many different types of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, immune disorders, gastrointestinal problems, sleep problems and sexual health issues. Reducing your daily stress can help you lead a healthier, happier and possibly even longer life.
According to Mental Health America, here are some easy ways to reduce or limit stress on a daily basis:
1. Set realistic goals and deadlines
If you often feel overwhelmed with your daily to-do list, give yourself permission to eliminate tasks or activities that aren't a necessity. Ask yourself, "what do I really need to get done today?" Set deadlines that are more realistic.
2. Try adding a daily meditation practice
People who engage in 10 to 20 minutes of meditation each day often report feeling calmer and more at ease. Meditation can bring relief from your daily stressors and help you clear your mind. All you need to try meditation is a quiet place to sit and be still for a few minutes. Taking a meditation class or using a meditation app on your smartphone are also easy ways to try this practice and see if it helps reduce your stress.
3. Get active or find a hobby
Regular exercise is a great stress reducer and also helps improve your physical health. Along with exercise, engaging in a hobby you enjoy can also help relieve stress. Whether it's cooking, gardening, playing board games or doing something creative, participating in a hobby is a chance to give your brain a welcome break.
4. Learn to be more flexible and let go of perfection
Being more flexible can mean letting someone else win the argument or focusing on ways to compromise. If you feel strongly about something, discuss the issue in a respectful way and make sure to listen to the other people's perspectives as well. Remember that no one is perfect, including ourselves. Letting go of perfection means recognizing that we all have gifts to share with the world, even if we don't always meet other people's expectations of us.
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