How to Release Stress for a Happier You

Like it or not, stress is a part of life.  It can spring upon you when you study for an exam, when you are stuck in traffic and almost late for work, or when you get to the airport only to remember you forgot you left the oven on.  Stress can come from fun or positive events too—such as going out late at night with friends, the days leading up to your wedding, or flying out to a vacation.  Stress comes in a variety of forms, and it can wear on your body and mind.

What Stress Is Doing To Your Body

Before learning how to relieve stress, it’s important to understand how it affects your health. Stress has been linked to fatigue, anxiety, and exhaustion. Ever wondered if stress affects weight gain? You bet it does. Does stress cause acne?  It’s definitely a contributing factor when it comes to those painful breakouts. There doesn’t seem to be a single facet of our health that isn’t affected by excessive stress levels. If you want to improve your body and mind, you will have to learn to rid some stress from your life; use the following to learn about the ways you can relieve stress for a happier and healthier you.

Unplug

Every once in a while, it is essential that you disconnect from your phone, laptop, and technology.  However, you do not need to go off the grid just yet—simply staying home and relaxing without worrying about your e-mail will do.  With the advent of the internet making it easier and easier to work from home, managers and supervisors will now try to contact at all hours of the day.  This may be easier said than done, but if you can make time to turn off your notifications for the night, or one day during the weekend, you will do yourself a huge favor.  Spend the time instead doing a calming activity you can enjoy, such as reading, going to the beach, or simply hanging out with friends and get away from the stresses of the office.

Get Adequate Sleep

All-nighters are overrated.  Studies have actually shown that staying up all night to cram in information can actually inhibit your ability to retain it.  In fact, it is much better to sleep well before that test or presentation.  You dream during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) portion of sleep, and this is actually the time when you are processing your day, your thoughts, and your emotions subconsciously.  In essence, your brain can actually work on internalizing the information.  When your body is well rested, you can wake up and remember much more than you likely would have otherwise.  One tip to help sleep: get off of your phone before bed.  Too many of us have made the mistake with taking our phones into bed and sitting in the dark scrolling through Facebook for an hour or so before bed.  Doing this creates two issues: first, you are rewiring your brain to associate bed time with phone time, meaning you will throw your sleep cycle off; and secondly, the light emanating from your phone, tablet, or laptop, has a higher concentration of blue light rather than natural light, which will affect levels of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.  If you absolutely must use your phone before bed, at least turn the “night” feature on so that the light shifts from a blue hue to more yellow in tone.  It is much easier on the eyes and your brain. Getting enough rest can do wonders for your stress levels, so do what you can to get better sleep.

Meditate

Meditation has become synonymous with hippies, Teva Sport’s Sandals, kale smoothies, yoga, and other stereotypes that some people want to avoid.  However, meditators have something going on for them—it has been shown to be very healthy for body and mind.  What is meditation?  By definition, meditation is the practice of focusing deeply for a period, usually in silence or with the aid of chanting or calming music.  It can, but is not required, to be used for religious or spiritual practices.  The goal of meditation is to temporarily clear one’s mind of distraction, to focus on breathing, and instead focus on the present moment.  Doing this for just a few minutes a day can greatly reduce stress and reprioritize your life for the day.  There’s a reason why yogis feel so relaxed after their practice!

Exercise

Moderate physical activity might be all you need to relieve anxiety in your life.  Find a healthy balance between work and play by fitting in some physical fitness.  Get involved in a touch football team, or play volleyball every Sunday with your friends.  Perhaps you would rather gain a membership at a gym or take a brisk walk in the morning.  Do some form of physical activity to keep your blood circulating, your heart pumping, and those endorphins flowing.

Make this the year you get your stress under control. Keep these tips in mind and make a difference in your mental and physical health.

About The Author

Aleksandar Tomovic
Editor in Chief

French photographer (of Serbian Origins) lives and works in Los Angeles. Known for his celebrity fashion editorials and recognized around the world for his european esthetics and american efficiency.

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