10 Tips to Reduce Stress for Stress Awareness Month

stress

April is National Stress Awareness Month. I must say, after a fairly stressful March, we all could use a little stress awareness and relaxation.

Our fast-paced modern lifestyle can be very stressful without even considering the daily onslaught of weather-related disasters, mass-shootings, terrorist attacks, and the banter and bickering about the current US Presidential campaign.

These are definitely difficult times to deal with.

Our schedules are often filled with activities, projects, and to-do lists that leave us little time to catch our breath, relax, renew, and rejuvenate. As a society, we teach our children to do the same “busy-ness” from the moment they can sit up. Have you ever noticed how many infant and toddler classes there are now? And teenagers have schedules that would rival Fortune 500 CEOs.

So what’s the problem with stress?

Stress is the result of the interaction between environmental factors and life events plus the mental, emotional, and physical burden that they put upon you as an individual.

Stress can cause and/or exacerbate many conditions such as:

  • Gastrointestinal disorders (IBS, diarrhea, constipation, ulcerative colitis, etc.)
  • Respiratory disorders (Asthma, have fever or pollen allergies, etc.)
  • Skin disorders (Eczema, urticaria/hives, psoriasis, etc.)
  • Mental Health disorders (Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc.)
  • Autoimmune disorders (Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Raynaud’s, etc.)
  • Migraines, headaches
  • Metabolic disorders (Hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, diabetes, obesity, etc.)
  • Cardiovascular disease (Hypertension, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, etc.)
  • Menstrual irregularities, early puberty
  • Cancer
  • Clumsiness and tendency for accidents

Here are some quick tips to reduce your stress:

  1. Get some exercise. Vigorous exercise gets the endorphins pumping through your veins which automatically help you feel better and improve your mood. A brisk 30 minute walk each day will do wonders.
  2. Get out in nature. Go out doors and admire the beauty outside. It is a natural way to relax.
  3. Practice mindfulness. Focus on the here and now. Don’t worry about what might happen in the future or what has already happened in the past. Taking in what is happening now and really paying attention helps you to slow down and relax.
  4. Practice gratitude. Stress and gratitude don’t go hand-in-hand. At the end of the day, relax by writing down a couple of things for which you’re grateful.
  5. Simplify your life. Too much stuff causes stress. The simpler the better. Clear your schedule of things that no longer light your fire or stress you out. De-clutter and only fill your home with things that you truly love or truly use. Make simple healthful meals instead of trying to be a gourmet chef. Remember to keep it simple.
  6. Eat well. An unhealthful diet puts stress on your body while a healthful diet helps your body to repair itself.
  7. Get enough sleep. Your body and mind both need sleep to renew.
  8. Do things that light you up. Don’t forget to relax and have fun. Healthy people are happy people.
  9. Mind your spiritual health. Those who feel like they have a sense of purpose in life fair better than those who do not, even when they have chronic health conditions or life situations that may challenge them.
  10. Get support. Build your support system. It’s always helpful to have one or two people you can count on to lend a listening ear or a helpful hand.

Reducing stress, like many things, requires commitment. Make yourself and your well-being a priority by being proactive about reducing your stress. Choose an activity to do and put it in your schedule, on your calendar, or make time for it as part of your daily routine. Once you master that, add in another stress-reduction practice. You’ll be totally “zen” before you know it. Okay, maybe not totally zen but you will be less stressed.;)

I would love to hear how you reduce stress. Please tell me your favorite stress-reducing activity in the comments below. Thanks!

About Tiffany deSilva

Hi I'm Tiffany deSilva, MSW, CPC, CHC, Founder of BrightFire Living, LLC. I am a social worker, speaker, author, certified health, wellness and lifestyle coach, certified green living coach and toxic-free consultant. I am passionate about helping women like you to detox each area of your life, safeguard your family's health, and live life fully charged and completely lit up! I am on a mission to empower women and families who are managing food allergies, autoimmune disorders, and other modern chronic health conditions to live a safe, happy, and healthy life that truly lights your fire!

Feedback & Comments:

  1. Great article & I know I can certainly do better with my crazy schedule & stress. Definitely planning me time in my schedule is a great way to stay on track. The key for me is to not cancel it or move it because something else seems more important. Exercise, journaling, meditating for 10 minutes each morning & evening helps set my intention for the day & helps turn off my brain for a better nights sleep, massage once a month & reading a romance novel also help me de-stress.

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