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Stress is the sensation of being under excessively psychological or emotional pressure. It commonly comes from problems about work, relationships and money.
While everyone of us reacts to stress differently, if not managed well, stress can disturb your thinking, your emotions and your behavior, and it can affect your body functions.
Common symptoms of stress include anxious thinking, sleep problems, sweating, loss of appetite, and difficulty concentrating. Given that you’re here reading this, I’m sure that you know what I mean. You know how it feels.
Thankfully, there are simple things you can do not only to manage stress, but to overcome it.
So let me share my favorite tips with you (which you can always try) to reduce stress after going through a really hard day!
Relax not only your body, but more importantly – your mind.
1. Exercise and move your body.
Researches have shown that exercise can aid to release stress, reduce depression, and improve cognitive function. It releases endorphins which is a chemical that activates positive emotions – hence replacing your negative emotions and the tensions that you feel.
Yoga is my favorite exercise to reduce stress after a long hard day. Since I’m usually in front of the computer most of the time, it’s my neck, shoulders and upper back that feel the most tension and physical stress of the day.
So I do yoga that focuses on relieving these body parts. The movements are very easy to do and perfect for beginners.
Actually it’s not just the movements that I love about yoga. I love the fact that it focuses on breathing deeply as well. Deep breathing relieves tension too and it sure does reduce stress!
So if you’re looking for an easy exercise that you can do after work, and at home, you should try yoga! I’m sure you will feel relaxed too!
Here are some of my favorites. Hop into Youtube. These videos are all FREE!
There are other exercises that you can do apart from yoga.
You can ride on a bicycle and drive around your neighborhood. Or have a few minutes jogging on your treadmill.
If you want to spend a few moments with nature, take a little stroll at a park and inhale fresh air. Care for deep breathing, right? Do deep breaths in a park and inhale those fresh air, and exhale allllllllll the stress that you feel!
See? You have lots of options actually. Just be willing to give a few minutes to move your body.
2. Go for a massage!
Massage therapy is another great way to reduce stress. It keeps you calm and decreases physical and emotional stress.
You can do a self-massage by gently pressing the areas on your neck, hands, palms, and shoulders where you feel the tension.
Or… you can ask your husband (wink) to give you a little massage. I often ask my hubby to do it for me. He massages my shoulders, hands and feet.
I can do the massage, myself, but you know what? It certainly feels a lot better when your hubby does it for you. (wink)
When you have grown up kids, you can also ask them to massage you.
And then, once in a while, go to a massage parlor and be pampered with an expert’s massage!
3. Get your stress-busting foods ready.
Eating well and eating right plays a major role when you want to reduce stress.
A well-nourished body is capable of enduring physical as well as emotional stress. So watch your diet, especially when you are stressed.
Commonly, when you’re stressed, the body’s tendency is to crave for high calorie, high sugar, high fat foods. But those foods don’t nourish the body. Now the problem is… if you’re used to eating these foods, like they’re your comfort food, you will crave for these even more.
And the cycle goes on and on until your body starts to give up, and symptoms of serious diseases like obesity and heart ailment begin to surface.
You don’t want that, do you?
So the best thing to do is to prepare for being stressed even before you feel it. Remove your usual high calorie, high sugar, high fat foods in your pantry. And replace that with healthier options and stress-busting foods. Let these be your new line of comfort food.
These foods include:
- complex carbs like whole grain bread and cereals
- citrus fruits
- black tea (or your choice of herbal tea)
- nuts like almonds, walnuts & pistachios
- veggies that you can eat raw (think of a veggie salad)
4. Eat a balanced diet.
If you can select healthier choices for your comfort food, the more that you should select healthier choices for your everyday meals.
A comfort food may help you fight stress when it’s already there. But a balanced diet helps to lessen its impact, if not prevent it.
In the morning, take time to have a healthy breakfast. It’s essentially the most significant meal of the day, so do spend a few minutes preparing for a healthy breakfast.
If you need some quick breakfast ideas, take a look at these – Quick Healthy Breakfast Recipes.
I also suggest a healthy smoothie for breakfast. So here’s one from me – a blueberry smoothie. Try it out!
Also make time for preparing healthy lunch and dinners. Again, here are some recipes you can try.
5. Get a good night sleep.
Sleep is very essential for every human being.
Most people need at least 8 hours of sleep every day to recharge. Research studies have shown that those who get the right amount of sleep feel happier, healthier and safer.
By getting a good night sleep, you can easily reduce stress, as sleep affects your memory, judgment, and power of thinking.
So here are simple things you can do to have a good night’s rest.
- Try to obtain the same amount of sleep every night.
- Go to bed at about the same time every night.
- Spend some time in bed already just to relax, even if you don’t feel sleepy yet.
- Listen to calm music to help you relax.
- Do not watch TV or use your smartphone when you’re trying to sleep as this can hinder your mind and body to set into sleep mode.
- Try to use a sleep apnea mouthpiece to keep your airways open and prevent snoring, which can disturb your sleep and lead to morning fatigue.
6. Drink a stress-relieving herbal tea.
Various herbs and teas have a soothing effect which can reduce stress and anxiety.
So find the right herbal tea for you. This can take time but it’s always worth it.
If you’re taking medications or you have health issues, always talk to your doctor before adding a new herbal drink or tea to your diet.
Here are some teas to consider. Links lead to Amazon products.
- Green tea
- Chamomile tea
- Licorice tea
- Valerian tea
- Turmeric tea
- Ginseng tea
- Linden tea
- Rosemary tea
- Peppermint tea
- Lavender tea
Now, these are our favorites!
4. Pickwick Original English Tea (my hubby’s favorite)
7. Pray to God.
Don’t forget this one please.
When I feel so stressed and I feel like some of my problems are just impossible, God is my go-to person. And I’ve seen how He has made those impossible things possible.
I’m not saying all my prayers are answered quickly. No. But they are answered. Sometimes the answer is No. But that’s okay. By the time I learn that the answer is no, I can already accept it.
And so I pray to God not only so that my problems will be solved. But I run to Him because in Him, I can pour out all my feelings.
I can cry out to Him. And yes, amidst big problems, I do cry out to Him. What an amazing feeling it is when you have poured out every stressful feeling that you have inside!
And not just that. I know that God listens to every word. Even when it feels like He’s not listening, He does. When you need a parent or a friend to cry on, you can cry out to God. Please know that.
So when you want to reduce stress after a hard day, don’t forget this last tip. This is the most important in this list.
Now go ahead and take some action!
You now have a list of seven things you can do to reduce stress and overcome it.
The ball is yours! Don’t just close this page. Do apply what you have learned. Because, that’s the way you make a difference!