Stress kills. Not only is it a leading contributor to several types of illness, it is also one the main reasons our effectiveness suffers at work and at home. It also severely limits our ability to enjoy life. If you are interested in increasing your quality of life, then eliminating stress is a good place to start! Here are three things you can do today:
Odds are that you have too many things going on in your life, in fact it’s almost a guarantee. It doesn’t matter that all of your things are good things because even good things bring stress. Stress escalates exponentially as our calendar becomes more and more full. Opening up some margin in your life will immediately begin relieving the stress you feel.
There’s just too much noise. It’s everywhere. We roll out of bed to silence our blaring alarm, and the noise doesn’t stop again until we fall asleep (sometimes not even then if you sleep with the tv or music on). Noise keeps your brain constantly engaged. Your mind tries to process sounds or filter them out. Like background programs that aren’t fully closed on your computer, constant noise keeps your brain running and expends precious energy that you can't afford to waste. Small , intentional periods of silence (wherever you can find them), allow you to center and relax.
As simple as it sounds, people for centuries have understood the importance of controlling their breathing as a means to stress relief. When we are fully engaged, adrenaline pumping, stress rising, our breathing tends to be shallow and more rapid. Reminding ourselves to stop for a second here and there to take a couple of deep breaths is a simple way to recalibrate in the middle of a hectic day. As your breathing goes, so goes the rest of your body and mind.
As simple as these measures are, they can have an immediate impact on the level of stress that you carry. Do yourself a favor and pay attention to your stress levels today, you’ll be glad you did!
Photo courtesy of Mindi Holt