How to Reduce Stress and Increase Happiness
It is no secret that we overwork ourselves day in and day out, prioritizing our obligations to work, chores and taking care of others. Now, it is time to take care of yourself to reduce stress and increase your happiness. A healthy lifestyle is more than just exercise, hygiene and clean eating. There are simple things you can do to remain stress-free and happy. Here are some of our favorites:
Tips for Reducing Stress
- Exercise (duh!)
I know you have heard it before, but we have to say it again: Exercise is important! Physical activity in general increases the production of endorphins in your brain. These are the feel-good neurotransmitters that help to boost your mood. There are a variety of exercise techniques you can try out to help your body and mind relax, just use the one that you enjoy the most: walking, swimming, bike riding, yoga, kick boxing, dancing... It's all good! So, if you're feeling stressed, get moving and get back to feeling happy and healthy!
- Snack on Nuts and Seeds
Need an afternoon snack? Skip the chips and opt for nuts and seeds. Almonds contain Vitamin E which has been shown to fight stress-related free radicals and they also give you vitamin B12, magnesium, and zinc. Walnuts and pistachios may lower blood pressure. Sunflower seeds include folate, which correlate to higher levels of dopamine, a pleasure-inducing brain chemical. Also, nuts and seeds are delicious! It doesn't get better than that!
- Sip Herbal Tea
Need to relax fast? Treat yourself to a cup of herbal tea whenever you are feeling stressed. Chamomile and lavender are two great teas for lowering stress. These aromatic teas can provide a soothing effect just by holding a warm cup and taking a deep breath. Take some with you when you go into a stressful meeting and it will help you keep your cool.
- Think Happy Thoughts
Thinking happy thoughts first thing when you wake up can lift your mood for the rest of the day. Start out by giving yourself a compliment ("Do you always wake up looking this beautiful?"). Then, try and identify one thing you are looking forward to that day. Whether it is awesome leftovers for lunch, your favorite TV show at night, or a great workout, this can help you feel better about the day. Added bonus: multiple clinical studies have shown that positive thinking helps with problem-solving, job functioning and even healing.
We know you have to go to work, and the gym, and clean, and shower, and do laundry, and make dinner...but what about time to relax? Begin prioritizing time to de-stress. Take time to take care of yourself, and you will be better at taking care of everyone else.