By Jamell Andrews
Having too much stress in our lives is bad for our physical and mental health. While it is somewhat impractical (at least for most of us) to avoid having at least some stressors in our lives altogether, there are some steps we can take to reduce the amount of stress in our lives.
Learn how to Prioritize
If you are not the type of person who enjoys keeping lists of things to do, you might want to rethink your philosophy. When you become overwhelmed with too many things to do, it is sometimes helpful to simply write them all down and prioritize them. Not only will this provide you with a fresh perspective on things, it will also allow you the opportunity to take a deep breath and objectively look at your list. In doing so, you will more than likely realize that it is completely doable and that you just need to have a good plan of action to get it all accomplished.
Once you have your tasks and activities planned for the day or the week, you will then be able to focus your efforts on one thing at a time. Multitasking gets talked about all the time as being an essential skill for pretty much all of us, but in reality, multitasking really keeps us from focusing on the task at hand, which means we are not putting our best efforts into any one project.
Remember that you deserve some “me time” every day, even if it is only 30 minutes to watch your favorite comedy on TV or a little bit of time to take a quick nap. Whatever you want to do that helps you to unwind and relax a bit, take the time to do it.
If you are not already doing it, you should incorporate a regular exercise program into your weekly activities. Ideally, you should perform some type of moderately intense cardiovascular activity at least four days per week for at least 30 minutes each day. Taking a brisk walk is an excellent way to take care of your heart and help you to get rid of some built up stress.
You might also want to start practicing yoga or Pilates, as these activities promote health, relaxation, and overall wellness. In addition, consider treating yourself once or twice a day to a special treat that makes you feel good. This could be a nice, soothing cup of green tea, a latte, a cookie, or a piece of chocolate. Anything that makes you feel good and lifts your spirit will work for helping you to relax, and each small thing that you do helps to make you healthier and happier.
Another excellent way to reduce stress naturally is to arrange a visit to a day spa once a month for a massage. Even if you can only spring for a half-hour visit, the benefits that you will get from this will be tremendous. If getting a massage is not one of your favorite activities, however, consider getting a facial, a manicure, or a pedicure to boost your mood and help you to forget about all of the stress in your life, even if only for a little while.