25 Easy Ways to Lower Your Stress Levels

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Stress. We all have it.

Between school drop offs and that deadline you're behind schedule on and the moving trucks are coming on Tuesday and you haven't packed a thing and wow, can you imagine what it would be like to have a full night's sleep?

Stress. It begins to affect our health and well-being after being exposed to long periods of it - and it can affect everything from our emotions to our immune system. So with all the pressures of life, how can we just relax already?

Here are some quick tips for reducing your stress.

1) Breathe. Remember that Lamaze class you took? Practice breathing in through your nose slowly and out through your mouth. Whenever you feel overwhelmed practice breathing.

2) Keep in mind - not all life is serious business; not every mistake the end of the world.

3) Laugh. One of the best stress-busters is to laugh at something absurd or silly.

4) One moment at a time - don't worry about the future - focus upon the now.

5) When you feel the panic rising, get up from wherever you are and get active for 10 minutes. Vacuum, sweep the floor, do anything that takes that extra nervous energy and puts it to good use.

6) Make time every day for 20 minutes of activity - exercise releases endorphins, which calm your frazzled nerves and allow you to de-stress.

7) Find a quiet room and rest for 10 minutes - even if it's the copy room at work or a quiet boardroom - just sit down, lie down if you can, and allow your mind to roam as you feel the tension dripping off you.

8) Make your home a place of comfort - get rid of excess things you don't need - especially the stuff that makes you say, "I should..." when you see it.

9) Make a list. You don't have to keep all your thoughts in your head.

10) Prioritize your list and do things in order - do not allow yourself to be sidetracked away from the task at hand.

11) Trim out the fat from your life - that extra stuff you don't need to be focusing on? Dump it.

12) Allow yourself to say "no" when you don't want to do something.

13) If you're not happy with your life, choose to do something new with it.

14) Be honest about what you can and can't do.

15) Ask for help when you need it.

16) Forgive yourself and forgive others - we're all only doing the best we can do.

17) Your time is your own and a very valuable resource - do not allow others to fill it with things you do not want to be doing.

18) Make sure that you wear clothes that make you look good - the better you feel you look, the better you'll feel!

19) Reconnect with the world around you - it's a big place, and you're fortunate enough to have a spot in it!

20) You don't have to fix everything for other people just because you can.

21) Leave work at work.

22) Play with your kids - even if it's a quick game of tag or a walk through the park. Practice seeing the world through their eyes.

23) Yoga is one of the best forms of exercise and meditation - make some time a couple of times a week to practice - alone or in a class.

24) Don't eat because you're bored, lonely, or angry. Instead, savor your meals. Food is meant to nourish you, not fix your problems.

25) Remember that there is joy all around you. Every day you wake up to new choices, new loves, new days - that is truly a miracle.

How do you combat stress?


Image via lovelornpoets/Flickr

stress, healthy habits