Anything from your finances to your relationships or even just your morning commute can have a negative effect on your mind.
While things like medication and therapy are often recommended, there are plenty of natural ways to tackle stress yourself. Adapting your living habits to be more relaxed and mindful each day will have huge boosts for your self-esteem, mental health, and even benefit you physically.
So how can you reduce stress and anxiety in your daily life? Here are some effective zen life hacks to lead a calmer life.
Get Regular Exercise
The thought of regular exercise can turn a lot of people off. After all, who would want to get out of bed to beat their body down with a morning run?.
However, regular exercise will have massive benefits for both your physical and mental health. Not only will exercising help you lose weight and build muscle, but it’ll also reduce stress and anxiety.
Various studies show the positive mental effects of exercise. Just 30-minutes of moderately intense physical activity will boost your dopamine and serotonin levels. You’ll be happier, more focused, and overall more relaxed.
And a 30-minute run or bike ride isn’t the only way to get your exercise in. Maybe you prefer dancing, or you’d like to take up yoga. Whichever way, finding a physical activity you enjoy enough to stick to will result in a clearer mind and a healthier body.
Practise Meditation and Breathing Exercises
Sometimes reducing stress is as simple as relaxing, breathing, and immersing yourself in the moment. Various studies have shown the effectiveness of meditation and breathing and relaxation exercises in reducing stress and anxiety.
A study from Experimental Biology 2018 found that even a short session of mindfulness meditation will result in a significant reduction in stress levels. Do it regularly and you’ll be even less stressed and anxious after a week.
Starting can be simple. Just sitting comfortably, closing your eyes, taking slow and deep breaths in, and releasing can help you relieve some stress. Focus on clearing your mind and flushing out any stressful or negative thoughts. Even taking some deep breaths while in the midsts of a stressful situation can help.
Over time, this can reduce blood pressure, prevent anxiety and depression, and give you a much more positive daily mindset.
Put Things Into Perspective
When your stress levels rise, just putting things into perspective for a second can help you kill your anxiety.
For instance, let’s say a driver cuts in front of you on the road. As rude and inconsiderate as it may be, how much will it matter to you in an hour? How much will it matter in 5-minutes? You’ll realize it’s done and the problem is over, helping you forget about it and move in.
You can apply this to anything. If you’ve fallen out with a friend, think from their perspective. Consider whether it’s worth making amends, cutting them off or simply putting the problem on the back burner till you decide to talk again. Don’t let it occupy your mind for too long, focus on positive things in your life instead.
It may be easier said than done, but force yourself to think more positively and it’ll become second nature. The mind is a powerful thing and even just thinking your way out of stress can reduce the chemicals causing it.
Improve Your Finances
Figures from The American Institute of Stress found that 62% of citizens are stressed about money matters. Whether it’s the trouble of having to deal with your debts or just making enough to cover weekly costs, it’s something you need to tackle as soon as possible.
Instead of spending sporadically, learn to budget wisely. Cutting your grocery bill down by a fraction will encourage you to find cheaper products while still covering your weekly food needs. Eliminate unnecessary costs like expensive lunches and coffees and find cheaper ways around them.
You should also approach any debt payments head-on. If you have a small debt, then save more money to tackle it before interest costs rise. You’ll have one less money issue to worry about and can move on to the next thing.
If you’re concerned about your income, you could even spend your spare time on making more money. Try selling things online or becoming an Uber driver for a few months to make ends meet. It can make you more productive while also giving you more money and less to stress about.
Alter Your Diet
Many people don’t realize how much the things they eat and drink can affect stress levels. Things like alcohol, caffeine, and even sugar can raise your anxiety levels.
If you experience regular spikes in stress and don’t know why then look at your diet. Maybe your blood pressure is too high or maybe you’re just taking in too much sugar and coffee. Cut out the things that might make you more anxious and focus on eating cleaner and healthier.
Eating better can have multiple benefits for your wellbeing. Alongside the obvious physical perks, you’ll also feel more positive about yourself and reduce excess energy levels. Foods like fish, nuts, and dark chocolate can even help you to reduce stress.
Some people are stressed merely because they push themselves too hard. If your schedule is constantly packed and you never get a break, there’s no shame in taking some time to chill out.
Taking a holiday from work and other obligations can be fantastic for your stress and anxiety levels. You’ll get some rest, enjoy yourself, and recharge your batteries to start being productive again.
Working all the time will only make you perform worse. Don’t be afraid to take some time out to relax every now and again.
Stress and anxiety can hit anyone for all kinds of reasons. But by learning some ways to reduce it, you can start beating it instantly. Just learning some breathing exercises, changing your mindset, and learning to relax can help you beat your stress. Start getting fit and making more money and you’ll be even happier. Stick to these and you’ll live a much happier, more positive, and zen lifestyle.
Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash.