Sometimes feeling stress can be good, in the right amount of course, like when you need a pump of energy to complete a certain task, being in sports, for a school project or work. But it's when it's continued throughout time or when it's too intense that it becomes a problem.
High stress levels can contribute to chronic diseases, lack of energy, difficulty sleeping, a fragile immune system, and difficulty concentrating. So, it clearly affects us on so many different levels.
When dealing with health issues it's always best to work with health professionals, but here are some effective lifestyle habits that can help you lower your stress levels:
Sleeping well - Sleeping well is not only measured by the amount of time that you sleep, it is also the quality of your sleep. That is why some people sleep 7h to 8h to end up waking up feeling tired. When we wake up feeling tired it means that the quality of sleep was poor. Ways to improve your sleep:
- Nighttime routine, discover the perfect bedtime routine for you, it can be a number of different things depending on your likes, a warm cup of tea, a relaxing bath, a self-massage, or reading a book. It just needs to be something relaxing, no screens, that helps you disconnect and prepare for sleep.
- Sleep schedule, create a routine that fits your lifestyle, and stick to it. The challenge here is to keep it consistent, this is especially hard on the weekends but, do your best!
- Exercise, exercising can also help with sleep and releases body tensions. Avoid doing heavy exercise at the end of the day or nighttime, because exercising is also an exciting activity and when working out late it can have the opposite impact on our sleep, by keeping us awake longer.
- Keep an eye on certain habits such as coffee, nicotine, and alcohol. What we ingest at nighttime or before bed affects the quality of our sleep. We can still sleep after having coffee or after some drinks but it's not great quality sleep.
- Make your bedroom a nice place to sleep. Transform your bedroom into a comfortable, tidy place with good bedding, and no light at night. Try to adjust the temperature so it's not too cold or hot.
- Silent night, if you live in a big city some noises may affect your sleep, and sometimes we are so used to it that we don't even notice. If you live in a noisy environment you can always invest in some reusable earplugs, there are plenty of options online. And trust me, it can make a huge difference in the quality of your sleep and rest.
Mindfulness - Paying attention to your thoughts can also help to bring your levels of stress down, if you are mindful about it fewer chances are of you getting stuck on negative thoughts and losing energy and track of the present moment.
Breathing exercises - Breathing techniques are very effective in reducing stress, calming the mind and the body. There are several breathing techniques, all very easy to do, you can ask a friend for guidance, use an app, or search online for reliable sources for different techniques.
Relax and have fun - Spend time with your friends and family, with people that you love doing things you enjoy! Relax, laugh, have fun and decompress! Being social is a great mood booster, and doing group activities is a great way to have a break from worries and stress.
Nourish your relationships - Love also reduces stress, so take time to feed your most important and intimate relationships. These are the people that understand you and are always there for you, be there for them too, giving and helping can also be a blessing and makes us feel good and full of joy.
Muscle relaxation - This can be done by a body scan or by compressing the muscles to decompress after. You can do both while comfortable lying down on your bed. To do a body scan, start from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet and then return to the top. The idea is to simply scan the body and notice how your body feels.
Music - Dance or simply listen, listening to music we love it's an amazing way to improve our mood and to feel better about life. Certain music, such as the ones that we use to listen to during our teenage years can have even a bigger impact, but it can also be those tunes that you can't stop hearing right now!
Shake it out - Shake the stress out of your body by shaking your own body, just release yourself and do it! If you prefer you can also do this with some tunes on, no rules, just move your body as it feels right.
Use Rose Quartz crystal - Rose Quartz is the stone of unconditional love and infinite peace. The stone is calming, reassuring, and excellent for use in trauma or crisis. Rose quartz removes negative energy and replaces it with love.
Adopt a pet - Pets are well known for decreasing our stress levels, so, if your lifestyle allows you, and if you have the conditions and will, why not get a new 4 legs friend?
Hopefully, these lifestyle habits can help you bring the stress levels down, and remember, get professional help for health issues whenever you need it.