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3 Simple Ways to Reduce Daily Stress


Unfortunately, stress is a part of life. Thanks to the challenges and changes we encounter every day, stress can affect our bodies, minds, relationships and health in various ways. It’s important to know that stress is natural—and can even be beneficial, working as a sign that you need to take time to slow down, practice mindfulness and address what’s causing stress in the first place. At its core, stress is a physiological and psychological response to challenges. The body releases cortisol and adrenaline which trigger the “fight or flight” response which prepares the body to deal with whatever is causing the stress. This means that you might experience increased heart rate, muscle tension and racing thoughts. As mentioned, short-term stress can be beneficial, helping to perform under pressure and deal with things as they arise. But long-term and chronic stress can have serious health impacts and lead to depression, anxiety, sleep issues, digestive problems and cardiovascular problems.

So, it’s incredibly important to manage stress as best you can. Here are three ways to help manage your daily stressors—we promise they don’t take too much trouble to implement.


Practice deep breathing

This simple technique can be practiced daily and helps reduce stress and promote relaxation. It can be used as a daily practice, but it can also be used in-the-moment, when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Deep breathing—taking a deep breathe in through the nose and releasing, slowly out through the mouth—has numerous benefits. These include triggering the parasympathetic nervous system, decreasing the production of stress hormones, slowing the heart rate, oxygenating the body and relaxing muscles.


Spend time outside

While this is easier some days more than others, spending time outside provides a break from the stressors of every day life, but studies have also shows that spending time in nature can lead to reduced cortisol levels, helping to reduce stress and anxiety. Other benefits include mindfulness, potential exercise (if running or hiking), sunlight and vitamin D and fresh air and oxygen—all good things your body can use to regulate itself.


Limit screen time—especially before bed

We know that screens aren’t doing us any favors, but many of us rely on them for our jobs, staying in touch with friends and family and providing entertainment. Even if you can’t always control how often you’re in front of a screen, you can be more mindful about your screen time. When it comes to stress, screens are especially harmful before bed. Because of the blue-light exposure from screens, viewing one before bed can suppress melatonin (the hormone needed for quality sleep). Without it, you can have trouble falling or staying asleep, or getting that deep REM sleep needed to feel restores. Less restfull sleep affects stress levels because it doesn’t give your body and mind the rest it needs to tackle the day. Instead, opt for a bedtime routine that promotes calm relaxation and helps to encourage restful sleep.

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