According to the American Institute of Stress, over three-quarters of adults in the U.S. regularly experience symptoms caused by stress. Stress can cause insomnia, frequent headaches, skin problems, thinning hair, weight gain, panic attacks, digestive woes and a long list of other issues. The better news is that there are lifestyle changes one can make to reduce stress levels and enjoy a higher quality of life.
If you’ve just purchased a new home, perhaps one of the Nashville townhouses, it can serve as a fabulous new start, but no matter where you are now is always a good time.
Practice Meditation or Deep Breathing
Deep breathing can provide immediate stress relief whether it’s practice through meditation, or on its own. By deeply inhaling, holding the breath for a moment and slowly exhaling, it can help lower cortisol levels which in turn lowers stress.
No matter how you do it, aim to move more often, getting regular exercise, ideally 30 to 60 minutes a day. If your time is tight and the thought of having to exercise for long periods stresses you out, it’s just as beneficial to break it up into shorter periods, perhaps 10 minutes at a time, like a brisk walk after every meal. Just about any type of physical activity will do the trick, from walking the halls at work to climbing up and down the stairs at home, dancing, swimming, cycling and so on. Exercise will help you handle a stressful situation better and maintain the ability with future stressful situations as well.
Spending more time with friends and others you love can help ease stress. So many of us have limited in-person contact – aim to get together regularly, laughing and doing things you enjoy together.
Get Your Zzzs
If you don’t get quality rest on a regular basis, it increases stress and even causes cortisol levels to rise. Ideally, you should get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. If you’re having problems falling asleep or staying asleep, take steps to change that. Turning off all electronics, including the TV, your smartphone, laptop, tablet and so on 60 minutes before bedtime can do the trick. Other options include wearing an eye mask to block out light and earplugs to block noise, drinking a calming herbal tea like Chamomile just before sleeping or taking a warm bath can all help you get a better night’s rest.
If you have a bad habit of staying up to date, try going to bed a little earlier every night until you have a solid sleep schedule.
Eat a More Nutritious Diet
What you eat can significantly influence your stress level. Focus on eating more whole foods, including plenty of fruits and veggies, while avoiding processed, packaged or fast foods. Limit caffeine and alcohol intake, both of which contribute to stress. Consuming more foods that are rich in vitamin B can have a major effect on reducing stress symptoms like high blood pressure and tense muscles, like broccoli, nuts and seeds, lentils and eggs.