12 Stress Reduction Tips That Never Fail - Refresh Financial

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12 Stress Reduction Tips That Never Fail

Stress reduction

If you’re like me, stress manifests itself in my life in ways that only create more stress. It’s a sort of snowball effect: you stress about something and that stress leads to a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Hazed & Confused, which in turns leads to stress about healthy eating and fitness, which then leads to a sleepless night, and so on and so forth. Without some self-control and a few changes in your life, stress can quickly become an insurmountable mess.

While we will never, ever be completely stress-free, too much stress can affect us in many negative ways. You feel less motivated, you don’t sleep as well or eat as well. You can lose sight of things that are really important, like staying on track to getting control of your debt. It can affect your work and your livelihood, your relationships and your health.

But you know all this, don’t you? You’d have to have been raised by sloths not to understand the adverse effects stress can have in our lives. It’s been crammed down our throats by about every editorial writer, every blogger, every medical journal, spiritual guide and life guru you can think of. We all know: stress is bad. What we all want to know, is how to reduce it without winning LottoMax. So let’s take a look at how we reduce stress, shall we?

The bad news is that reducing stress requires effort. The good news is that it’s not rocket science. Anyone can reduce stress and here’s how:

1. Regular exercise - I know, I know. This seems to top every list promising you better things, but it’s true. It’s not just because regular exercise releases endorphins in your body that actively kill stress. It’s also because a healthy body can get more done quicker than a sluggish one. Keeping your body moving, keeps your body moving. You’ll have less aches and pains, sleep better, and have more energy. Getting a sweat out on the daily can drastically change your life for the better.

2. A good, nutritional diet - You saw that one coming, didn’t you? Where there is exercise on a list, good eating lurks closely nearby! Again, it’s nothing short of the truth. Making sure your brain has the right nutrition to function properly is paramount to living a stress-reduced life. It also gives you energy, and keeps you healthy so that you can go about tackling your to-do list like a boss.

3. Swap your coffee with tea - I realize this sounds sacrilegious, and I might have to travel with a bodyguard for a few weeks after writing this, but I’m never going to lie to you good folk. You want less stress, drink some tea. All those smart guys in lab coats say it is the drink of relaxation and black tea, especially, is effective at reducing stress.

4. Meditation - Doesn’t that just hit you right in the sensibilities? It turns out, all those hippies are right! Sit down, clear your head and focus on your breathing for a few minutes a day and you’ll find you’re less stressed and super refreshed.

5. Get things done sooner rather than later - keep a to do list up-to-date and get things done and out of the way. Having a lot of to-dos looming over your head can cause a lot of stress.

6. Get a good sleep… every night - Think of yourself like your smartphone. If you don’t charge it all the way before you leave the house for the day, you could be running on fume by the afternoon. You’ll have to put the device in low-power mode just to conserve some energy. Like your phone, without a proper recharge, you’re going to be powering down sooner than you want to. Your brain becomes all kinds of cloudy, and the work you’re struggling to get done is half as good as it should be. Go to bed early and get your eight hours every single day.

7. Listen to your favourite music - Bonus points if you dare to sing along at the top of your lungs. Music has long been one of the best and quickest ways to relieve stress instantly, so pop in some Loverboy and get to rockin’ out!

8. Read a book - Pick something that’s been written to entertain, particularly books that really have the power to reel you in. My suggestion is to work your way through Dan Brown’s works, because, like the Da Vinci Code, they aren’t deep and they won’t win you any nerd points, but they have a way of making you need to turn the page. They truly draw you out of your own head and into the pages, thereby taking your mind off the things that are stressing you out.

9. Volunteer your time for the less fortunate - While this can surely bring up fresh, new things to stress about, it also has the ability to put your own problems into perspective. Is it really worthwhile to be losing sleep over a dent in your car, when some people can’t even find enough to eat?

10. Laugh - Whether you’re spending time with a good friend with a great sense of humour, checking out a show at the local comedy club, or watching reruns of Fawlty Towers, getting a good laugh does wonders for your stress levels. It triggers those pleasure centres in your mind (just like exercise and good nutrition) releasing waves of stress-killing endorphins into your bloodstream. You may be an adult, but getting your goofy on is the doc’s orders.

11. Keep yourself tidy - Do yourself up every morning, with a crisp, clean shower, clean clothes and tidy hair. Keep your house, car and workspaces tidy and organized as well. Sitting amongst a mess always gives you that little nagging voice in the back of your head, telling you that you really ought to clean up. This can add to stress and make you feel less like getting other things done.

12. Take some “me” time - Whatever it is you love to do during your free time should become as important a priority as working or paying your bills. Why? Because happy people are more effective, more productive and perform better at all the other tasks in their lives. By taking some time to do the things you love, you’re making yourself a better employee, a better housekeeper, a better parent, and a more effective money manager.

What are some of the things you do to reduce stress? Let us know in the comments!

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