There’s no denying that modern life is stressful. Trying to juggle the pressures of your family, work, health, and social life can feel like too much at times. These responsibilities are often exacerbated by modern technology, where you are expected to stay connected around the clock. Thankfully, there are a few ways that you can cut down on the stresses of the modern world, without having to make too many sacrifices. So, let’s take a look at our top 5 life hacks to help you reduce stress in your life:
Reduce Stress by Scrutinizing Your Diet
When you live a fast-paced, busy lifestyle, it is very easy to forego healthy food habits in favor of quick, ready-to-go meals. Fast food and prepackaged meals often lack proper nutrients, and are also packed with excess chemicals that do more harm than good. Lacking good nutrition can increase stress on your mind and body, while also adding a few extra inches to your waistline.
Additionally, increasing stress and junk food can turn into a vicious cycle. An unhealthy diet and lifestyle increase stress, and it is proven that humans crave and seek out more junk food to help cope with stress. While “comfort food” does cause a temporary reduction in anxiety, the disadvantages and consequences of an unhealthy diet will eventually bring the stress back ten-fold, causing even more cravings in the future. Thus, it is necessary to break this vicious cycle before it gets out of hand.
So, what can you do about it? The first step is to evaluate everything that you put into your body. Enjoying a treat every now and then is fine, but if you see a pattern of unhealthy behavior on a regular basis, it’s time to make a change. You don’t need to radically modify your diet all at once, but start introducing more natural foods — especially fruits and vegetables — into your diet as soon as possible. It is also important to find time in your busy schedule to actually enjoy your food, as eating in a rush is not good for your health either.
Stay On Top of Your Priorities to Reduce Stress
A lot of people feel overly stressed because they have too much going on in their lives. Unfortunately, rather than addressing these responsibilities one by one, many of us start to procrastinate, allowing our tasks to pile up. At a certain point, we feel completely overwhelmed by our own schedule. So, while procrastinating may feel like a good way to temporarily get some relief from stress, it can do much more harm than good in the long run.
However, sometimes it really does feel like you have too much on your plate. This is why it is not only important to avoid procrastination, but also to address your tasks and responsibilities efficiently. One of the easiest ways to work through your schedule is by making a list every day of the tasks you need to accomplish.
The list should start with your top priority tasks for the day, and continue with tasks that don’t necessarily need to be done today, but should be finished at some point in the near future. This way, you can work through your list one task at a time. It’s not important if you don’t finish your list every single time; as long as you make progress and accomplish high-priority tasks, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve had a productive day.
Reducing Stress Through Mindfulness
Modern life has most of us feeling in a hurry all the time, and this doesn’t give our minds and bodies even a moment’s rest. That said, no matter how many things you have to do, there is always time for a few minutes of mindful meditation. Even if you’ve never tried meditation before, it can be a great way to simply recharge your batteries and feel more centered.
Many people assume that meditation takes years of practice, but that’s not necessarily the case. Anyone can practice mindful meditation whenever they have a few free minutes. You simply need to make sure you are seated in a comfortable position and clear your mind. Focus on your breathing. Take slow, deep breaths, and push any other thoughts or concerns out of your mind. You will be surprised how much better and relaxed you feel after such a short time! So, whenever you have a minute or two to spare, just breathe and practice mindfulness to combat the stress of your daily life.
Keep In Touch With Others
Stress has a tendency to make people feel isolated and reclusive, which only exacerbates the consequences of stress, and can even lead to depression or other health concerns. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out to a loved one. If possible, try to see someone in person, as physical contact (like hugs or holding hands) can help lift your mood and remind you that your reasons for stressing probably aren’t all that important.
This isn’t just limited to people, either; having physical contact with pets is proven to reduce anxiety and stabilize negative mood fluctuations. Cuddling with a cat or playing fetch with a dog are both simple and easy ways to remove stress from your life. So, if you have a pet, give them some love as often as you can!
Reduce Stress With Relaxing Music
This one may be a bit more obvious, but listening to your favorite music is a great way to ease both physical and mental tension. Generally, it is better to listen to tranquil music, but this will also depend on your personal tastes. If your favorite music is happy and upbeat, then that will yield some of the best results. Any music that brings you joy and helps you decompress after a long day will do wonders for your mood and your stress levels.
That said, there are certain songs and genres that are designed specifically to relax your mind. Often times, this type of music goes hand in hand with mindfulness and meditation. So, if you have a few minutes and want to feel extra relaxed, consider mixing some calming music with a quick meditation session!