Before you can dial down the stress in your life, you’ll need to look closely at your daily patterns. Jogging with loud music, juggling phone calls while running errands, checking work e-mails or watching exciting TV before bed may be a part of your routine—and also what’s keeping you awake at night. Unfortunately, the noise in your daily life isn’t just what you invite. It’s everywhere, from barking dogs to traffic horns and from neighbors to family demands.
It’s no surprise that after a full day of sensory overload and nonstop multitasking that people commonly feel stressed. It’s so common, in fact, that it is often ignored until it manifests into tangible symptoms like headaches, digestive problems or trouble sleeping. While we can’t control the noisy world around us, there are techniques that can help us filter out unwanted stress.
1. Make Time for You
In the daily rush of activity, it’s easy to forget that you need a little downtime. Find 15–20 minutes each day just to be with yourself without any distractions.
2. Get Active
Whether you take a walk around the block or spend an hour at the gym, exercise is a great way to blow off steam and reset your mind. Instead of filling your head with music, try focusing on your breathing or the nature around you.
3. Eat a Balanced Diet
Unhealthy food can leave us feeling sluggish, but our bodies are better able to cope with stress when we’re eating properly. Make sure you eat healthy, well-balanced meals every day. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains will provide you with many nutrients you need to function at your best, like antioxidants and B vitamins. If you struggle with healthy eating, consider taking a multivitamin or other nutrients to fill in the nutrient gaps that may be missing from your diet.
4. Turn Off
Surfing the net and watching TV are fine activities, but they’re often too much stimulation, especially right before bed. Try reading a book or listening to soft music instead.
5. Think Carefully
It’s important to manage our own thoughts because what we tell ourselves can often be exactly what is adding to our stress levels. Watch out for internal dialogue that is negative or critical. Being patient with yourself can help you be more productive and calmer, too.
Meditation works well to keep you present in the moment and helps you practice quieting your mind. Try different meditation techniques to discover the best way for you to relax.
7. Share Responsibilities
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all that needs doing when you think that you’re the only one capable of doing it. Delegate tasks, projects and errands when you can. You’ll have more free time and feel less stress, too.