Every day millions of Americans face stressful situations both big and small. From failing to file a business report on time to spilling coffee on a brand-new shirt. While stress is normal and happens to everyone, too much stress isn’t good both physically or mentally. Having too much stress can cause both mental and physical health issues including a weakened immune system, depression, anxiety, and even possible heart disease. This is why managing stress is important for a healthy lifestyle. Here we will list our picks for the 10 techniques that reduce stress and increase happiness.
Drink Less Caffeine
There seems to be a Starbucks on every corner now, and many couldn’t imagine getting through the morning without their cup of coffee. While caffeine in moderation isn’t a bad thing, it’s a stimulant that causes a drinker to become anxious. Reducing your caffeine intake, be it coffee, tea, energy drinks or even caffeine pills, is a great way to reduce your stress; stimulants always have a crash after all, and you want to avoid this. Without the crash you’re less likely to be grumpy and more likely to be happy. If you need caffeine, find time in your schedule to switch to herbal tea which while containing caffeine also provides aromatherapy; another form of stress relief and mood changer.
While being told to “meditate on it” doesn’t seem like much, meditation can provide both stress relief and promote happiness. There are a variety of ways to meditate, and they don’t all require sitting in a clear room surrounded by candles and saying hymns from India. The main purpose of meditation is to provide a focus on the here and now. Don’t worry about what has happened or what could happen. Focus on what you can do now. Simple meditation easily promotes a better mood and less stress.
Spend Time With Your Pets
Having a pet in your life, be it a dog, cat, bird, or even more exotic animals, can be a very good thing. It’s easy to bond with an animal and for them to bond with you. Proven ways to reduce stress and increase your happiness with your pets range from taking them on walks to playing with them or even just brushing them. Spending time with animals can easily make all your worries drain away. This said, if you are feeling stressed going out and buying or adopting a pet is a great way to lead to more stress. If you want to spend time with an animal but understand you wouldn’t be able to be with it all day, try finding work in pet rescues. Not only will you be spending time with loving animals and finding them homes, but you can feel better that you had an impact on the lives of animals and their owners.
Exercise is a great way to make relieve stress. While you might have to fight yourself to find some time to exercise, any bit of exercise can help relax your nerves and produce endorphins. You reduce your stress and become happy at the same time while getting into shape! There are many ways to exercise so if you can’t find a gym, look into exercises you can practice at home. Optimal times for home exercises would be in the morning and in the afternoon after returning home, providing that boost of endorphins to make it through the day with a smile on your face.
Sometimes mother nature is the best medicine. Walking is a form of exercise, the benefits of which previously discussed, but walking in nature without listening to music and taking in the sights, sounds, and smells is a great way to unwind and enjoy the majesty of nature and provide some inner-reflection. Look for nature routes or parks near you and set up the time to go and just walk. You don’t have to go hiking nor do you have to be gone all day. Set aside enough time you feel is needed to let your mind relax.
Learn To Not Procrastinate
Procrastination is, without a doubt, one of the biggest causes of stress. While some people work best with an approaching deadline, no one likes to wait until the last minute to do all their work. Yet putting it off and worrying about it later is a mindset millions find themselves with. By learning to not procrastinate you can remove the worry about projects and assignments not being turned in on time. You can also feel happy knowing you’re getting your work done early and not later. Not being a procrastinator doesn’t mean doing everything at once and as fast as possible but instead spreading the work out evenly to ensure you have enough time to get your work done with plenty of time to spare.
Take Up a Hobby
Another great way to relieve stress and find something to be happy about is taking up a hobby. There are plenty of hobbies to choose from, but ideally, for stress management, the recommendation would be something more “hands-on”; such as painting, models, model trains, and learning an instrument. If none of these sound all that appealing, don’t worry. There are plenty of other hobbies out there but ideally, the hobby you should look for is one that allows your mind to unwind while providing you both a creative outlet and something to take pride in.
Cooking and Diet
Learning to cook isn’t just a great way to help with stress but to also stay healthy too! Cooking can be treated like a hobby and while providing a positive life skill it also stops you from buying prepared food that could be loaded with fats or high in calories. This saves you on money, another cause of stress, and provides your body with a new, balanced diet promoting better health. Better health promotes a healthier and happier life. More importantly, learning new recipes, trying them, and sharing what you cook makes a very positive impact on your life and the lives of your friends and family.
Listening to Music
Music has always been known as a stress relief. Listening to your favorite brand goes a long way to helping with unwinding after the end of a long day. Everyone has their own favorite genre of music so don’t feel bad if you prefer heavy metal over classical. As long as you can sing along, shake your body, or even let your mind wonder you’re doing good in relieving stress. Throw in some songs with positive emotional impact or that you feel has words that are encouraging for some added happiness. Be happy to remember that bands love to hear how their music helps people through tough times.
Write Things Down
Finally, there’s writing. If something is really stressing you out and causing you to be unhappy, write it down and don’t let it reside in you. You don’t have to share what you wrote, but it’s beneficial to know what causes you stress and unhappiness. Seeing the problems in a list is also great to then decide a plan of action to either fix these problems or at least stop them from bothering you. Alternatively, you could work on creative writing which provides the benefits of a hobby as previously mentioned.
While these 10 techniques that reduce stress and increase happiness aren’t the only techniques in the world, they are the simplest and least time-consuming. Finding what makes you stressed, what makes you unhappy, and how to change these things are all steps to take to change your life for the better. Stress is ever-present but it doesn’t have to be all-consuming either. Learning to deal with stress in a healthy manner and not repress it goes a long way for providing you with a brighter future.