Shrewd Living

Last Updated: 04/29/2014 14:28 PST

Sex & Scheduling: 8 Simple Tips To Reduce Stress In Your Daily Life

According to a 2013 survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, more than 75 percent of Americans suffer from physical symptoms of stress and nearly a quarter feel as though they are living with “extreme stress”. These statistics should leave no doubt that we are a stressed out society.

Whether it is work, money, relationships or dealing with an illness, there are many life factors that contribute to our stress. For most of us, those stressors are unlikely to subside anytime in the near future, so the question then becomes what can we do to reduce stress?

There are many different things that can be done, however this can sometimes simply add to the growing list of things we need to do, thereby increasing our overall stress levels! The first step is understanding exactly what stress is, rather than what we assume it to be.

Stress is just a physical or mental reaction to disturbing stimulus (bills to pay, projects due at work, relationship problems etc…). When stress levels go beyond the exciting ‘acute’ phase, our flight or fight response kicks in and releases adrenaline and cortisol, which over time can cause significant health problems. This is known as chronic stress.

You can’t control most of the factors that cause stress, but you can control how you respond to them to keep yourself mentally and physically fit.

Plan your day so that you never feel overwhelmed by the unknown. There is always a lot to do every day of every week, but knowing what is expected of you and prioritizing what is important can significantly help reduce your stress.

So whip out your smartphone or planner and write it all down. Even if you need to go to the pharmacy to pick up breath mints or take a break, put it on your to-do list so can learn how to reduce the stress associated with forgetting important tasks. Being able to see what you have to do can go a long way to making you feel more relaxed. And the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel at crossing items off your list will make you feel better and less stressed.

Having sex is a great way to reduce stress in your daily life. It’s no secret that many of us are so stressed out that even little things can send us into a mental or physical tailspin. Finding a quick and pleasurable release such as sex, can reduce the body’s mental and physical response to stressors.

Instead of seeking solace in a soda or candy, learn how to reduce stress between the sheets! You’ll feel much better and it’s a far healthier way to deal with stress.

Get a massage to relieve many of the physical reactions to stress such as muscle pain and tension. There are many different methods of massage that can be used to treat stress, as well as different essential oils such as lavender that have been known to reduce stress.

Pound it out in the gym to get rid of frustrations and release feel-good endorphins. If you want to learn how to reduce stress, start at the gym. Working out—whether you’re on the treadmill doing intervals, lifting weights or grinding it out on the racquetball court—can make you feel good through physical exertion and reducing stress.

Additionally, exercise can help clear your mind and help you focus on a task causing stress.

Light a candle and let aromatherapy wash away your stress. Although many people frown upon so-called alternative medicine the truth is that certain scents have proven effective for reducing stress, exhaustion and anxiety, enhancing relaxation and even irritability. Aromatherapy through candles, oils or incense can help reduce stress at home or at work.

Scents that can help to reduce stress include; lavender, rosemary, lemon, sandalwood, peppermint, jasmine, chamomile and ylang ylang.

Take time out for a power nap of no more than 20 minutes. A quick nap can recharge your batteries and enhance focus so you feel less stressed about a task or problem that’s stressing you out. Research has shown that naps of varying lengths work well to reduce stress, solve problems and sharpen focus. Always nap at a regular time and set the alarm to maximize the effects of an afternoon nap.

Listening to music has shown to be a highly effective way to reduce stress by reducing anxiety, pain, heart rate and blood pressure. Most science recommends classical music as the best way to reduce stress through music therapy, however any genre of music that you prefer is likely to help.

In fact, singing along has been shown as a great way to reduce tension associated with stress. Whether in your car, the shower, or in your office, music is a simple way to help reduce your stress to a manageable level.

Drink tea to reduce cortisol levels. America is a coffee-guzzling society but this is one instance in which we could learn from our tea-sipping forefathers. Coffee is a stimulant which means it does not calm us down, while green, black and chamomile teas have proven effective in decreasing our levels of cortisol, thereby reducing stress.

Rather than grabbing a cup of coffee to go, sit down and take 10 minutes to enjoy a mug of hot tea. The contents of the tea, taking the time to relax, and the comfort of a warm beverage are all factors that will contribute to your sense of calm and well-being.

The best way to learn how to reduce stress levels is to find simple things you can do regularly to regulate stress levels. Sure, activities such as therapy will work to alleviate stress, but it’s just another task to worry about whereas these simple tips can easily be accomplished at the onset of stress and anxiety.


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