Monday, December 2, 2013

50 Small Daily Actions that Help Reduce Chronic Stress

When we are stressed out, we feel it in our bodies. We might feel tense, tired, irritable, stiff, have a headache or stomach pain, get a head cold or even have an ear infection. Stress is the most invasive thing that causes us dis-ease. It is also something we have a lot of control over. Whether we recognize it or not, unhealthy stress is created in our mind from a variety of different reason but which usually stem from our thinking patterns.

Regardless of what causes our stress, chronic stress is a buildup of small little things over a long time. If we have symptoms of chronic stress, we might feel stress for no good reason whatsoever but just wake up feeling anxious or angry. A great way to reduce our over all stress levels is by dismantling chronic stress the same way it was created in the first place: one small action at a time.

I've created a list of fifty small actions that can help reduce our chronic stress levels. Each one will make a small difference, and if you start incorporating several of these in your daily routine, you may notice reduced stress levels in your daily life.

50 Small Daily Actions that Help Reduce Chronic Stress
  1.  Enjoy a nice hot cup of herbal tea
  2. Write down 5 to 10 things that you're grateful for and feel gratitude
  3. Substitute one regular cup of coffee for a cup of decaf to reduce caffeine intake. Caffeine can make us tense
  4. Go for a brisk walk outside
  5. Take 10 deep breaths
  6. Write down three small tasks you want to finish and complete them
  7. Read a few inspirational sentences in the morning
  8. Wake up without an alarm
  9. When you awake, stretch your arms overhead and smile
  10. Make a relaxation appointment with yourself every week. Set time in your calendar to do something that will relax you. Meditate, get a massage, laugh at a comic's jokes, find nature on a walk, read a book near a warm fireplace, or something else that appeals to you. 
  11. Find 5 minutes of silence and inactivity
  12. Take a breath before reacting to something unpleasant
  13. Use your lunch break for relaxation, not work
  14. Exercise for at least 20 minutes
  15. Talk to a friend, family member or someone you trust about something that is bothering you
  16. Express yourself in a creative medium. Try writing poetry, sculpture, painting, music, drumming, dancing, yoga, boxing, drawing or singing. Find and do that thing where time stops and is pure fun.
  17. Be honest. Falsehood creates stress
  18. During work, take a few minutes every hour to walk or stretch. Set a timer so you'll remember.
  19. Call up a friend to catch up or to say, "thanks."
  20. When going to sleep, intentionally relax the muscles in your body one body part at a time
  21. When tense, massage the palms of your hands or your jaw muscles
  22. Eat an apple
  23. Eat two apples
  24. Might as well make it three apples
  25. Get yourself laughing
  26. Smile with your eye muscles
  27. Listen to some calming music. Try your local classical radio station.
  28. Spend a few minutes cleaning up your home or office
  29. Let someone go ahead of you
  30. Set a timer and for five minutes, tell yourself nice things about yourself
  31. Reflect on your accomplishments
  32. Meditate on a bright future
  33. Imagine yourself succeeding
  34. Identify what is causing you stress and break it down. What part of it actually bothers you? Can you do anything to change that? When does it happen?
  35. If possible, remove yourself from situations that cause you stress.
  36. Reduce your time with people who dwell on the negative and complain
  37. Recognize when you feel stress and take a deep breath
  38. Exercise vigorously and then get a full night's rest.
  39. Cut out one commitment that doesn't improve your life or make you feel more relaxed
  40. Eat very slowly. Smell your food and taste it throughout the meal. Savor the sensory experience. You can also try this with a beverage or herbal tea.
  41. Recognize stressed-induced behavior like emotional eating or biting your nails. Think of an action you could do to substitute this habit and begin doing it instead of the negative habit. In the long run, the new habit will be a healthier expression of stress
  42. Join any stress relief activity that is offered to you at your workplace
  43. Drink more water and ingest less sugar
  44. After a certain hour every night, turn off or silence your celphone.
  45. Only check your email at certain times each day.
  46. Look at cute animal photos and videos
  47. Slow down and do one task at a time until completion
  48. Do each current task with all your attention
  49. Refrain from judging others or yourself
  50. Receive compliments with grace and gratitude
Stress builds up day after day and when we make an effort to change the way we behave and think, we can make a huge impact on our well-being and reduce our overall stress levels. Every time we take an action toward a healthier, happier future, we're making a positive impact on our lives. This list only included fifty small things that help reduce stress levels. What are some things that help you? What reduces your stress?

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