4 strategies to reduce stress

One thing I’ve learned that is critical to a healthy lifestyle is how to manage and reduce stress. Everyone experiences stress, it’s easy to think of it as normal. However, we must not allow it to put our health at risk. Today, we will discuss the effects of stress and some strategies to manage stress.

Stress happens to everyone, it’s seems to become a normal part of our lives. However, it is not normal to have chronic, long-term stress levels. High levels can lead to unhealthy consequences:

  • changes in sleep pattern (or restless sleep)
  • muscle tension
  • poor eating habits
  • trouble concentrating
  • increased blood pressure
  • inflammation
  • lowered immune function

There are many ways to reduce stress, here are my top 4 strategies to managing stress.

Daily Ritual

We are creatures of habit. Having a ritual gives us something to look forward to each day. It can provide a sense of purpose, orderliness, and calmness throughout the day. How do I achieve this? Start small. Don’t rush to plan the entire day, maybe start with one part of the day. Envision a time of day, that you would like to create a ritual (either morning, afternoon, or evening). Think about, what would make you feel at peace? What would bring you happiness? 

I decided to take a slow approach to my morning ritual. I make the bed, open the curtains, and have a glass of water with lemon or a cup of tea. I look forward to a slow start to my mornings.

Happiness shouldn’t be a goal, it should be a habit. – Richard Branson

Happiness doesn’t have to involve around extravagant experiences or places to travel. It can be found in simple ways, we sometimes overlook. The little things can bring us regular doses of happiness. This could be a cup coffee, listening to a sermon (inspirational messages), favorite radio station on the way to work, reading your favorite book, spending quality time with the family/friends, date night with your love (make sure to turn phones on silent).

Joy comes every morning. Do your best to take small steps to carve out space to make the ideal ritual possible. It’ll take time to create a flow, but there is always wiggle room to make time for the things you love. Put a smile on your face.

Small task such as watering plants creates a sense of calmness.

Deep Breathing

Long, slow, deep breathing are quick and most effective ways to calm down. We can easily view as unimportant. Throughout the day, I make time to sit down and take a few deep breaths. Clear my mind and influence the space with peace. Yoga has been great with helping me to achieve this practice. Deep breathing helps to calm the nervous system, slow the heart rate, reduce blood pressure, relax muscles, and prepares the body for rest. Make sure the phone is on silent or in another room while you are doing this. Helps to remove any distractions and enjoy the breathing exercise.

Deep breathing is a practice done anywhere and at anytime of the day. Give it a try! Sit comfortably, either close your eyes or keep them open, and breathe in, let your stomach expand. When you’ve reach your expansion, exhale slowly.

Now, count from 1-5 as you inhale

Then, count 5-1 as you exhale

Repeat 5 or more times. Each inhale and exhale, focus on the sound of your breathe. You’ll begin to realize your mind and body will relax. Your mind will slow down and your heart beat becomes steady. This helps to reduce shallow breathing.

An inviting aroma that helps calm the mind

Positive Mindset

Having a positive mindset is important and so helpful when dealing with stress. Takes time to achieve, but the reward is peace of mind. Speak life. Start by meditating on encouraging words to create a positive mindset. Reminding ourselves that we do not need to worry about everything. There are just some things out of our control. It’s ok to release it and retain our sense of peace. Some how things work out in the end. I find when I face a problem, stepping away for a while and coming back to it later helps. I can see it in a different way. Somehow the pieces come together.

Here are some of my favorites phrases:

Everything will work out in the end

Do what I can and let God handle the rest (my dad gave me this one)

Let go of the little things, it won’t matter in 5 minutes

Find more encouragement, here.

I can always rely on entertainment to make me laugh. I think with what’s going on now, we aren’t having more moments to laugh. Laughter is what we need. Fill your day with a good laugh. I like to watch comedy shows or read funny stories. Talking to my friends, family to share fun memes or stories. A good laugh washes away stress.

Do something you love

Ever notice that when you are immersed in something you really love, you tend to think of nothing else. Mindfulness at its best, and reduces stress. It’s about the moment before us and the task at hand. Nothing else really matter. For me, I love to write, read a mystery novel, put my headphones listen to music, watch a good movie, or volunteering.

Being submerged in something we’re passionate about makes us feel good. Something, worth looking forward to at the end of a work day. Plus, it motivates me to be productive during the day. Think of it as an incentive or well-deserved treat. Set aside time to do the things you love.

We all have different ways of reducing and managing stress. I hope these strategies were helpful. I’d love to hear from you. What are some ways you manage stress? Comment below!

Have a bless day!

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Hi, I’m Tiffany! My hope is to encourage and equip others to cultivate a life rooted Christ alone and create a simple lifestyle.

11 thoughts on “4 strategies to reduce stress

  1. Howdy Tiff, thanks for sharing. Important stuff to talk about. You would think that because of lock down stress would be reduced but i think there are lots of stressed people out there.

    I really like your first point. Ritual and structure is so good in general but when it comes to fighting stress, i reckon its your biggest help.

    Peace to you my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good morning. I’m learning it’s the opposite. This lockdown hasn’t been good for a lot of people.
      Especially for those witnessing lost on a daily basis in the hospitals. And those dealing with clinical conditions prior to the quarantine.
      Being left to our thoughts can be scary especially if we aren’t filling it with Gods words. Battlefield of the mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re right, this lockdown has been hard for many people, especially families who are just not used to spending so much time together. In our present day society, people in general don’t spend much time at home so it becomes hard for them. I spend a lot of time at home anyway so it doesn’t really affect me. Which doesn’t mean I don’t have stress at times, because we all do, as you mentioned. But we can use this time profitably too in many different ways. Learning new things, starting a new hobby, reading, for Christians spending more time with the Lord, writing. With the internet we have so many ways at our disposal for learning things.
    And you are right, having a ritual, orderly way of doing things, can really help a lot for dealing with stress. Anyway, I’m saying too much, this is a great post Tiffany!😃😺

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, love that “be still and dive deep into God”! One thing I have noticed here is that people spend so much time complaining about the lockdown, which just adds to a person’s stress. If only we would use this extra time to grow, in many ways. I know it’s not an easy time, but we have a choice to make it easier or harder for ourselves. And God will help us if we choose Him. Hope your day is going well Tiffany.😁😸

        Liked by 2 people

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