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The fast paced nature and sedentary lifestyle of the 21st century is a huge culprit in stress villa. A lot of people all around the world are undergoing high levels of stress at the workplace and at home and stress is a big contributor to health related issues like hypertension and high blood pressure.
I wasn’t sleeping too well recently. Not a new thing though. I have suffered varying cases of insomnia right from when i was a kid. However, it has been very different recently. I decided to make use of my S health App on Samsung S7 and voila, my stress level was high! Time to “destress”. I am huge on “destressing”. Work pressures, family obligations and commitments, daily activities all have a way of increasing cortisol levels which in turn increases stress levels and yes you guessed right increases the chances of putting on weight, having hypertension and other heart related diseases.
There are a number of things/activities to “destress” on a regular basis. Here is a guide to leaving “a stress” free life.
Table Of Contents
1. Go Easy on Caffeine and Alcohol
Who doesn’t love the rush of “power” that kicks in after that morning cup of coffee? That invigorating and energizing high is derived from the caffeine present in coffee. Caffeine is known for improving metabolism and commonly used for mental alertness but it is also responsible for insomnia and consequently stress when ingested in high levels. However, small to moderate levels of coffee can lift and boost your mood. Alcohol also has similar effects on the body. I know you love you some coffee. So yeah, have your coffee but go easy buddy.
2. Relax, Relax, Relax!
Sweets, relaxation is a must if you want to reduce stress levels and avoid associated health risks. How does this sound? Get home, turn up the player (Marvin Gaye does it for me), run a warm bath in the bathtub, soak up with superb scented oils, wash away all the grime and hate. Stay half an hour(hell, make it one hour who cares). Come out, wrap up and then chill. Sounds appealing right? It is a fanfreakingtastic way to “destress” Try it and thank me later. There are lots of relaxation techniques out there and my personal favourite is music and art. Other relaxation techniques that you can use include meditation, deep breathing, Tai Chi, Yoga, Aromatherapy, Hydrotherapy etc. Yoga is very popular and you can find a lot of resources on it on Pinterest and the internet generally. Massages are also great for “destressing”. Tell boo to give you a really nice one. You don’t have to go to the spa to get one!
3. Manage your time!
We all at one time or the other have put off carrying out a particular task/activity to the extent we start running heads and tails to get it done just at the very last minute. Procrastination leads to anxiety and stress (see my article on Procrastination here to learn ways on how to overcome it. Procrastination: What a pain!). Do things when they ought to be done so you don’t get hassled and then increase your stress. Time. To. Do. An. Assignment/Task/Activity. Do. It. Don’t. Pile. Up. Shit.
4. Have a Stress diary
Yes. Keep a stress diary. Monitor your stress level on a daily or weekly basis. That way, you know when to take things slow! Your inner ‘clock” also have a way of letting you know when you are beat and need to slow down. Listen to it. There are lots of free apps on Google Play Store to track and monitor stress levels (stress check test, icare health monitor etc are fairly good apps). You have a Samsung device? Good for you buddy. Get to it. Track it so you know when to go easy, easy!
5. Exercise More
Arrghhhhhhh! I know. I know. Trust me. I know! Getting your lazy butt outta bed in the morning is a fanfare and now i want you to exercise more when you can’t even get in 50 squats to get an ass like that of Kim K. Newsflash, buddy! Exercising is not just for superb abs and bountiful tush! Exercises play a big role in reducing stress. It is considered to be effective in reducing fatigue, improving concentration and as little as a 5 minute aerobic exercise is known to stimulate anti anxiety effects. Exercise more. Stress be gone!
6. Get More Sleep
Sleep, sleep and sleep more. The average adult requires nine hours of sleep for a healthy life. The reality however is that we are multi tasking, running in between jobs, binging on Netflix at night and then we end up putting in only 5 hours of sleep if we are lucky and we wake up cranky as shit and craving caffeine because our whole body is “still sleeping” but needs to “wake up”. You. Can’t. Cheat. Nature. Period! You will just be a super ticking time bomb. Waiting to explode, buddy! For those of us who find it hard to sleep, we have practiced the art of getting all the chamomile teas off the shop rack anytime we go grocery shopping. Go to bed early. Sleep and wake up good and alert.
7. Stop Bottling Up!
So you have some issues. So there are lots of shit going on right now in your life and you have decided to sit it out in your heart. Buddy, you gonna kill yaself! Go see Sarah or John and pour your heart out. Unload on them and tell them i said that’s what i told you to do! We like bottling up. We want to keep things to ourselves but it is a recipe for disaster. Bottling up things increases anxiety and our stress levels and you know that is an ill wind that blows no good. If you are having issues at the office with your boss, just walk gently to boss man and pour your heart out in a civil manner. At home, talk with your spouse, partner, friends and family. Let up, breathe in and out and reduce stress.
8. Date Night with the Girls
Yeah!!! Date night! Gossip night! Trolling Night! Ladies Night yeah!!! Count me in! I am so in for the ride! Wear those heels, put on that swanky form fitting, body hugging, eye popping number you bought on a whim and go out with the girls. Go gossip the boys, bat your eyes at some random guy (haha), dance and dance. The gist is date night with the girls is sure to be cathartic……freeing, relieving, purging, purifying, cleansing, cleaning….you get the picture right? So when you are stressed, go “shake up things” with the girls at a really cool joint.
9. Perfectionism be gone!
Wanting to be perfect all the time is great and cool but it is like wanting things to be good all the time and we all know that even the world isn’t perfect and we are just mere humans inhabiting the world! Don’t be a perfectionist. Set goals and targets and if something don’t add up, don’t berate yourself to the extent that you become all stressed up. So the job done isn’t perfect, so you made a mistake. Reality check. No one is perfect. Nor are you!
10. Decode what triggers anxiety
You have to “decode” and note those things that cause anxiety for you. You know, those things that upset you, get you overthinking shit, make you all antsy and all that? Note them and avoid them. Anxiety is reaction to stress. When anxiety and stress occurs frequently it may be a pointer to an anxiety disorder. Decode and note. Then beat stress!
Buddy. Breathe in. Breathe out. Let go. Let out. Do something cathartic on a daily basis and you are on your way to a stress free life.