One of the greatest consequences of a tech-driven modern lifestyle is stress. How often have you found yourself hassled about an annual business presentation that you are in charge of? Or the times when your phone conks off and you panic about missing “important” (read the boss’) calls? Or even when you have a tiff with your partner about not being able to give him/her enough time? These factors act as triggers to stress which in turn impacts your overall physical and mental well-being. Chronic stress is one of the leading causes of major health concerns like weakened immunity, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and much more. If you find yourself falling prey to the brunt of a stressful lifestyle, it’s high time you bring about some changes. Here are five hacks that can help you overcome the fallout of a stressful lifestyle:
1. Take Holidays And Breaks
A world where deadlines and work pressure is everyday business, sometimes what we need is to slow down and relax. Even machines require regular nourishment to beat wear and tear; we are humans, after all! It is important that you take breaks and vacations whenever possible to unwind and break free from the stress of your routine lifestyle. Even a day or two of pure relaxation can do wonders to calm your mind and help you bounce back with greater vigor. According to research conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, even brief diversions and breaks can drastically improve an individual’s ability and focus while performing a task.
2. Exercise Outdoors
You might be a gym junkie or a fitness enthusiast, but if stress continues to haunt you, you probably need to head outdoors! Though exercising helps a great deal in beating stress and releasing endorphins (the happy hormones), research has it that exercising in nature is more beneficial. According to an article published in the University of Michigan Health System, group nature walks help lower depression and stress while improving mental health and well-being. So go out there, enroll in an outdoor yoga class or form a nature walking group with your pals!
3. Pursue Your Hobbies Or Find One
Back in your college days you were a national level swimmer. Your circle knew you for your artistic flair. You loved traveling and took a trip every month. Today, your life is all about your work and very rarely do you get time to pursue your interests. Quite unsurprisingly stress plays havoc in your life! What should you do then? Resume your old hobbies, of course! It’s amazing how rejuvenating and de-stressing a hobby can be! It can help take your mind off the stress of your daily life and even lift up your spirits. Even if you don’t particularly have a hobby, you can explore different areas that intrigue you such as art, travel, sports, etc.
4. Eat Healthy
Often stress tends to have a negative impact on people’s dietary habits. The concept of “stress eating” has of late gained quite a lot of momentum where people turn to high sugar and fat “comfort foods” to feel better. The high cortisol and insulin levels induced by stress are responsible for the increase in cravings for these foods and are hence a contributing factor to obesity. To keep up with work pressure, some people also gulp down their meals quickly to avoid wasting too much time on unproductive tasks. Doing this can also have detrimental effects on digestion. Never rush with your meals and savor each bite. Snack on nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, which contain omega-3 fats that fight stress-induced inflammation. Make sure to include crunchy and leafy green vegetables in your diet. In addition to being a powerhouse of nutrients, chewing these vegetables can also relieve tension. Keep yourself hydrated to ensure the optimum electrolyte balance in the body and to prevent fatigue.
Maintaining a daily planner can do wonders to reduce your stress levels. Understand that you don’t possess superhero powers, and cannot do everything at the very same instant. Plan your days well and allocate different time slots for various activities. Identify those tasks that require immediate attention and tackle them first before moving on to the less important tasks. The more structured and uncluttered your life is, the less stressed you will be! You need to make a conscious effort to bring about a positive change in your lifestyle. It is very easy to get caught up in the worldly pressures that loom large in your lives, but it’s how well we balance our life that makes the real difference. Here’s wishing you a stress-free and happy life ahead!