10 ways to fight stress

Feeling stressed? Not to worry! We have some easy stress-relievers for you:

1. Get more sleep

Getting a good night’s rest is perhaps the best way to fight back against stress of all kinds. Sleep helps by naturally lowering stress hormones and blood pressure. Not to mention, sleep just makes you less tired. Doesn’t being tired make everything more difficult?

2. Exercise

While exercise may seem like the last thing you want to do when you’re stressed, think again! Exercise releases endorphins. Sweet, sweet endorphins! These all-natural happiness-inducing neuropeptides give your body that good, relaxed feeling. So get out and get moving. Focus on aerobic exercises that raise your heart rate and get you sweating. A nice jog, for example.

3. Cut back on caffeine

While coffee, tea, and energy drinks may seem like prerequisites for life, take note: not only will caffeine disrupt your sleep cycle, but it can raise your heart rate and release stress hormones. Consider switching to decaffeinated drinks instead. If you’re having trouble staying awake, take a nap!

4. Choose to relax

Choosing to relax—i.e. taking active steps to relax your body—is key to actually feeling In other words, stress won’t go away by itself. Consider regularly practicing yoga or meditation, for example. The key is to dedicate time every day to activities that wind you down instead of wind you up.

5. Don’t stay angry

We all get mad at our friends and family. But research suggests that holding a grudge causes you more stress than if you forgive and move on. That’s at least one very good reason to be quick to forgive. It’s for your own benefit!

6. Spend time with friends

Humans are, by their nature, a social species; research goes so far as to suggest that too much solitude can have negative mental and physical health implications. This doesn’t mean, however, that you need to spend every night out on the town. Dinner with friends, movie nights, long conversations over a cup of (decaf) coffee—these are easy ways to engage, be social, and help your body relax.

7. Limit alcohol consumption

Alcohol tends to mask stress, but the relief is only temporary. It doesn’t address the source of your stress or do anything to resolve it. More still, excessive drinking can negatively affect your physical and mental health. Not to mention, drinking near bedtime has been shown to affect sleep patterns. Remember how important sleep is!

8. Don’t be a perfectionist

More often than not, insofar as stress is concerned, we’re our own worst enemies. We tell ourselves that everything we do must be perfect. This is, of course, a recipe for stress. Be more forgiving of yourself. Easier said than done, but worth the effort.

9. Treat yourself

Every once in a while you should reward yourself even if there’s no tangible reason. Cook yourself a nice dinner, take a hot bath, get a pedicure. Anything to treat yourself well.

10. Eat well

Eating well is one of the best ways to feel good and stay healthy. Better still, a balanced diet will keep you energized and will keep your brain in shape. More fruits and vegetables! More whole grains! More lean proteins, like poultry and fish! Check out these healthy snacks.