Thriving with Love.Life

5 Ways to Combat Stress

< 1 min read

Stress is unavoidable in our modern world. However, it’s damaging to your health, and ongoing, unchecked stress can raise health risks. Let’s discuss five practical ways to combat stress in your everyday life.  

1. Be mindful. 

Bring mindfulness into your life, even for just one minute per day. Start by simply breathing in and out with awareness. Or focus on more concentrated breathing, such as box breathing; breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, breathe out for four counts, hold for four counts, and repeat. 

2. Chill out, literally.  

Studies show that regular exposure to water that is 50°F or colder (within reason above freezing) can increase your resilience to stressful events. Start with a 20-30 second cold shower or a cold plunge. Breathe rhythmically throughout cold exposure and work up to 11 minutes total over the course of a week. 

3. Practice gratitude. 

Being grateful is something everyone can benefit from. Three to four times per week write down, text, or say aloud three good things that happened that day and at least one thing you’re grateful for. 

4. Get out of your head.  

Research shows that journaling, making lists, or writing out what’s bothering you can help you objectively look at what you’re struggling with. This practice helps use your pre-frontal cortex (the “CEO” of your brain) confront your thoughts more clearly and let go of circumstances beyond your control. 

5. Have fun! 

Leisure activities and connecting with others can help relieve stress. Try a new hobby or rekindle an old one. Attend a club or social event with friends or make new friends. Make time to laugh and relax with friends and loved ones each week.   

For additional ideas about how to connect socially more often, refer to this article.

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