If you’re already stressed, the last thing you need is something else to add to the never-ending list of things to-do because that will probably just add to your stress. That’s why we thought we’d look at how to reduce stress from the opposite side instead. So, here’s 7 things to STOP doing that will alleviate your stress.
1. STOP fixating on what you don’t have and change your focus to reduce stress
Stress is a precursor to weight gain. When you’re stressed you produce more of the hormone cortisol. If this happens for prolonged periods, your body takes it as a signal to ‘store fat’. Then, the more you worry and stress about losing weight, the harder it will be. Unfortunately, stress feeds this negative cycle. So, changing your focus to being grateful for what you ALREADY HAVE (and know you’re capable of) instead of what you DON’T HAVE will help to overcome this cycle.
Try today – Avoid comparing your life to others, especially when it comes to what appears on social media! When you feel yourself doing this, think of a compliment you can give yourself instead.
2. STOP saying ‘Yes’ to everything and learn to say ‘No’ to reduce stress
It seems so simple, but for the people pleasers of this world, saying ‘no’ is a big cause of personal stress. When entrepreneur and motivator Tim Ferris interviewed hugely successful people for his book Tribe of Mentors he commonly found one of the most important skills in regaining control in life, being more balanced and focused was the ability to say ’No’. Learn from the best – don’t overload yourself as this can be detrimental to your health and wellbeing, causing you undue stress. For example, before volunteering for that extra task at work where you must forgo your scheduled workout think about how beneficial that is for your life and how that might add to your stress.
Try today – Start small with saying ‘no’. Learn The Art and Power of the Polite Decline in resisting your grandma’s treats! Take the principles of this and start applying them to other parts of your life.
3. STOP making excuses and schedule exercise to reduce stress
Exercise is the most common answer to reduce stress. You’ve heard it before, but it is true. Regular exercise is not only physically great for unloading your stress but it has many positive side effects for a healthy mind – the endorphin rush, the balancing of hormones and your improved mindset. But, the key word is REGULAR exercise.
Try today – Set up your exercise schedule for the next two weeks (tip – download Active8me’s app for FREE). Commit to it like you would a Doctor’s appointment. Better still, set your alarm NOW for an early morning workout!
4. STOP doing what you’re currently doing and try something new to reduce stress
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably stressed. Am I right? Which means that what you’re currently doing is NOT working to reduce stress. So, open yourself up to a new path and new experiences, instead of following the same patterns. After all, if nothing changes nothing changes.
Try today – Discover the ‘magic stress reduction’ activity that works for YOU. Is it a completely fresh style of workout, a hike in nature, a surf, boxing, an Active8me Cardio dance workout?
5. STOP spending your life inside and get a dose of mother nature to reduce stress
We all have an inherent understanding that being in nature is ‘good for your health’. So, it is no surprise that studies have confirmed that the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere) for 20 minutes can have a positive physiological effect on the body. By spending time in nature you can reduce blood pressure and the hormone cortisol, which is linked with stress. In fact, there is even evidence to suggest that viewing ‘green scenery’ will also improve your mental wellbeing!
Try today – Buy a plant for your desk; take your lunch break in the park; do your Active8me workout somewhere you are surrounded by nature! Whatever it is, get a good dose of mother nature to reduce your stress.
6. STOP rushing life and breathe deeply to reduce stress
Yoga has practiced this for millennia, hasn’t it? Deep breathing activates your ‘relaxation response’. This is thought to be your body’s natural counter to the heightened ‘flight or fight’ response (which is often catalysed due to prolonged daily stress). The relaxation response is a mechanism to return your body to a state of equilibrium. If achieved your muscles relax, your heart rate slows, your blood pressure normalises and the blood flow to your brain increases. Hence, your stress is reduced.
Try today – Think, when is the last time you breathed DEEPLY? Take a 60 second ‘breather’. Close your eyes, take 20 deep breaths. Focus solely on the practice of oxygenating your lungs and expelling toxins, just as your body was designed to do.
7. STOP the unnecessary noise and listen to music to reduce stress
Just as listening to music can help your exercise performance, it can also be a powerful tool for you to reduce stress. Apart from the distraction from stressful thoughts that music offers, studies show it can play a role in how well you are able to recovery from stressful situations.
Try today – Create a play list of songs that you know make you smile, tap your foot and lighten your mood!
There you have it, the 7 things to STOP doing for you to reduce your stress!
Stress is unavoidable in our modern lifestyles, but you can certainly learn to manage it with healthy habits that serve you well! At Active8me we’re all about healthy, active living. And with that, reducing stress, being mindful and having an empowered mindset.
We firmly believe that strength of mind is essential for strength of body. That is why we take a holistic view and incorporate mindset lessons into all of our programs, whether it be to lose weight, become lean fit & toned, prevent diabetes or run faster. Check out the app and see for yourself.