This past year and a half has been incredibly stressful for the entire world! I'm sure you've felt the added stress, the loss of sleep and the increased anxiety. We’ve all had to radically change our everyday routine and upend our daily lives!
In this post I will share with you 3 easy things that I have found to lower your stress levels and increase your own peace of mind. These steps are easy to add to your daily routine to improve your general sense of well being. They include mindful meditation, moving your body more and helping others who are in need.
1. Mindful Meditation
"Mindfulness is the practice of cultivating awareness of the present moment -- thoughts, emotions and body sensations -- without judging them or reacting to them," said Eric Garland, a distinguished professor and associate dean for research at the University of Utah College of Social Work.
"Paying attention to the sensation of your breath is among the most fundamental of mindfulness practices, said Amishi Jha, professor of psychology at the University of Miami."
Benefits of mindfulness include:
- Reducing Anxiety
- Preventing and treating depression
- Increase body satisfaction
- Improved brain function
- Reducing everyday distractions
The best part is you can see these by starting with as little as 5 to 10 minutes of mindful meditation per day. You know you can do that. You just need to commit yourself.
If you need help getting started, there are some great books on mindful meditation including:
You can find it on Amazon for under $10.00.
2. Move Your Body More
The reason I said move your body more, as opposed to start an exercise routine is because it sounds less intimidating. You don’t need to join a gym or buy the latest videos or equipment. You just need to…move more. It’s that simple. It can be a walk around the block, 10 squats (deep knee bends) or bending and stretching.
Benefits of exercise are cumulative and include:
- Stress reduction
- Better sleep at night
- Improved physical health
- Improved mental health
Make sure you start slow and it is always recommended to discuss this with your Doctor if you have any underlying health issues.
3. Find Ways To Help Others
One of the best ways to forget about your own stress is to focus your attention on helping others. This short circuits that endless loop of worrying by diverting your attention elsewhere. Even though the direct result is improving someone else’s life, there are several benefits to your own well being.
Some of the benefits of helping others are:
- Improved self esteem
- Reduced loneliness
- Increased optimism
- Better perspective
It can be simple acts of kindness, writing a letter to some you haven’t seen in a while, volunteering with a local group like meals on wheels and other simple things that help others and make you feel better about yourself.
Doing these 3 things can easily change your outlook on life and lower your stress. When you start doing them you will be surprised at how much they help yourself and those around you.
Let me know if you are doing any of these or if you have any other suggestions! Leave a comment below and take good care of yourself!!