Healthy Living: 5 easy ways to reduce stress

By Monica C. Voskamp

Hi there. 🙂

It’s been some stressful few weeks for me with the end of school term and also just life! I wanted to share quick & easy ways I’ve found a breath of relief in the midst of stress. If they can be a help to even one person,  that makes me smile.

Here’s 5 easy ways to reduce stress and hopefully make for a better day!

1. Meditation apps–this has been a huge help before exams and dealing with anxiety. The app I’m using is called “Simple Habit.”  (It has both free & paid sessions… I’m doing all the free ones 😀 )  The first one I did was called “Simple Habit Starter” a 5 day series of 5 minutes a day.  I love that it’s doable (only 5 minutes!), very soothing (I find Cory Muscara’s voice calming 🙂 )and this series gives a great basics of meditation. For me, I’ve been listening before I go to bed–to put me in a more relaxed mood, so extra bonus, I get a better sleep (Sleep is great for combating stress!)   It literally feels like I had a mini therapy session each day.  I noticed an overall more positive outlook on life and immediate sense of relaxation. Cory has this unique vibe of making one feel supported.  Highly recommend!

See link below if interested. 🙂

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.simplehabit.simplehabitapp&hl=en_CA

2. Short Walk in nature or outdoors— Again another thing that has helped with both stress and anxiety, but also motivation is a short walk. A few weeks ago, I started taking a short brisk morning walk (mostly since it gets darker fast now here in Canada so I wanted to make sure I got a least a little walk.) Not a morning person, I was surprised to find some benefits.  I found myself more energized for the day, a definite mood booster! In days I’ve woke with anxiety, I found a walk very grounding.  Again this is very doable–I only go for 10 minutes.  This is an incredible simple self-kindness! ❤

3. Cup of tea–It may be the “British wanna be” in me ha, but I’m all for a cup of tea and drink my fair share in the day (both black & herbal.. I even make myself a chai latte every once in awhile-yummy.) I find there is something soothing about heat, inhaling the steamy aromatic smells and the deep breathing that naturally happens with drinking tea (unless you are a chugger…then…well at least you’re getting hydrated. :P)

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4. Deep breathing–  Again, I find the guided meditation helpful, but during the day, I find myself consciously aware when my emotions intensify.  I catch myself and literally inhale a deep breathe and exhale. The benefit of this, your breath is always with you! You can do this anywhere, anytime and you’ll be amazed how taking a 1-3 deep breaths can refocus and calm you.  If you’re about to start a meeting, prepare for an exam, tackle a mountain task, give yourself the gift of 3 deep breaths and big exhales.  (I often think to myself this mantra: ‘Inhale peace, Exhale stress’.) It’s an easy mental reminder to invite peace into my life.

5. Smile–Honestly, just crack those pretty lips into a smile. 🙂 Even if you’re making yourself smile for no reason, I have a feeling the psychological connection to good times can be a boost in times of stress. Sometimes I’ll pull up either a favorite memory video or pictures of happy memories. This is often enough to make me smile & laugh. As my good friend tells me, ‘Be your own best friend!’ So be kind to yourself today.   The benefit of your smile can also make someone’s load just a little bit lighter too.  Smiling is a beautiful expression of humanity, one that you have the ability to do & give!

That’s it. I’m sure you already have your own ways to capture a sense of peace in this world of chaos.  (Feel free to comment below your own healthy stress release; it just may be helpful someone else!)

And, if you are feeling overwhelmed today…I’m reminding you: gift yourself with kindness. ❤ Inhale a deep breathe of peace and exhale all that worry and stress. You are worth every good investment!

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A smile from sunshiney days 🙂

Hoping your day feels a bit lighter!

-Monica

*Cover Photo Credit: Photo by Michelle on Unsplash

Always hope. Always believe. Always love. ❤

 

 

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