How to Reduce Stress with a Daily Ritual

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, How to Reduce Stress with a Daily Ritual, Dr. Nicolle

Are you dealing with a lot of emotional stress? Is it affecting you physically or mentally? If so, it is time to stop dealing with your stress, and start taking action to reduce it once and for all.

 

Even though stress is common, that doesn’t mean it is normal. There is a reason doctors ask if you are stressed when you go in for other ailments – because of closely linked stress is to your physical and emotional health.

 

The first thing you can do to help reduce your stress is to start daily rituals, which include various habits that are good for your mind and body.

 

Focus on Getting Good Sleep

Sleep is an integral part of being a healthy, energized, and well-adjusted person. It can also deeply affect the amount of stress you have. If you already have a good deal of stress, not sleeping is only going to make it worse. It is possible that you are struggling falling asleep or getting quality sleep because of your stress, which then causes sleep deprivation, more stress, and the cycle continues.

 

Stop the cycle now by first focusing on getting good sleep, whether that means shutting off your phone at night, starting a new nighttime routine, or trying natural sleep aids. That should hopefully help a little with reducing the daily stress you are dealing with.

 

Eat Nutritious Foods

You probably already know that having a healthy diet is important for weight management, reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke, and even keeping away diabetes. It can also be tremendously helpful if you deal with daily stress.

 

You can’t always do much about the stress that hits you eat day from unexpected sources, but you can reduce it and help manage it by eating a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, healthy fats, and whole grains and fiber. A well-balanced diet provides the nutrients your body and mind need to handle stress as it comes.

, How to Reduce Stress with a Daily Ritual, Dr. Nicolle

Go Outside Whenever You Can

Being outside is wonderful for your mind, body, and spirit. For your body, you will get both fresh air and vitamin D, both of which are really important to help reduce your stress levels. Being outside can bring you motivation and inspiration, help you relax and unwind, and give you an opportunity to be in nature and understand that the things you are stressed about are really not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.

 

Eat outside during your lunch break, take your dogs on an extra walk, play in the backyard with your kids. There are so many ways to spend more time outdoors, and your stress will be naturally reduced each day as a result.

 

Trade in Your Coffee for Tea

Caffeine is unfortunately going to make your stress worse as it can increase the stress hormone cortisol. If you drink a lot of caffeine from coffee or soft drinks, now is a great way to reduce it. You don’t have to give it up completely, but try switching to tea for at least one of your cups of coffee each day, then gradually increase how much low caffeine or no-caffeine beverages you have that are replaced with the caffeinated beverages.

 

Reduce Technology and Social Media

Have you ever noticed that your stress is worse on days when you spend a lot of time on Instagram or Facebook? This is because social media rarely has good news. Most of the time, it causes stress whether from the latest tragedy in your city or state, political or religion debates, or just drama with people you know in your life or that you work with.

 

Social media can be really toxic, and doesn’t help someone who is already dealing with a good deal of stress. Now is the perfect time to start cutting back on using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media sites you frequent.

 

Have a Nighttime Self-Care Routine

Self-care is amazing for you and can really help you to relax each day. If you have a lot of stress at work or home, give yourself a few minutes every evening that are just for you. Listen to calming music, meditate, practice mindfulness, write in your journal, draw or paint, take a bath, or just do anything that relaxes you and helps you feel at peace.

I would love to give you a free resource sheet to support your quest for a healthy mindset. Click the button below to receive your gift.

 

, How to Reduce Stress with a Daily Ritual, Dr. Nicolle

 

I really wanted to talk about this topic today because I wanted to share some lifestyle-based strategies to improve your overall mindset and mental health, which in turn improves your life. You must do the internal work to improve your overall health. You can do this by learning what motivates you and working each day on improving your mindset. Your thoughts control your feelings, which controls your behavior. You can cultivate certain behaviors and practices that will not only enrich your life, but that you can pass on to your family, friends, and community, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.

 

If you are familiar with my approach, I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle modifications, such as stress reduction and mindfulness exercises, can help you feel better about yourself and your life. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.

 

Tools For Motivation And Mindset

Meditating

Although you don’t need a cushion to meditate, you may want to consider using one at some point.  You could meditate in a chair, or simply sit on the floor if you want. You can also use pillows or cushions from your furnishings to try out. Cushion, chair, bench, floor – it’s all good. Eventually, though, if you’re not sitting upright on a chair, you’ll probably do well to buy a dedicated meditation cushion. The cushion will support your sitting posture and help you create an appealing mindfulness corner that will encourage you to practice every day. I recommend this meditation cushion and mat bundle.

 

Journaling

If you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal can be a great idea. Even if you don’t have these conditions, journaling can enhance your life in many ways. Having difficulty processing your thoughts and emotions? Journaling can help clear that mental clutter and move towards a positive mindset. Research suggests that keeping a journal can have positive impacts on both mental and physical health. So, to start you on your journey, I recommend this self care journal.

 

Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, meditation and mindfulness, as well as healthy and supportive relationships are the best ways to support mental health. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

 

Stay healthy,

 

Dr. Nicolle

 

PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.

 

PPS. If you or someone you know is experiencing severe stress, anxiety, depression and/or other mental health issues, please contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889. This is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.

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