Lower Your Stress Levels with These 7 Simple Tips

It’s no fun to go through life feeling stressed out. Stress is bad for both your mind and your body, and over time, it can contribute to health problems like depression and hypertension. No matter how busy you are, these tips will help you keep your mood up and your stress levels down.

1. Exercise.
Working out is one of the most effective stress-busters out there. Hit the gym for an hour, and it’s practically guaranteed that you’ll feel better afterwards. No time to go to the gym? Go for a ten-minute power walk on your lunch break, or do a few sets of push-ups in your living room. Just about any kind of physical activity can give you a mood boost.

2. Laugh.
To instantly improve your outlook on life, have a good laugh. Laughing causes your brain to release feel-good chemicals called endorphins, which relieve stress and make you feel more optimistic.

3. Watch your caffeine intake.
Having one too many cups of coffee can make you feel jittery, both physically and mentally. Caffeine puts your body on high alert by increasing your heart rate and blood pressure. As a result, you’re likely to feel more stressed and anxious than usual. Keep your caffeine intake moderate, if you choose to consume it at all.

4. Go out with your friends.
Social interaction is important for good mental health. Spend time with your friends or family at least once a week. If you want to meet new people, join a club or group in your area.

5. Use to-do lists.
Poor time management is a major stress trigger for many people. If managing your time is difficult for you, get into the habit of making a to-do list every morning. You’ll get more done when you can see at a glance what you need to accomplish every day.

6. Get enough shut-eye.
If you’re sleep-deprived, you’re at increased risk for feeling irritable and stressed all the time. Make it a priority to get at least eight hours of sleep every night.

7. Learn to say no.
An overbooked schedule can leave you feeling frazzled. You don’t have to say yes to every event and opportunity that comes your way. Prioritize your obligations, and give yourself at least an hour or two every day to do nothing but relax and recharge.

The Takeaway
Stress is a common problem, but you don’t have to let it get the better of you. These tips will help you stay calm and centered, even if you live a busy life.