It is a new year and things are looking up. Although 2020 is in the rear-view mirror, that does not stop life from happening and stress entering our daily lives. In order to maintain a cherry outlook and keep myself as stress-free as possible, I have brought five habits with me into the new year. These five habits are sure to lower stress and boost well-being.
If you have not looked at my article on morning pages, now is a great time. Morning pages are the saving grace to waking up on the wrong side of the bed. Often when we toss and turn at night thinking about all of the what if’s and could be’s, there is a lack of clarity in our present and future. Morning pages takes the edge off of that anxiety and puts many things into perspective. To me, morning pages is like journaling, but better. Creating something first thing in the morning is a centering habit as well as one I hope to continue for the new year.
Before writing morning pages, I used to meditate in the mornings with various success. Sometimes I would be calm enough to have a great session. Other times, I would be distracted by the simplest things. Just hearing a bird chirp outside or a notification on my phone would take me out of the moment. Once I started incorporating both of these habits back-to-back, meditation became a consistent habit. If you have a still mind, start off with meditation as your first habit. There are numerous benefits, including a reduction of stress.
Nourishing My Body
Mornings spent running only on coffee or tea for fuel are guaranteed to be followed by a crash. Without proper meals, I tend to get stressed and often, hangry. There is nothing like having to meet a deadline on an empty stomach. Creating meals beforehand that are nourishing to the body and soul has lowered my stress tremendously. When I know that my body is being fed the best that nature has to offer, it lowers the stress in my body as well.
Moving My Body
Whether you are a fan or dance or yoga or underwater basket weaving, there is a way for everyone to move their bodies. Although most of modern society spends their workdays seated in an office desk, that is not where our bodies are meant to be. We are made for movement. Without it, stress can often sit in different spots in our body causing stiffness and fatigue. Strangely enough, not moving enough makes me sluggish. Not stretching and taking the time to get in tune with my body creates stress in my neck, back, and other areas that need to be moved daily. There is also the fact that moving our bodies create feel good hormones and wards off depression and anxiety. The other perk for moving your body is a good night’s sleep. If you want to cure your insomnia, get plenty of physical exercise throughout the day. Your body and mind will thank you.
This last habit is one that I have started to really hone in on this new year. Instead of focusing on all of the bad in the world, I make is my mission every day to find something to laugh at. That something could be a funny video clip on the internet or a small strange coincidence in daily life. It does not matter what you find. Laughing is great for busting stress and releasing stored emotions that would be held in otherwise. It is also a huge mood booster after a long day or before you need to do something that causes anxiety. Out of all of the habits, this is one that I turn to the most since it is the easiest to do (I’m also easily amused).
Out of these five stress busting habits, I’m sure that you will find at least one to incorporate into your routine. There is a chance that you are doing more than one already. While all of them are equally important, moving and nourishing your body will have an immediate impact. This is advice that you hear all of the time, but its effects are outstanding. After establishing those base habits, start adding the other habits into your routine one at a time. That will ensure that you don’t get habit overload and become overwhelmed. If you taking adding these habits nice and slow, then you will have your stress to a minimum in no time!
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