These days everyone has a lot of stress in their lives, and sometimes we get stressed out by thinking of how to deal with this stress! Here are five tips for a happier & healthier life that help you lower stress levels and improve the quality of your life.
Be physically active
Physical exercise is important. I know it might seem difficult to take out time for exercise every day but the key is to set goals that are achievable. It’s not necessary to go to the gym every day and or even to exercise for hours. Research has shown that even simple stretching exercises can help you stay fit. Exercising has dual benefits. Firstly, it will help you keep away many diseases. Secondly studies have shown that exercising releases chemicals and hormones which make you feel better.
However, exercising once a day is not enough. Make sure that you are physically active throughout the day. Small thing like choosing the stairs instead of the lift or making sure that you don’t stay seated in one position for more than an hour can also help.
Take out ‘me’ time
It’s very important to have time every day to yourself. No matter what your lifestyle may be, it is possible to take out at least half an hour every day for yourself. Spend this time doing something you enjoy; whether it is reading, painting, music or even sleeping. This time slot should be sacrosanct. Do not compromise on this and slowly and steadily your family members will also get used to it.
Women tend to be careless about their own diet. It’s important to ensure that you have all food groups every day. A very simple way to do this is to eat food of different colors. This normally ensures you cover all food groups and yet keeps things interesting.
A healthy diet does not mean you have to eat expensive imported food items. So there is no need to start eating quinoa and kale or give up desserts. Eat whatever you like but in moderate quantities. Try to make sure you have seasonal fruits and vegetables and try to reduce the oil, sugar and processed grains in your diet.
Make sure you eat your meals on time. Do not delay your breakfast as this leads to an unhealthy lifestyle. It’s a good idea to have an early dinner but if that doesn’t suit you try to eat a light dinner.
Find your inner peace
A lot of the time we feel stress because our mind is full of chatter and we get distracted. Find a way to keep your mind calm. This could be by turning to religion or meditation. Some people find affirmations to be very helpful too. Even a simple thing like concentrating on your breathing can help you find peace.
This is also a very important aspect of mental health, a concept we often overlook. We tend to think of health in purely physical terms but research has shown that the mind plays a huge role in our overall fitness; so make sure you give it the care it requires.
Learn to let go and live in the moment
A lot of the stress in our lives comes from our expectations. We want things to be perfect and get so caught up in the search for perfection that we are unable to enjoy anything. Learn to find happiness in smaller things and accept that you cannot fix everything. Appreciate the flaws and imperfections that make things unique. The Japanese term wabi sabi is based on a world view which accepts the impermanence and imperfections around us; and let’s not forget that Japan is home to the largest number of senior citizens in the world.
We can all learn from the serenity prayer.
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.