Healthy habits can protect you from the harmful effects of stress. Here are 10 positive healthy habits you may want to develop.
1. Talk with family and friends.
A daily dose of friendship is great medicine. Call or write your friends and family to share your feelings, hopes and joys.
2. Engage in daily physical activity.
Regular physical activity relieves mental and physical tension. Physically active adults have lower risk of depression and loss of mental functioning. Physical activity can be a great source of pleasure, too. Find something you enjoy doing and make it a habit in your life.
3. Accept the things you cannot change.
Do not stress about the weather or the traffic. Keep looking to improve and learn in areas that you have control.
4. Remember to laugh.
Laughter makes you feel good. Don't be afraid to laugh out loud at a joke, a funny movie or a comic strip, even when you're alone. In some places, laughing groups are as popular as exercise groups because of the stress relief that laughter provides.
5. Give up the bad habits.
Too much alcohol, cigarettes or caffeine can increase stress. I've heard these habits called pacifiers. When you were a baby, you had a pacifier to manage your stress. Now, we use drugs and alcohol to pacify our stresses. I numbed my stress for years instead of learning to manage my stress. You can do it and giving up these destructive behaviors does not need to be stressful in itself. Understand that you will feel stress because you will "feel" again. Treat as a new experience and discover new ways of managing those feelings of stress.
6. Slow down.
Try to "pace" instead of "race." Plan ahead and allow enough time to get the most important things done. Prioritize.
7. Get enough sleep.
Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. If you can't sleep, take steps to help reduce stress and depression. Physical activity can help your get more sleep.
8. Get organized.
Use "to do" lists to help you focus on your most important tasks. Break big tasks into smaller ones. For example, start by organizing just one part of your life — your car, desk, kitchen, closet, cupboard or drawer.
9. Practice giving back.
The more you give, the better you'll feel. Helping others helps you.
10. Try not to worry.
The world won't end if your grass isn't mowed or your kitchen isn't cleaned. You may need to do these things, but today might not be the right time.