Are you stressed out? Are you worried or anxious most of the time? The secret to conquering daily stress is in how we start our morning routine.
In our busy, overscheduled lives it almost seems normal to walk around stressed and anxious all of the time. As soon as we wake up and turn on the news, we are bombarded with negative information which is not the best way to start the day. While listening to the radio on the way to work, we may hear more bad news while stuck in traffic. Social media isn’t any better for us. Whatever tragedy we may have missed on the news is right there waiting for us online. Thanks to the advance of technology, we live in an age of constant and immediate information, and that’s not always a good thing.
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Every morning the first thing I would do after waking up was drag myself out of bed, make coffee then turn on the TV and listen to the news. It was my daily morning ritual while getting ready for work. I mainly was interested in hearing the weather so that could plan my outfit accordingly, but the depressing stories in between the forecasts always get me down.
Once I arrived to work, the same terrible news would make its way into chatter around the office. It seemed to follow me like a dark cloud, but then I thought to myself “Oh well, everyone starts the day off with this way.” But why do we do this? Yes it is important to know what’s going on in our world, but this isn’t the way we should begin our day. If you don’t believe so, think about the weekends and how you wake up. Automatically your mind knows to relax and let you sleep in a bit. That’s because our minds are conditioned to do so.
Signs of stress.
For many years I struggled with anxiety and depression, so I can tell you from experience that these tips provided here today do really work. I have definitely improved the way I start my mornings. Daily stress needs to be reduced and managed. Remember that stress can eventually cause physical and mental health issues. So how do you know if you’re stressed? Chances are If you are walking absently-minded or too caught up in the drama in your own head to see what’s happening around you, then you’re stressed. Here are some physical symptoms of stress and anxiety that you should pay attention to.
- Your stomach feels upset, achy or cramped
- You grind your teeth at night
- You get frequent headaches
- You often have sleepless nights
- You have panic attacks
- You’re feel sweaty or achy all over
- Your face breaks out frequently as an adult
- You have reddish skin or eczema
- You have a low libido
When you are really stressed out, cortisol “the stress hormone” levels rise in your blood causing increased heart rate and blood pressure which puts your health at risk. Your hormones are out of control which compromises the immune system. Next, the body has trouble producing white blood cells that fight off diseases and infection. This leaves you susceptible to all kinds of illnesses and can also lead to chronic inflammation. If you are experiencing many of the symptoms listed above, then could be suffering from an anxiety disorder. You should talk to a doctor who might recommend that you work with a therapist, psychiatrist or psychologist. Stress is unavoidable, so our main focus should be how to manage it in better, more effective ways.
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The best ways to reduce daily stress.
- Start your day better by avoiding TV, the news, checking phone messages, social media, and emails. For many years I was guilty of waking up and immediately grabbing my phone which can cause instant stress, and who needs that first thing in the morning? Try leaving electronic devices out of the bedroom. If you use an alarm to wake up, try soft music instead of that annoying buzzing sound. For years we are programmed to wake up this way, so why not change to a less stressful morning routine? Take a moment and look outside instead of turning on the weather report. You can always check on this later, after you mind is awake and at ease.
- Eat Breakfast. You must properly nourish your body in the morning and a cup of coffee alone won’t do. After a long night of sleep, our blood sugar and metabolism are lowest. A healthy breakfast re-energizes the body and get us prepared to take on the day. Say for example you leave for work without eating and then become hungry while on the way to work. You think about grabbing a bite on the way to work, but then suddenly you become stuck in traffic! Now not only are you late for work, but your still hungry and may not be able to eat until lunchtime. This creates instant stress, no it’s not your fault your stuck in traffic or late to work, but you will be able to handle the stress coming your way better with proper nourishment. Instead of arriving to work hungry and frazzled, you can be ready to move forward, be productive and take on the work day.
- Start off the morning with positive thoughts. Your first thought in the morning should be “I’m going to have a great day.” You can think your way into a having a better day by telling yourself just that, even if it’s a lie. Even if you are dreading that board meeting or whatever unpleasant task you have to face. When it comes to positive thinking, think mind over matter. Scientific studies show that thinking positively can moderate your how you handle stress.
- Just breathe. Practice mindful breathing to get stress out of your system. When you are faced with something unpleasant, just take a moment and take in a deep breath. It’s the quickest and most direct way to calm yourself down.
- Get moving. Exercise naturally lowers your stress levels and increases your confidence. I helps you to settle into a state of well being by boosting endorphins. (The feel good hormone.) It’s a great way to start the day but if your time pressed in the morning try getting in a couple a quick stretches. Then exercise later on in the evening. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous. One thing that always helped me during a long work day, was to take a brisk 15-20 minute walk during my lunch hour. This is a great way to get some sunshine during the winter season, when daylight savings time causes it to get dark outside early, or for those affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Remember that stress, anxiety and depression if not managed properly, can begin to affect your physical health. I was a stressed out child growing up which lead to severe anxiety and depression once I became an adult. I firmly believe that this lead to a diagnosis of chronic illness later in my life. I always wonder if could have done something better to manage my stress when I was younger. Maybe it would have prevented my chronic illness? Now I feel it’s my responsibility to warn others about the dangers of living with chronic stress. Remember that you are your number one priority in life, and to take good care of yourself. If you find this information to be helpful, or try any of these techniques for yourself and like them, share it, I wish you the best!