It is a scientific fact that stress is a killer, yet there are so many simple things that you can do today to reduce the amount of stress you subject yourself to. Most people are affected by stress; it is important to understand the triggers of stress and how to either deal with stressful situations or reduce the amount of stress that one is subjected to.

How Stress Kills

Stress is a silent killer; for some, it can lead to mild anxiety. For others, the stress of daily life, work, and family can lead to debilitating issues of low confidence, lack of self-esteem, and the inability to function at their best. The continued release of the hormones and adrenaline associated with stress can over a prolonged period of time, if not managed, cause increased heart rate, cardiovascular problems, breathing issues, and high blood pressure. All of which are in the top ten global causes of death.

It is thus important to manage your stress as much as possible. Stress is indeed unavoidable but can be managed and, in some cases, reduced in order to avoid the cumulative effect on the body and overall health.

Below are five simple things that can be done to reduce stress:-

Be more flexible

Planning in a time like this can be incredibly stressful, be more flexible. It is important to continue to make plans for family life, meet up with friends, and do things that improve the overall quality of life. However, in these uncertain times, what has become clear over the last 18 months of this global pandemic is that plans can and will go astray. Commit to the future but be prepared to change direction and maintain the flexibility that will avoid the stress associated with constant changes. Having unmet unnecessarily high expectations of others and as to how situations should pan out is one of the highest causes of anxiety and stress. It is not about lowering expectations or not risking disappointment, but being aware that in an ever-changing world, most things will not turn out as they were first imagined or planned.

Take on a short course

Learning a practical skill is a great way to build both positivity, but also to keep the mind occupied. The center of the brain associated with learning causes positive thoughts upon the completion of tasks and achievement of learning goals. Short practical courses such as professional first aid courses or even basic plumbing or computer programming are perfect first steps. These courses can also be added to and built upon over time are a great way to keep stress at bay. If money is a worry, then a short course may also allow you to start a side hustle and make some extra money, or secure a part-time job, based on the new qualifications.

Start and maintain any form of exercise

Exercise and breathing deeply while you do so is a great way to reduce and deal with stress. Any form of exercise will help to reduce stress and anxiety. Getting the heart rate up and making the muscles work is a simple way to keep stress at bay.  It’s important, however, to set achievable targets and goals when it comes to exercise. Or it may become a double-edged sword, keeping one fit and healthy and, on the other hand, creating a further area of unmet expectations and thus increasing stress. Exercise is one of the most common hobbies that is started and yet also the top hobby that is not continued or maintained. Keep it simple, walking when you could drive, stairs instead of the lift, a daily stretching routine.

Laugh

Finding joy in simple everyday things can be life-changing. Laughter is the medicine for the soul and can do wonders for your overall mood. Finding joy with others or even just laughing at yourself from time to time is a useful mood enhancer. This is possibly the simplest thing that you can do to reduce and relieve stress and will go a long way to making a stressful situation less serious.

Be quiet

Spending time alone and in thought can have rejuvenating results. Not thinking about the issues of the day constantly and having some time alone to unwind and just be still can be the most important of all the tips herein. It is in this quiet time that the mind is able to catch up with you and find some form of peace.

Stress is an unavoidable component of modern life, and it has been proven to be one of the main health concerns of modern times. It is an affliction that affects bodily functions and overall health yet can be dealt with in most cases without medication. The steps above provide the first steps to dealing with and reducing stress.