5 Simple Ways to Counter Stress
A national survey in 2013 found that 80 to 90 percent of doctor visits were likely stress-related. Over the previous five years, 44 percent of Americans reported an increase in psychological stress. In the United States’ fast-moving lifestyle, it’s no surprise that many people report increased amounts of stress. Here are five simple ways that you can counter stress in your own life
Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do to help yourself manage stress. One of the ways that stress manifests is by an inability to get to sleep or to stay asleep. More than 35 percent of Americans reported that they did not get the CDC recommended seven hours of sleep on a regular basis.
One way to make sure that you sleep better is to purchase a mattress that is suited to the way you sleep. People who on their stomach or back may prefer a firmer mattress than those who sleep on their sides. You are supposed to replace your mattress every 5 to 10 years, so if you can’t remember the last time you did, it may be time to search out a new one.
Doing yoga regularly has been found to be helpful in getting a good night’s sleep, as well as reducing work stress. Nurses who did yoga twice weekly reported both less work-related stress and improved sleep quality. Doing a light workout like yoga can also reduce the amount of pain you’re in when you wake up, giving you one less thing to stress about.
If you’re feeling a lot of anxiety, it may be helpful to keep a journal that you write in every evening. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it can help calm your mind and cut down on those racing thoughts.
Keep a paper journal and pen on your nightstand, and write down what you’re anxious about, as well as positive events during the day. You may find yourself just a little bit calmer afterward.
Cut Down on Caffeine and Nicotine
If you’re a regular smoker or coffee drinker, you know that you shouldn’t be doing either right before bed. What you may not know is that both chemicals can stay in your system for nearly six hours, which could be causing a problem for your sleep schedule, and disrupting your circadian rhythm.
Try and cut down on the amount you’re consuming, and you’ll find yourself less twitchy throughout the day and night.
Keep Your Phone and Electronics out of Your Bedroom
Many younger people tend to keep their offices in their bedrooms, which is a problem when you need to go to bed. Often, having those items in the same space that you sleep can cause anxiety about not working on something when you should be taking a break from it.
You should separate your office from your sleep space. At the very least, keep your electronics out of sight and out of reach when you’re sleeping, to avoid the possibility of sending or receiving emails in the middle of the night.