7 Simple strategies for daily stress-free living

Achieving a stress-free life amidst chaos is an art, but it’s not reserved for a select few.

Dr Denise Millstine, an expert in integrative medicine, suggests seven simple strategies for daily stress-free living [1]:

1. Cuddle with pets

Embrace the oxytocin release from cuddling with pets. This “love hormone” helps combat stress [2]. Additionally, pets encourage outdoor activities, further alleviating stress.

2. Find humor

Laughter is a potent stress reliever. It naturally shifts your breathing, stimulates circulation and aids muscle relaxation. Engage in activities that make you laugh, whether it’s watching funny videos or sitcoms or spending time with humorous friends.

3. Master your breath

Verbal reasoning alone won’t calm the storm within. Instead, focus on breathing exercises. Slowing down your breath, significantly prolonging exhalation, signals safety to your nervous system. Regular practice enhances its effectiveness [3]. Apps or simple counting techniques can aid this process.

4. Practice gratitude

Cultivating gratitude shifts your focus from negativity to positivity. Research shows that gratitude reduces stress and fosters a more optimistic outlook [4]. Keep a gratitude journal, write thank-you notes or reflect on daily blessings.

5. Prioritize rest and sleep

Sacrificing sleep to squeeze in more tasks worsens stress. Lack of sleep impairs cognitive function, perpetuating a cycle of stress. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep and incorporate regular rest breaks throughout your day, indulging in activities like walks, quiet time or enjoying nature.

6. Relax with hot beverages

Wrapping your hands around a warm mug and savoring a hot drink can provide a soothing timeout. Herbal teas like lemon balm, chamomile and passionflower are known for their calming properties, helping to ease anxiety and induce relaxation [5].

7. Stay active

Exercise often falls by the wayside during stress. However, even short bursts of movement can clear your mind and enhance productivity. A brief walk can shift your mental state positively.

While these strategies offer relief from everyday stress, they are not substitutes for professional medical care, especially for anxiety disorders. If you’re struggling with anxiety, seek professional help.

However, integrating these practices into your daily routine can significantly improve your overall wellbeing and help you navigate life’s challenges more easily.

[1] https://mcpress.mayoclinic.org/mental-health/stress-management-skills-7-low-and-no-cost-strategies-to-feel-better/
[2] https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-friend-who-keeps-you-young
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5709795/
[4] https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier
[5] https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/tea-for-anxiety

The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.