31 Simple Ways To Soothe Your Stress

So many of us are over scheduled, over stressed, and exhausted. Stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are great in small spurts but many of us keep ourselves "turned on" without any breaks. This leads to burnout, anxiety, fatigue and weight gain.

Your goal is to give your stress hormones just a small break today, one step at a time. You'll be amazed at all the things that start just getting better over the weeks, like your health, clarity, mood! That's why you should pick one or more of the ideas below and try one (or more) every day for a month. Remember: life balance = better health, better mood, and the ability to find your purpose.

Here we go:

1. Skip TV for 20 minutes tonight and read a book instead. Sitting on the couch watching TV does not make you happy.

2. Play an instrument. No instruments to be found? No worries! Have fun with a new playlist. Go to Pandora or Stereomood and find some new music.

3. Turn your cell phone to silent for a full day.

4. Send a thank you note or email to three people who have helped you or influenced you in a positive way.

5. Teach someone something you are good at today for free.

6. Play a game with your kids (or other kids) called meditation.

7. Right now: Sit up really tall, and relax your shoulders.

8. Stand outside barefoot on grass and watch the sunrise.This works wonders for your circadian clock, energy and stress.

9. Write your eulogy. Seriously. What would it say? As Arianna Huffington said, "Are you living your eulogy or your resume?"

10. Cook a meal made entirely with vegetables and with no sugar, or processed additives.

11. Skip some or all of your personal care products today. Ladies: see how good it feels without all that makeup or perfume. Gentlemen: skip the hair gel, cologne.

12. Practice silence for an hour.

13. Introduce two of your friends who don't know each other.

14. When you feel a stressful situation today, embrace it. Researchers discovered that embracing stress can actually reduce it!

15. Stop in your tracks at exactly 3pm today. Stop, look around and smell, and touch the surroundings. Then move on to the rest of your day.

16. Visualize your best possible self.

17. Do one thing today to move closer to hormone balance: try one of the tools listed here.

18. Practice gratitude. What are you thankful for right now? Make a list. Keep it in your desk or bag.

19. Go to bed 20 minutes earlier tonight. Bonus: go to bed 20 minutes earlier every day for a week.

20. Try some mindful movement today. (Yoga anyone?) Need some guidance?

21. Avoid dairy, wheat, soy and eggs for a day. If you feel better, extend for a few days. Then add it back one at a time.

22. Swap breakfast for dinner or vice versa. Sit down and concentrate only on eating. No TV, no computer.

23. Start an early morning routine. It doesn't have to be 5am but give yourself about 90 minutes before the morning craziness. Do these 3 things:

  • Practice gratitude
  • Exercise
  • Write or Read

24. Spend some time outdoors in nature today.

25. Hug it out! Try 10 seconds of hugging a child, pet, spouse, or friend.

26. Take high doses of omega-3 daily for 1 week. For vegans, algae omega 3 is a good substitute for fish oil.

27. Instead of exercise, walk 10,000 steps today.

28. Take a group class today or join a group at meetup.com. Groupon and LivingSocial have great ideas for this.

29. Play with a dog today.

30. Eat fruit as your only sugar source for one full day.

31. Think back to childhood about what you wanted to be when you grew up. Try to make some part of it happen today. For example, if you wanted to be an Olympic sprinter, go to the track today and work on some running drills.

OK, now add your own to the comment section!

Ready to learn more about what anxiety, brain health, and your diet all have in common? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Dr. Mark Hyman.

Amy Shah, M.D.

Integrative Medicine Doctor
Amy Shah, M.D. is a double board certified MD with training from Cornell, Columbia and Harvard Universities. She was named one of mindbodygreen's Top 100 Women In Wellness to Watch in 2015 and has been a guest on many national and local media shows. She helps busy people transform their health by reducing inflammation and eating more plants. As an immunologist she realizes the power of the microbiome to help digestion, natural hormone balance and food sensitivities.
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Amy Shah, M.D.

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