Are you addicted to stress? Check out these five Mindful Health® tips on how to reduce stress.
According to the American Psychological Association, 20 percent of Americans describe their stress levels as extreme. Unfortunately, extreme levels of stress cause adrenaline to rush through your body, this creates a “natural high.” The endorphins and dopamine can become quite addictive, encouraging people to repeat this routine of stress and addiction. Stress addictions can be bad for your health, harming your immune system, causing insomnia, raising your blood sugar, and increasing your risk of diseases like cancer.
Cure Your Stress Addiction
Ready to give up your addiction? Learn how to reduce stress with these five steps.
- Step One: Consider a Stress Detox. To eliminate your stress addiction it’s important to reduce your stress. Try a stress detox weekend. You can go to a local spa or have a spa day at home. Give up your technological devices (your computer, smartphone, tablets, and other gadgets) for a weekend. This will limit your distractions and noise pollution that may also contribute to your stress. Use your time to meditate, unwind, or simply enjoy a few moments of well-deserved silence.
- Step Two: Develop Good Habits. Beat this bad stress habit by developing good habits instead. First, come up with a strategy to counteract your temptation. For a week, record when you indulge in your stress habit and analyze the data. You may discover why you stress and when you experience stress. You can then replace your stress habit with good habits (like visualization or meditation). And then reward yourself for not indulging in your stress.
- Step Three: Take Mindful Breaks. When you’re feeling stressed taking a break can help. Consider scheduling regular mindful five-minute breaks throughout the day. During this break consider taking a music break to listen to a relaxing melody. Or take a stress relief break with a coworker. You can encourage and motivate each other. Or consider taking a meditation break to reduce stress.
- Step Four: Get Active. Find a healthy alternative to an adrenaline or endorphin rush by such as exercising regularly. Yoga, morning jogs, and office stretches are great exercises that can increase your endorphin levels. Being outside amongst nature can also help reduce your stress levels. If you feel stressed consider taking a five-minute walk around the block.
- Step Five: Get Creative. Fostering your creativity can help lower your stress and curb your stress addiction. So when you’re stressed consider taking a photography break outside, drawing pictures, writing in a journal, or knitting. It’s a great way to deal with your frustrations and it gives your mind a break.