Stress doesn't do our body any favors. In fact, stress can be responsible for a gamut of negative side effects like compromised immunity, reduced sex drive, and headaches. It's no secret that stress sabotages your skin, yet it's so much harder to get a handle on than say switching up your cleanser or trying out a new topical treatment.
It's time to finally put an end to stress. Get a handle on your stress levels by implementing healthy habits that have been proven to alleviate anxiety. From how you start your morning to how you prepare for shut-eye come nighttime—and what you put into your body to get you through the day—all directly impacts how you're able to handle stress. If you regularly find yourself overwhelmed by life, succumbing to anxiety, or never really getting through a day stress-free, study up on these scientifically proven ways to stop stressing out.
Keep reading for the science-backed ways you can reduce your stress today.
Get Up Earlier
Your quality of sleep greatly impacts your stress levels once you're awake. Unfortunately, when you're stressed out, getting a good night's rest isn't always guaranteed. What you can do is begin an unwinding routine to make sure your body is ready for bedtime earlier than usual, and cut out certain habits that might be negatively impacting your sleep. Commit to an early wake-up time. Several studies have shown the positive benefits of rising early, so set your alarm and get ready to reap the benefits. And whatever you do, do not hit snooze. It will only make future mornings even more difficult and stressful, and the short increments of added sleep you might experience are not enough to relieve your tiredness.
When you're super stressed, one of the first things you're tempted to do is skip your workout in favor of something more relaxing and instantly gratifying—like kicking back on the couch after work or getting in an extra hour of shut-eye in the morning. But in reality, giving up your chance to break a sweat will actually worsen your stress levels. Exercise is, in general, an excellent natural stress reliever and certain workouts are scientifically proven to reduce stress. So make exercise an integrated part of your life to keep stress levels down daily.
Taking a break from technology can be beneficial in a number of ways. It will reduce the amount of blue light your eyes are exposed to, helping to better your circadian rhythms and sleep cycles. Pressure to constantly perform for social media can have a negative impact on one's self-worth and can even contribute to adrenal fatigue. A recent study suggests that quitting social media platforms like Facebook can lead to increased happiness and satisfaction with life. Giving up digital technology every once in awhile will also give you more free time for healthy activities and personal care.
Change Your Diet
It goes without saying that what we put into our bodies directly affects how it functions and how we feel. Certain foods are scientifically correlated with increasing stress levels, while others are known to be beneficial in relieving stress. Fill your diet with superfoods like leafy greens, salmon, and blueberries—all proven to make you feel less stressed by relieving tension and stabilizing blood sugar. Even dark chocolate makes the list for stress relievers, to commit to a balanced approach and eat up for a more stress-free life.
What's your approach to leading a healthy, stress-free life? Share your tips with us in the comments.