Stress and anxiety can hold us back personally and professionally. By learning your stressors, remembering to breathe, and taking time out for self-care, you can regain your focus and live your best life! Kick anxiety to the curb with these simple stress-busters.

Live Your Best Life: 5 Ways to Reduce Stress

5 Ways to Instantly Reduce Stress in Your Life

1. Know your triggers.

Sometimes when you feel overwhelmed, the anxiety comes “out of nowhere.” Keep a journal or use the notes function in your smartphone to track when you’re feeling stressed. This exercise involves being tuned in to your body. Stress manifests in a number of different ways: racing heart, shortness of breath, digestive issues, and insomnia, for example. After a few days you will notice patterns. Keeping notes will help you pinpoint what, specifically, triggers your anxiety so you can avoid it when possible.

2. Take time to unplug.

We spend a lot of time in front of screens: televisions, computers, phones. When you’re stressed out, take time to unplug. Whether we realize it or not, we are barraged with a number of anxiety-inducing ads, articles, and images throughout the day. Have you scrolled through your Facebook feed lately? It’s the modern day Chicken Little — the sky is falling! Go on a self-imposed “screen blackout” for a weekend. You will feel rested, refreshed, and grounded.

Live Your Best Life: Reduce Stress Instantly

Research has shown that the more time you spend outdoors, the less stressed you will be.

3. Go outside and play!

Just like your mother used to say, go outside and play! Research has shown that the more time you spend outdoors, the less stressed you will be. Simply taking a walk in nature has many of the same health benefits as mindfulness meditation, including lowering blood pressure, increasing immune function, and decreasing depression. Consider joining a social sports league to get outside, exercise, and make new friends.

4. Laugh with your friends IRL.

Laughter really is the best medicine. Getting face time with friends (the real kind) and sharing a laugh will release endorphins, soothing tension in your body and reducing stress. When you’re stressed to the max, you might think that you “don’t have time to go out.” In reality, that’s exactly what you should be doing! Getting out regularly with your friends not only reduces stress, it dramatically improves your self-esteem and alleviates symptoms of depression. A winning recipe for goal-crushing success!

5. Remember to breathe.

When stress has your head spinning, don’t forget to breathe. A great way to manage stress is through meditation. Mindfulness meditation trains you to be in touch with your body. When you practice meditation, you are taught to notice sensations as they arise. This practice will help you quickly identify when your body experiences stress. Quickly identifying stress allows you to breathe through it, preventing the snowball effect that causes anxiety. You can use these breathing techniques to calm the body and the mind throughout the day.

To learn how to observe your thoughts instead of react to them, visit avsmindfulness.com. There are a number of ways that mindfulness meditation can help you reduce stress, increase productivity, and live your best life. Check back for the upcoming release of our mindfulness meditation app!

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