In the last few years, I’ve dramatically reduced my stress levels and am just generally more relaxed. I just want to share with you the 3 things that I feel made the most difference!
This one is vitally important. I would go as far to say that almost everything flows from this… If I don’t get a good night’s sleep for a day or two, I’m virtually guaranteed to feel drained. If I do get 8 hours a night sleep for 4 or 5 days in a row, I’ll feel incredibly relaxed most of the time and find that I can handle the stresses of the day much easier. I also avoid just going at full speed throughout the day trying to accomplish as much as possible. Taking breaks and not trying to accomplish too much in one day gives me a lot more clarity to solve problems instead of reacting. I also find I’m much more productive!
Yep, I did it! I actually dramatically reduced drinking beverages with caffeine. Its been tough for sure but the end result is that I feel so much more relaxed. I absolutely love tea, but I was consuming so much green and black tea that I had a hard time relaxing. There are some health benefits to caffeine… especially with my preferred method of delivery, green tea! However, I’ve found that the bad outweighs the good. So I keep the caffeine to only every once in a while. Combined with exercise and eating healthy, I’ve found that my energy levels are through the roof and much more steady throughout the day without needing the caffeine jolt!
Quitting cold turkey can be rough, so if you don’t want to go through the agony of caffeine withdrawal, try reducing your caffeine intake gradually over time. You may find you reach a point where a small amount of caffeine isn’t really causing that much stress and you can tolerate staying at that level.
This is something that I’ve really gotten into for the last several years, and I feel it’s been very beneficial for me. I try to do 10 – 15 minutes a day. I find 15 minutes is really the perfect amount for me to really get focused and relaxed, but 2-5 minutes may be easier to do if you’re just starting out. If you’re not sure how to do mediation and need a guide, try Headspace, a website and mobile app that I’ve used extensively. It can guide you through the how-tos of mediation and is a great tracking tool and motivator for any level of meditator! Also try reading Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It’s a great introduction to the science behind meditation.
Increasing sleep, less caffeine, and meditation can each be introduced gradually into your daily routine. Give them a try and let me know how you’re doing!