throw stress to the wind

The stress that comes along with modern life can leave many of us feeling frazzled, overwhelmed and anxious. Before we know it, worries and long lists of tasks we need to accomplish become the major focus of our thoughts. Letting this all go by making just a few simple changes allows us to feel calm, relaxed, refreshed and recharged, offering a profound effect on both our physical and mental health.

Drink more water

You probably realize how important hydration is for your physical health. When you’re participating in activities out in the heat, it’s impossible not to feel that thirst. What you may not realize is staying hydrated is also essential for optimal brain health. If you’re aren’t drinking enough, it can cause you to feel as if you’re walking around in a fog with zapped energy levels. Dehydration also results in headaches and other maladies, according to Dr. Oz.

While the general rule is to drink eight glasses of water a day, a more reliable way to tell if you need to increase water intake is if your urine is darker than a typical glass of lemonade. Drinking more water, herbal teas and eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can help keep you hydrated and feeling refreshed.

Eat a Nutritious Diet

Eating junk food like sugar-filled drinks, baked treats and fries, creates an unhealthy cycle of energy highs and lows. These foods can even cloud your decision-making abilities. A healthy diet can boost your mood, improve concentration and memory and help you feel more alert. 

Basing your diet on fresh, whole foods, including those that contain omega-3 fatty acids like nuts and seeds, coconut oil and wild-caught salmon, is an ideal way to re-energize and recharge the mind.

Create a Calming Environment

Having a peaceful, soothing environment to come home to can work wonders for calming the mind. Cluttered spaces can create anxiety, stress and even influence your emotional and physical health, according to Psychology Today. Clear out your closets and any messes around the house, like those stacks of magazines or piles of clothes you’ve been meaning to go through, and donate, sell or toss anything you don’t really need.

If it’s an option, you may even want to paint your walls a more calming color, like green which is known to promote relaxation, or blue which is associated with feelings of serenity, tranquility and calmness. As natural aesthetic beauty has been shown to soothe and reduce stress, having a bouquet of fresh flowers delivered is a great way to create a more peaceful environment that encourages relaxation and even positive energy. Make it an organic bouquet and use your dollars wisely.

Meditate Daily

Meditation isn’t just a spiritual practice. Numerous studies have shown the dramatic positive effects meditation can have on both the body and the mind. Meditation is well-known for helping battle stress and disease. In fact, it offers immediate benefits, like reducing anxiety and worries, as well as long-term benefits like reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke, according to TIME Magazine.

Try deep breathing as soon as you feel panic start to build or your heart start to race. Take several deep inhales and exhales, focusing on your rhythm and nothing else. You’ll almost immediately feel your body and mind return to a calmer state. Practicing meditation regularly can help prevent this reaction, making you feel more prepared to face life’s inevitable challenges.

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