It’s true, Stress is a happiness killer. I don’t have to tell you that. Think about it. If you’re stressed you certainly don’t feel happy. It’s hard to be happy when you’re stressed.  I’m sure you’ve experienced it yourself. Think back on high-stress situations like missing a flight to go on vacation, or when you were planning your wedding and things got overwhelming and started to fall apart. Hopefully, you were able to recover and enjoy your time away or your wedding day, but chances are that you weren’t too happy while you were stressed out. Stress sucks the happiness and joy right out of us.

It only make sense then that one way to increase our happiness and our quality of life is to distress. Not only is it good for our soul, it’s also good for our overall health and well-being to reduce the stress in our lives. Here are some simple things you can do to distress:

Get Enough Sleep

An easy way to stress less is to make sure you are gettting a good seven to eight hours of sleep at night. When we don’t sleep well, and don’t sleep enough, our bodies are in a constant state of stress, trying to make up for the lack of sleep. Sleep helps us relax and gives our mind time to process everything that’s been happening. Stop burning the midnight oil and get some sleep. You’ll get more done when you’re fresh and rested and you’ll be less stressed out.

Move Around And Get Some Exercise

Without doubt, the best stress reliever is exercise. Start moving around and burn that stress right out of your system. If you can get outside to workout, even better. The fresh air and sunshine will do wonders. Go for a run, ride your bike, or even just a short walk whenever you’re feeling stressed. For best results, work out regularly.

Take Some “Me” Time

There are times in our lives when we have to spend a lot of focus and attention on others. Maybe you are raising a toddler, or maybe you’re working hard to get a new company off the ground. At busy times like these, that take a lot of our attention and time, it’s easy to forget about ourselves, or put our own personal needs last. Make an effort to spend at least a little bit of “me” time each day. It doesn’t have to be much. Even ten minutes spent relaxing and doing something completely selfish can be a great way to decompress and distress.

Stress Relief Breathing

Another stress relief technique I learned while in health coach school was a breathing technique that Dr. Andrew Weil teaches called the 4-7-8 technique. Basically, you breathe in through your nose for a count of 4, hold it for a count of 7, and exhale through the mouth for a count of 8. I used this technique when I was in the hospital back in 2018 after having a mild stroke and they couldn’t get my heartrate down. You can see Dr. Weil demonstrate it here: 4,7,8 technique. 

Practice Meditation

Let’s wrap this up with one last technique that can keep stress at bay. Try meditating. This is another technique I used when I was hospitalized in 2018. Again, you don’t have to spend a lot of time on this. Sitting quietly going through a guided meditation once a day can do wonders. Once you get in the habit of practicing meditation daily, and get better at it, you can draw on the techniques you’ve learned whenever you encounter a particularly stressful situation. You can spend a minute or two in meditation, even at the most stressful time and allow your mind to relax. Trust me, this will come in very handy when life throws you a curveball, or when you’re feeling completely overwhelmed.