Starting the new year right: Stress reducers

Stress reduction

Here we are, starting a new year full of hope and promise. Some of us have set new goals to reach in 2019 - things like losing weight or getting more productive, maybe even finding a new job.

Then there are goals like finding better ways to ease the stress in our lives, or finding the happiness in each day. It's a chance to do more for our mental and physical health.

If you're like me, you've certainly got your fair share of stress going on every day. There's job stress, of course, but don't forget the other stresses, too - taking care of home or maintaining relationships, for starters. We all want to find ways to relax the stressors taking up quality time - but how?

Here are a few ways experts say can help get the new year off to a good start, and keep it going well:

  1. Exercise. It may seem odd, but experts say exercise actually eases your mind. Scientists say it even makes you less likely to experience anxiety.
  2. Write. You can either write out what stresses you, or take another approach and write about things you're grateful for to ease your mind.
  3. Spend time with friends and family. Having a strong support system gives you a sense of belonging, and an important sounding board.
  4. Learn to say no. You don't have to do everything people ask of you. It's hard to juggle lots of responsibilities and tasks, so be selective.
  5. Take deep breaths. Find a spot in your room, office, or another spot away from activity. Get comfortable, and take deep breaths. They can activate your parasympathetic nervous system - the system that controls your relaxation response.

There are lots more ways to reduce stress. Take a moment to do some research and find things that work for you or fit well into your life. Here's to a less stressful 2019!