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Stress is bad for you, but we all do it. We stress over work, home life, how our kids are doing, how we’re going to pay the bills and so much more. The things we have to stress about are never-ending, it seems. Each time the laundry or dishes are done, more things are dirty. Each time we pay the bills, more bills are due.
Stress has a negative impact on your body. It increases cortisol, which adds to the weight around your middle (especially for women). It messes with your heart health and can put you at risk for high blood pressure and increased chances of heart attack. It’s damaging to your teeth, your hair, and even your skin.
Ready to start stressing less? Here are a few things you might have forgotten about when it comes to the way we feel and experience stress. Stop doing these things, and you’ll decrease the amount of stress affecting you!
Stop gritting and grinding your teeth.
Some people grind their teeth, even in their sleep. I grit mine—which just adds to my stress. Not only does it make my teeth hurt, but it also gives me a tension headache.
The way to stop doing these things to your poor teeth is to be aware of it. When I notice I am gritting my teeth, I relax my mouth, un-clench my teeth and remove my tongue from the roof of my mouth—then breath and relax. If you’re grinding in your sleep, talk to your dentist about a mouth guard.
Stop sweating the little things.
Burned dinner? Don’t worry about it unless it was the last food in your house and you have no money to buy more—or if you burned down the kitchen. Stubbed your toe? Shake it off. Sometimes we get lost fretting about the small stuff and forget that we should save our stress for the big things that could really impact our lives negatively.
Stop forgetting about yourself.
When you’re stressed out about the rough things life is handing to you, it can be easy to fall into a haze of depression. Within that foggy depth, you forget to take care of yourself. Self-care is a great way to lessen your stress.
When you’re stressed take a hot shower or bath, go out and get a massage, give yourself a facial, or take some YOU time to do whatever makes you feel happy and relaxed. Play a video game or read a book. Don’t turn to things that will only add to your stress, like snacking. Take a little time off for yourself and reevaluate the situation.
I try not to lecture too many people on the topic of procrastination, because I do it on a daily basis. However, every time I procrastinate it does add to my stress. Sometimes it even puts me behind schedule, and that is extremely stressful.
Do stuff when it needs to be done, don’t wait until moments before your deadline. Set goals and have a schedule, and you’ll spend less time falling behind.
Nothing raises my stress level more than arguing with someone—it doesn’t even have to be an actual fight. My face and neck get red, my hands start shaking, and my heart tries to beat out of my chest. Luckily, I now have someone in my life that also dislikes arguing.
When you have something to argue about, take some time apart and work through your thoughts. Or, just agree to disagree. You don’t always have to agree with someone and you don’t always have to prove you’re right.
When you stop doing all of these things, you’ll notice you stress less. You’ll feel freer, get more stuff done, spend less time worrying, and you might even feel healthier (inside and out)!