I see you working on your third bowl of ice cream of the day. I know you’re stressed out about finances and a toddler who is deep into the temper tantrum twos, and I know that sometimes food is the only thing that gives you a little bit of relaxation. But any sort of benefit derived from junk food is short-lived and is a form of self-sabotage against your goal to lose weight.
So, today, I’d like to give you a few ways you can reduce stress with little spare time or money on your hands.
9 ways to reduce stress that don’t involve food
- Not only does dancing lower your stress levels, but it also includes exercise (see #6) and listening to great music (see #8).
- Prayer can reduce stress, help the body heal faster and lead to lower levels of depression.
- Deep breathing tells your brain to calm down, which in turn tells your body to calm down.
- Spending time outside helps with stress reduction by allowing you to get a little exercise (see #6), absorb some sunshine, encounter neighbors or have friendly small talk with strangers, and gives you peaceful time to process your thoughts.
- Spending time with loved ones: Okay, so your child can be a source of stress. But taking time to do a fun activity as a family can help to lower stress as well as strengthen bonds.
- Exercise has shown to lessen some symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Meditation can boost your emotional well-being, as well as reduce stress. And since it often incorporates deep breathing (see #3), it’s a double!
- Listening to slow-paced music can help you calm down, with the possibility of inducing sleep. Even if the music is not slow paced, music is a powerful mood changer.
- Yoga incorporates deep breathing (see #3) and exercise (see #6). It promotes overall well-being.
There are many ways to relieve stress that don’t involve self-sabotaging your goals. Often times, these healthy stress reducers are longer lasting. Pick one, or a few, to try out. See what works best for you. Find the thing that allows you to reduce stress while continuing to walk forward in your journey.
- Dance: http://neuro.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-mahoney-neuroscience-institute/brain-newsletter/and-brain-series/dancing-and-brain
- Prayer: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/therese-borchard/spirituality-and-prayer-r_b_497222.html
- Deep breathing: http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-breathing-exercises-for-relaxation
- Being outside: http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/emotional-health/spending-time-outside-relieves-stress
- Spending time with loved ones: http://iuhealth.org/news-hub/detail/3-ways-spending-time-with-your-family-positively-affects-health/#.WZH1Ind96hc
- Exercise: https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety
- Meditation: http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858
- Music: https://www.unr.edu/counseling/virtual-relaxation-room/releasing-stress-through-the-power-of-music
- Yoga: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/yoga/art-20044733