- by Super User
Stress is one of the leading causes of headaches and migraines for many sufferers. How can we live our lives to reduce stress and find a balance that works? Here are a few tips.
Put Down the Phone
It’s hard to put the phone away and stop watching for emails and Facebook notifications in our digitally connected world, but studies have shown always being ‘plugged in’ can have negative effects on your mental and emotional wellbeing. There are even countries and cities that are researching the notion of banning work emails outside of working hours. Try to set aside time for yourself in the evening to be disconnected from your phone or, if you must, only respond to critical emails and leave the rest for the morning.
It may be the last thing you feel like doing after a long day, but exercise is proven to increase your mood and endorphin levels. Exercise doesn’t have to mean going for a long run or lifting weights; you can play basketball with the kids, drop in on a yoga class or go for a vigorous swim in the pool on a hot day. Start with just 10 or 15 minutes daily and try to eventually increase to 30 minutes five days a week to achieve the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendations for healthy adults.
Find a Hobby
Hobbies are great for getting your mind off the frustrations of your day. From gardening to woodworking to painting, there’s something out there for everyone to enjoy. Research has found hobbies also provide numerous health benefits including lower blood pressure and increased creativity and confidence.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is so crucial that even slight sleep deprivation or poor sleep can affect memory, judgment and mood. Try to start winding down an hour before lights out by meditating, journaling or listening to your favorite relaxing playlist. If you need to use electronics during this time, try to avoid blue light by using apps on your phone and computer that filter it out. Blue light tones can affect melatonin levels and make it harder to fall asleep.
While it’s tempting to push off deadlines or tasks until the last minute, procrastination catches up to the best of us. Try setting daily goals or tasks to break up larger projects into manageable pieces. Reward yourself if you get a task done early and remember how good it feels to have it completed.
While stress isn’t completely avoidable, by using these tips to lower and manage stress, you will be on the path to fewer headaches and better health.
What’s your favorite way to lower stress? Tell us in the comments below!