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10 Refreshing Ways To Clear Your Mind Of Stress

10 Refreshing Ways To Clear Your Mind Of Stress

An increase in heart rate, heavy breathing, constricted blood vessels—all of these things are byproducts of stress. Your fight or flight response kicks in and rather than escaping from a large animal like our ancestors once had to do, we are dealing with an upset spouse, a traffic jam, or trouble at work. Chronic stress can lead to larger issues like chronic headaches, hypertension, and depression or anxiety disorders, and can make existing conditions worse.

1. Express Gratitude for What You Have Learned

Every bad experience leaves something to be gained. It is likely that when all is said and done, you will have discovered something valuable about yourself or someone else that will help you later on in life. Be mindful of what it is that you have learned, and be thankful for it—for all you know you’ll be in the same situation later on in life and will proceed with this new perspective.

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2. Get a Plant

Simply being in a room that is full of plants can lower your blood pressure and help you calm down, as well as purify the air. Aloe plants, English ivy, rubber trees, peace lilies, snake plants, bamboo palms, philodendron, spider plants, red edged dracaena, and golden pothos are all great choices.

3. Pay Someone a Compliment, Genuinely

Though it might seem counteractive to compliment someone else when you’re feeling stressed out or down, but it has been found that when we take the time to give others encouragement, it will release the hormones in our brain that make us feel good. It takes the focus off of ourselves and point out the positive in others. The real trick to this is that the compliment has to be genuine—so mean what you say!

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4. Put Yourself in the Present

Dwelling on past mistakes or being anxious about the future are huge sources of stress. Allow yourself to be fully present in the moment to take away the anxiety and focus on what is really happening right here and now.

5. Read Inspirational Quotes

No matter what your situation is, there is no doubt that someone else has been there and has graced the internet with great quotes about it. Find words from poets, great leaders, and philosophers to see what they have to say to help you get rid of stress.

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6. Drinking Coffee Elevates Positive Moods

Coffee provides stimulation of pheromones, causing a feeling of euphoria, relaxation, happiness, and excitement. Combined, these feelings work to fight anxiety, stress, and depression. Because of this, it is advised to have a few servings of coffee on days that you may be feeling especially stressed.

7. Take a 10 Minute Walk

Step outside and take a walk through any green space. This will put the body into meditation due to the phenomenon known as ‘involuntary attention’—this is when something holds our attention (walking) but allows for reflection.

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8. Smile

Smiling will release chemicals in the brain called serotonin and dopamine, and will change your mood, even if you are faking it. It would be a good practice to smile at strangers in public—not only will this boost your mood, but it will hopefully make them smile back at you, having the same effect.

9. Get a Dog

Having the company of a dog can aid in becoming more mindful and may help you to have gratitude for the present. This companionship offers comfort, builds confidence, and eases anxiety for those who are anxious about venturing out into the world alone. Dogs are the perfect example of how we should live in the moment, not dwelling on yesterday or the future.

10. Unplug

Stress, lack of sleep, and depression can be associated with uninterrupted computer use as well as computer use late at night. It is important to take regular breaks when using the computer for an extended amount of time and go offline at least one hour before your bedtime.

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Last Updated on December 13, 2018

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

1. Eat Before Heading Out

First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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2. Select The Treats

Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

3. Avoid Skipping Meals

Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

4. Drink With Moderation

It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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5. Be Active

You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

6. Get Out Of The House

Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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8. Set Realistic Goals

You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

9. Enjoy Yourself

Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

10. Drink A Lot Of Water

This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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11. Eat Less And More Often

Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

12. Prioritize Your Workouts

Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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