We’ve all heard of the negative effects long-term stress can have on our physical, mental, and emotional health. Chronic stress throws the body out of balance and can wreak havoc on the body and mind. It can lead to exhaustion, depression, weight gain, sleep disruptions, and eventually disease. The good news is there are countless ways you feel less stressed and overwhelmed. Incorporating even a few of these simple stress reduction suggestions into your daily routine can have profound effects on your overall health and happiness.

1. Exercise

I’m sure you’re not surprised to see this on this list. The positive effects exercise has on our physical, mental, and emotional health is well known, yet many of us don’t do it enough or at all. An easy way to change that is to start small – for example – your starting goal can be to exercise 1-2 times a week. What does exercise mean? Whatever you want it to mean, but we recommend choosing something that’s fun for you. At Proper, we getting out in nature for a hike with our dogs. If that’s not your thing or you don’t have access to trails, you can start an online fitness program. It can also be as simple as a 20-minute walk once a week. The point is to start small and increase the frequency and intensity of your exercise regimen to keep you challenged and motivated.

2. Listen to music

Music is a powerful tool in lowering stress. Turning on your favorite tune can do wonders for boosting your mood and overall well-being. In fact, some studies even show that music has the ability to increase pain tolerance. So go ahead, blast your favorite tune, or for a more calm experience, play slower, ambient music.

BONUS- Dance it out to your favorite song and get your heart rate up.  

3. CBD Supplements

Incorporating a daily CBD supplement is a great addition to your wellness regimen. There’s a growing amount of research that shows that CBD can help reduce stress and overwhelm. CBD supports your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) by providing balance. Wonder why that matters? Your ECS plays an important role in regulating your mood, digestion, brain function, immune system, and more. When CBD interacts with your body’s ECS, the sensation is an overall feeling of calm and balance. Proper Hemp Co.’s CBD products were created to support your body’s ECS the proper way! Our organic hemp extract (the foundation for all our products) is carefully processed to retain hemp’s superpowers AKA hemp’s naturally occurring chemical compounds like cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, lignans, and phytonutrients.

4. Meditate

Anyone can practice meditation and it won’t take you long to reap the benefits. If you’re new to the practice, guided meditation apps are a great place to start and many have free plans. We’ve been meditating for a few years now and still love to use our meditation app. When starting out keep in mind that meditation gets easier and better the more you practice. The key is patience and consistency. Start with an achievable goal and you’ll be reaping the benefits of a quieter and calmer mind in no time.

5. Laugh

Laughing ranks as probably one of the last things we want to do when we’re stressed to the max. (Because really, what’s funny about feeling like you’re on the verge of snapping?) But science has shown that laughter can boost your immune system and lower blood pressure. So take a few minutes out of your day to watch hilarious YouTube videos, put on your favorite comedy, or read a funny book.

6. Create a morning routine

Starting your day off right can set the tone for the rest of the day. Doing something as simple as making your bed means you’ve accomplished the first task of the day. Once you complete that first task it’s easier to complete more. Start small with a single change you’d like to incorporate into your morning routine. Whether you choose to kick your day off with a quick morning yoga practice, lemon water, or a walk around the block, creating (and sticking to) a morning routine can help you be more productive and lower stress levels.

7. Write it down

For some, getting our emotions out can be extremely therapeutic as it provides an opportunity for self-reflection. While consistent journaling is often the most effective, even sporadic writing that goes into detail about your feelings and thoughts surrounding stressful events can help reduce the stress you’ve been feeling. A gratitude journal is another option that has been shown to help increase optimism and emotional resilience, and therefore overall wellbeing. The simple act of writing down three things you’re grateful for each day will cultivate gratitude and result in a greater sense of happiness.

8. Take a nap

Lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your physical health and result in a myriad of health issues, lead to depression, weight gain, decrease sex drive, and more. Now for most of us, taking a quick afternoon nap at work is not an option. But even if you can’t fit a 20-30 minute power nap, you can still do it on weekends. Schedule in a little extra shut-eye midday on Saturday and Sunday, then strive to get the recommended 7-9 hours during the workweek. Some quick tips on how to set yourself up for that deep and restful sleep during the week- cut back on screen time an hour before bed, take a sleep aid, write a quick to-do list for the next day so your mind is clear, and lastly, create a dark, cool environment in your bedroom.

10. Talk to someone

Sometimes venting and simply getting things off our chests can really help. Whether it’s a good friend, a counselor, or a family member, spending time talking and empathizing helps us bond with others. Try setting a timer for 5 minutes and rant to a friend about what’s causing stress in your life. After those 5 minutes ask your friend to help you redirect your focus to the positives in the situation and action items. This will help lift the heaviness by giving you a different perspective on your issues and also help you make changes when needed.