Maybe you already know this, but stress leads to chronic inflammation, which is tied to every major age-related disease. While no one’s immune to stress, the world’s longest-lived people in Blue Zones® areas have routines to shed it. Okinawans take a few moments each day to remember their ancestors, Adventists pray, Ikarians take a nap, and Sardinians enjoy happy hour.
Laugh More. Stress Less.
Regardless of your anxiety level, humor is a great way to cope with stress and those not so happy health ailments associated with it. It makes sense. Laughter’s not only a universal language, but it’s also contagious and connects people in a positive way. Research backs up that happy fact further finding that a healthy dose of laughter can lower your blood pressure and stress hormones, boost endorphins (natural painkillers) in your body, and give your immunity an overall lift.
So the next time you’re down in the dumps, remember that laughing is fun and free without adverse side-effects. Oh yeah, and there’s no sense of humor required. Just laugh!
Easy Ways to De-stress
Looking for a few simple ways to say good bye to stress? Try these:
Breathe deeply in and out for 10 minutes with your eyes closed to relax muscles and quiet the mind
Play with your kids (pretend to be superheroes or have a dance contest)
Connect by calling a good friend
Learn a new hobby
Nap for 15 minutes to refresh
Laugh your head off while watching a funny TV program
Drink a glass of wine after work with friends to unwind
Do something you love today, whether it’s reading a book or taking a walk
Listen to music to calm your body and mind
Don’t Skimp on Sleep
Getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to refresh your brain and body. Somewhere between 7-9 hours is ideal for adults, but that number really depends on you. Without adequate sleep, you’re at greater risk for obesity, stroke, and breast cancer later in life. Here are a few tips:
Remove TVs, phones, and computers from the room
Dim the lights an hour before bedtime
Turn the clock away so you can’t see the time
Replace saggy pillows and mattresses with comfortable ones
Cover your windows so the room is dark
This month, find a stress-relieving strategy that works for you and make it a routine. You’ll benefit from the inside out!