Despite how hard we try to keep everything in line and running smoothly, life just doesn’t always like to follow along. Between work, home, social life and keeping up with everything in between, let’s face it, we can get stressed. The good news is that there are many ways to combat and reduce stress. Let’s take a look at 11 simple ways to help lower stress levels.

Ditch the clutter. Clutter can be a source of stress and anxiety during the day. Take some time to straighten up your desk at work, tidy up the most frequented room in your house, or clean out your car. A clean area can bring a sense of refreshment and organization.

Quality “Me” Time. It’s easy to overlook ourselves when there are so many things on our daily to do lists. But, when it is said and done, you are a very important person that needs to be taken care of just like everything else in your life.

Take it Outside. After spending all week indoors working, why not take a little stroll outside and reconnect with the beauty around you. Fresh air and nature can really do wonders for the body and mind. Grab a buddy and go for a walk or round up the family and head to the local park for some quality time.

Write it Out. Feelings of being overwhelmed can happen many times throughout the day, especially with all of the tasks that need to be done. By writing down your worries or your to do list, it can ease your mind as well as help you organize how to tackle the rest of your day.

Unplug. It seems like there is no escaping technology these days. Whether it’s our phones that seem to be forever attached to our hands, the television that’s always on, or the computer that never sleeps; technology has consumed a large portion of our lives. A great way to relax the mind and body is to step away from your phone, computer, and/or television. Take this time to just enjoy the silence or the company of a loved one.

Just Breathe. In this crazy go-go-go world we live in, sometimes we often forget to stop and do the simplest thing, breathe. This is not a new concept but it’s easily overlooked. Whether you are stressed at work, just finishing up a tough workout, or you are home for the night; take a moment for yourself to unwind. Studies suggest that taking 5 deep breaths in and out can help reset the body and the mind.

Play That Funky Music. Well, not necessarily funky, but yes, play some music. Classical, instrumental and acoustic music are thought to be very calming genres but even listening to your favorite song can help fight stress and help you feel at ease.

Exercise Daily. Exercise is a natural stress reliever, endorphin booster and is something that can be accomplished with or without a gym. A simple 10 minute walk can help reduce stress and improve your mood. If taking a walk is not your thing, try a kickboxing class, running, cycling or resistance training. There is no shortage of ways to be active and your body and mind will thank you for it.

Find a Hobby. Hobbies are wonderful ways to minimize stress. It allows you to express your individuality by doing something you enjoy. Some people garden, others read, and some skydive. Whatever you chose, a hobby can be something all your own, or something you share with others.

Catch Some Zzzs. Not only does sleep help combat stress but it is also necessary for physical health, however it is often pushed aside. Quality of sleep matters as sleep deprivation is linked to increased risks for high blood pressure, heart diseases, and diabetes.

Stretch. Take a moment during your work day to get up from your chair and stretch. Take deep breaths in and out throughout your stretch session and try to clear your mind. Stretching is a great way to refresh the body and it’s a great break from staring at the computer screen.

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