Mental & Emotional Health

8 Tips to Destress Throughout the Week

Stress is an all too familiar topic of modern American life. No matter who you are, what you do or where you live, the fact is you’re going to experience stress. Although we know about the negative mental and physical health side effects of stress, many of us still push ourselves to the max. Our culture is one that has moved away from downtime and believes it is essential to take advantage of every moment of everyday. The immensity of that weight is enough to boggle us in stress for a lifetime. It’s time to destress and remove the unnecessary anxieties we bring upon ourselves.

Stress manifests itself in many ways, sometimes obvious and other times quite mysteriously. Either way, if left ignored, it leads to illness or severe ailments. Do a little each day to decompress and enjoy your time rather than worrying. Follow these eight tips to unload the stress, live a healthier life and enjoy your week.

Tag your challenges to a mission

It’s easy to get caught up and stressed out in the different challenges we face in our lives. The key: linking the challenge to something meaningful. Let’s say, for example, you are working at a job that you don’t enjoy. It’s easy to get consumed in the stress of not wanting to be there. If you focus on why you are there or the purpose of being there, it’s going to make it more manageable. When you tag your challenges to a mission, your body and physiology responds in a positive way rather than a negative one.

Break the addiction of wanting things to be easy

Let’s set the record straight: life isn’t easy. Unfortunately, most of us are addicted to the notion that life is supposed to be easy. Approaching life with this kind of attitude actually encourages stress. Start looking at your challenges as opportunities for growth and to become better at something. The next time you are put in a challenging situation, instead of stressing out and complaining about it, embrace it with open arms. What can you learn about this challenge, and what can you learn about yourself? Remember that success is about working through and overcoming the challenges in your life.

 Relax and unwind with the calm presence of nature

Never underestimate what a walk in the woods can do for your mental health. If you can’t go on a walk or hike, at least sit outside in the sun to soak up the Vitamin D. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your stress and need time off, consider retreating to nature for a while. There are many modern options of renting cabins that have all the amenities, and offer you the solitude and natural elements that can carve away at your anxiety.

 Sleep with gratitude

Most people who are stressed have a difficult time with sleep. Even if you manage to fall asleep, high levels of stress takeaway from the quality of sleep and often leave you waking throughout the night. To reduce stress and sleep better, each night list the reasons you are grateful for the challenges of the day. List as many reasons as you can think of. When you shift your attitude to one of gratitude, you relax and immediately feel better. Your quality of sleep will improve and you’ll feel better throughout the day. Good sleep is essential to health and wellness.

Find your social hour

Friends and family make life worth living. Surround yourself with people that make you laugh and do fun, relaxing activities with them. This can be counterintuitive if your family is a stressor for you. Opt for a one-on-one lunch date with a friend to help get your mind away from your worries. Discuss what is bothering you or stressing you out to move past it. You will feel a lot better when you can vent about your struggles. Your friends may have suggestions to alter your stressful environment.

Develop a morning routine

When you were in college, chances are you woke up at 8:55am for that 9am class. As an adult, that’s just not the best way to go about your morning and it will leave you feeling rushed and stressed out. Develop a morning routine dedicated to yourself and that helps you prepare for the day ahead. If you are in chaos from the moment you wake up, you’re setting yourself up for a stressful day. Instead, do some breathing exercises each morning, go for a walk, exercise or read. Do things that get the blood flowing and stimulate you to grow. In fact, anytime during the day you start feeling stressed, take a break and focus on these activities to begin feeling better.

Be congruent to your values

Instead of doing things you subordinate to, do more of what you value and truly enjoy to diminish stress. Of course, you can’t eliminate every activity you have to do like work, but if possible, work in an industry that you enjoy. Above that, take time to do the things you like. Family and friends can be helpful, hobbies are a great release, and of course, find peace for yourself when you are alone. In any activity, no matter who you are with or what you are doing, be as congruent as possible to your own values. Otherwise, you are more likely to feel dismayed, upset and stressed.

Save 10 percent of your money

Finances are one of the most prevalent forms of stress. Often people feel their purchases are too much for them to handle. Begin tracking your purchases to know where your money is spent. Find yourself a comfortable budget that allows you to spend on quality items or experiences. Make it a habit to save 10 percent of your money each month. Knowing that you have some kind of safety net for emergencies will bring peace of mind and reduce stress.

The takeaway

Destressing is not only possible but probable. You have the power to take control of your life. It is self-determined how you spend your time. Life on Earth is a finite experience, so don’t waste it doing something that worries you. Take your time and delegate it wisely and enjoy the ride.

Dr. Alok Trivedi is author of the book Chasing Success, and the founder of the Aligned Performance Institute. Visit and

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