We know reducing stress is really important, but knowing how to reduce stress is not always easy.
Stress can be a major factor preventing us from getting the most out of our lives, much less enjoying our lives at any level. It can cause us to become unfocused, unmotivated, and even depressed.
Are you a stay-at-home mom or dad? Do you work from home? Or, are you in a high stress job, such as teaching or nursing? If so, this post will feel especially true to you.
If you hardly ever leave your home and workspace, stress management is key. Reducing stress becomes even more important for you.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps we can take to reduce stress in our living and work spaces. These steps can be applied at home or in your office – if you work outside of your home.
We’re going to talk about those steps below. But first, let’s get into the different ways how stress can affect you. In fact, you may learn ways it’s affecting you that you may not have been aware of.
Why it’s Important to Reduce Stress
For obvious reasons, like the mental well-being reasons listed above, we know our stress levels matter. High stress is not a good thing for our bodies.
A little bit of stress is to be expected, but most of us live with excessive amounts of stress.
Did you know that constantly finding yourself in stressful situations can actually cause health problems?
Chronic stress can have long-term effects on your physical health. High levels of ongoing stress that aren’t managed over time can cause the following health issues and more!
- Muscle tension and pain
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Digestive issues
- Trouble Sleeping
- Weight gain
- Memory problems
- Concentration problems
Reducing stress can help improve productivity, creativity, and the overall quality of your life, along with your physical health.
These self-care ideas can help reduce stress and bring joy back into your environment.
Unfortunately, we all get stressed! It’s one of those common experiences that can have a negative impact on our relationships, work performance, and satisfaction, in general.
Being a good parent is hard when you’re excessively stressed out. Work is harder when you’re stressed. Friendships are harder when stressed. Marriage is harder when you’re stressed.
Just because everyone experiences stress, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to reduce sources of it.
Taking steps for reducing stress can help us manage our everyday lives more effectively and make us happier people overall.
Steps for Reducing Stress in Your Living and Work Space
No matter your living situation, job, or household role, these simple steps can be applied by anyone.
Identifying and reducing sources of stress may look a little different for everyone. The following steps, however, are positive things that can help everyone!
A cluttered environment can be a major source of stress.
You know that feeling you get when your house is freshly cleaned? You suddenly feel motivated, like you could do anything. Better yet, you experience the feeling that you actually want to achieve things.
To make your house and work area less stressful, it is important to minimize clutter.
Clutter doesn’t just take up physical space, it also takes up mental space. It can easily make you feel overwhelmed. The longer it’s there, the harder it is to be relaxed in the present moment.
If you’re starting to get feelings of stress, take a look around your house or workspace.
Is your house full of stuff? Is every surface in your home full of stuff? Take the time to go through all of your items. Yes, all of them. One drawer and surface at a time.
Decide what you really need and what can be donated, recycled, or thrown away. Don’t be afraid to get rid of items that no longer serve a purpose.
You can also invest in storage solutions such as baskets, shelves, and cabinets to help keep your house and work area neat.
If you have a lot of stuff that you want to keep, it can still be kept in an orderly fashion to help reduce symptoms of stress. That brings me to our next step.
Being unorganized at home, or in your workspace, can cause frustration that builds up to high levels of stress.
Take the time to organize your space. Create an organizational system that will make it easier to stay on top of tasks.
Systems can help you keep your house and work area tidy and organized. When everything has a place, it will be easier to find what you need when you need it.
Hold yourself accountable to a good system for keeping it there.
Always put things back into their place rather than letting clutter pile up.
The amount of stress-inducing clutter you have will stay low or non-existent.
This could mean dedicating a certain area for specific items. For example, have a designated spot for bills and important paperwork.
You could also label items to make them easier to find. This can help reduce stress and make your life a little bit easier.
If you work from home, make sure you have a filing system or a way to organize work tasks. This will reduce the amount of time you spend getting ready to work and increase productivity.
Bring in Nature
Studies have shown that having plants or other natural elements in your home or workspace can have a calming effect and help you relax.
As a former teacher, I found my stress levels to go down when I brought plants into the classroom. The same goes for all work environments.
The presence of plants can reduce levels of cortisol, and increase levels of serotonin. Cortisol is a hormone produced in response to stress. Serotonin is associated with feelings of happiness and well-being.
Plants can also improve air quality, reduce noise levels, and create a more pleasant atmosphere.
On top of that, caring for plants can provide a sense of accomplishment and purpose, which can help to reduce stress.
If you don’t have much space or you aren’t particularly gifted at keeping plants alive, small plants like succulents or even an indoor herb garden are ideal.
Create a Relaxing Atmosphere
Incorporate calming colors and textures into your space.
Soft lighting, comfortable furniture, and inviting scents can also help create a relaxing atmosphere.
Using essential oils and scented candles to make your home or workspace smell nice can create positive emotions.
You can also use cozy textures like soft and fluffy throw pillows and blankets.
Avoiding harsh lighting is also a useful tool for keeping your living and work spaces calming.
Use Comfortable Furniture
Comfortable furniture is more important than you may think.
When you’re in your living and work space all the time, uncomfortable furniture can lead to chronic pain.
Your body’s response to constant pain is elevated levels of stress.
This doesn’t just mean you need a comfortable chair at your desk. It also means you need a comfortable bed to sleep in.
A good night’s sleep is a major component of a less stressful day.
If you want feel-good hormones to flood your body, rather than stress hormones, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting high-quality sleep as often as possible.
Exercise | Mentally and Physically
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress.
Whether it’s full-body physical exercise, relaxation exercises, or even just breathing exercises, these are all great for lessening the effects of stress.
This might not be something you can do in your living or work spaces, but it’s something you can do within yourself.
Without a doubt, focusing on your breathing and your inner self will make the energy you bring to these spaces better.
If you’re interested in healing from within, I recommend the book, The Inner Work, by Matthew Micheletti.
Every 45 minutes or so, take time to take deep breaths. Benefits of deep breathing, and meditation, have been proven for centuries.
To begin with, we know working out regularly is important to prevent stress.
Making time to have an outlet for stress. such as moving your body, is crucial for your overall health.
For example, when you’re in the middle of a work task, but you’re losing focus, a routine of heading out for a 20-minute walk is great!
Getting outside, sunny day or not, will give you a boost of helpful happy hormones that will help you make it through your day.
Overall physical activity is so important for preventing stress, but also for easing the effects of too much stress.
Find a type of exercise that you enjoy and make it a part of your daily routine. This can help reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.
While you’re working you can also take time to periodically do breathing exercises and relaxation exercises to calm yourself and refocus on what you need to get done.
Eat a Well-Balanced Healthy Diet
A balanced diet is important for managing stress. This is true, because it helps to provide the body with the nutrients it needs to produce energy and feel good.
When we eat junk, we feel like junk. A poor diet makes it hard for us to feel like cleaning, cooking, working, and exercising.
Eating a balanced diet can help to improve mood and increase energy levels. This, in turn, will reduce stress by giving you the will to do the things you need to do. Healthy food is a way to keep a good life balance.
Eating various foods helps ensure that the body gets all the necessary nutrients to maintain energy and feel good.
Eating a balanced diet can also help to manage blood sugar levels, which can also help to reduce stress.
A balanced diet helps your nervous system and improves cognitive function. A clear head makes for a much less stressful day.
By taking the time to reduce stress in your living and work spaces, you can create an environment that is conducive to productivity and relaxation.
If you follow these steps, your spaces can be enjoyable and help to reduce stress in your life. We’ll always have stress, but using these effective ways to ease stress effects should make a big difference.
As a recap, here are the key ways to reduce stress in your living and work space:
- Get organized
- Connect with nature
- Create a relaxing atmosphere
- Incorporate a well-balanced diet
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