Been feeling stressed lately? Being happier and healthier can be easier than you think! Start by doing these simple practices that, little by little, help make everything better.
As family therapist Virginia Satir once said, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” But why is this comforting gesture so important? Studies show that people who receive (and give!) 12 hugs a day are less likely to get sick, especially since hugging makes one feel more supported and secure. Hugging also reduces stress and in some cases, even physical pain. Think about it: Haven’t we all experienced how being embraced can instantly make us happier?
Tune in to Joy
From the nightly news to the tragic teleserye you follow every day (not to mention the real-life one you can’t help but eavesdrop on from across your neighbor’s fence), life is filled with negativity. We’re not saying that you should turn a blind eye to the problems of the world, but constantly feeding your mind a diet of stress and worry will only serve to make your outlook dimmer. For a change in perspective, take some time out of catastrophe mode. Instead, switch to uplifting tunes, shows that promote good values, and even your favorite feel-good magazine!
Also Read: Five Healthy Alternatives to Junkfood
Laugh Out Loud
This might sound cliché, but laughter really is the best medicine. A good guffaw can relax your entire body, release happy hormones, and even boost the immune system! It’s also an extremely effective tool when it comes to battling stress. And did we mention that it’s totally free? We realize that none of these benefits count as breaking news, but the mirth and glee of a little giggle are often overlooked these days, thus it bears reminding. Just make sure your humor doesn’t come at the expense of someone else, and chuckle away!
Get Enough Sleep
If you find yourself tossing and turning every night, try to look into what’s getting in the way of a good night’s rest and study how you can address these issues. Do you feel overstimulated at bedtime? If so, watch what you’re eating and drinking— and stay away from caffeine and sugar in the afternoon and evening. If you’re restless and not tired enough, get up earlier and add more physical activity to your day. If you’re anxious, learn a few techniques that will help keep your worries at bay. One trick we often like to recommend is the Journal Dump––where you write down all your thoughts, anxieties, and anything that comes to mind before you sleep. The point isn’t to write your memoir, but to unload your burdens and keep them from getting in the way of your restful sleep. When you’re done, shut your notebook, put it aside, and turn in for the night.
Text by Tata Mapa.SUBSCRIBE NOW