- Stress: Ways to Ease Stress
- How can we handle stress in healthy ways?
- What to do if you have trouble sleeping
- 12 Actionable Tips To Destress And Feel Happier Right Now
- 1. Seville, Spain
- 2. Porto, Portugal
- 3. Berlin, Germany
- 4. Tallinn, Estonia
- 5. Prague, Czech Republic
- 6. Krakow, Poland
- 7. Brussels, Belgium
- 8. Granada, Spain
- 9. Split, Croatia
- 10. Naples, Italy
- 7 Ways to Stay Positive Even on the Most Stressful Days
- #1 Be Present
- #2 Stop Yourself When Needed
- #3 Do Something For Someone Else
- #4 Move Your Body
- #5 Stop That All or Nothing Thinking
- #6 Leave Your Work at Work
- #7 Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
- The Last Word
Stress: Ways to Ease Stress
Stress refers to your body's reaction to challenges and demands. Stress can be positive or negative and there are healthy ways to deal with it. Sleeping well is important in stress management.
Stress is the body’s response to a challenge or demand.
Everyone experiences stress, which can be triggered by a range of events, from small daily hassles to major changes a divorce or job loss. The stress response includes physical components such an elevated heart rate and blood pressure, thoughts and personal beliefs about the stressful event, and emotions, including fear and anger.
Although we often think of it as being negative, stress can also come from positive changes in your life, getting a promotion at work or having a new baby.
How can we handle stress in healthy ways?
Stress serves an important purpose—it enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger.
However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties (for example, anxiety and depression) or increased physical health problems.
A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
- Eat and drink to optimize your health. Some people try to reduce stress by drinking alcohol or eating too much. These actions may seem to help in the moment, but actually may add to stress in the long run. Caffeine also can compound the effects of stress. Consuming a healthy, balanced diet can help to combat stress.
- Exercise regularly. In addition to having physical health benefits, exercise has been shown to be a powerful stress reliever. Consider non-competitive aerobic exercise, strengthening with weights, or movement activities yoga or Tai Chi, and set reasonable goals for yourself. Aerobic exercise has been shown to release endorphins—natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude.
- Stop using tobacco and nicotine products. People who use nicotine often refer to it as a stress reliever. However, nicotine actually places more stress on the body by increasing physical arousal and reducing blood flow and breathing.
- Study and practice relaxation techniques. Taking the time to relax every day helps to manage stress and to protect the body from the effects of stress. You can choose from a variety of techniques, such as deep breathing, imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation. There are many online and smart phone apps that provide guidance on these techniques; although some entail purchase costs, many are available free of charge.
- Reduce triggers of stress. If you are most people, your life may be filled with too many demands and too little time. For the most part, these demands are ones we have chosen. You can free up time by practicing time-management skills asking for help when it’s appropriate, setting priorities, pacing yourself, and reserving time to take care of yourself.
- Examine your values and live by them. The more your actions reflect your beliefs, the better you will feel, no matter how busy your life is. Use your values when choosing your activities.
- Assert yourself. It’s okay to say “No” to demands on your time and energy that will place too much stress on you. You don’t have always have to meet the expectations of others.
- Set realistic goals and expectations. It's okay—and healthy—to realize you cannot be 100% successful at everything all at once. Be mindful of the things you can control and work on accepting the things that you can’t control.
- Sell yourself to yourself. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, remind yourself of what you do well. Have a healthy sense of self-esteem.
There are several other methods you can use to relax or reduce stress, including:
Ask your healthcare provider for more information about these techniques or other suggestions.
Biofeedback helps a person learn stress reduction skills by providing information about muscle tension, heart rate, and other vital signs as a person attempts to relax. It is used to gain control over certain bodily functions that cause tension and physical pain.
Biofeedback can be used to help you learn how your body responds in stressful situations, and how to cope better. If a headache, such as a migraine, begins slowly, many people can use biofeedback to stop the attack before it becomes full- blown.
What to do if you have trouble sleeping
You may experience insomnia (an inability to sleep) because of discomfort, stress from personal concerns, or side effects from your medications. If you cannot sleep, try these tips:
- Establish a regular sleep schedule – go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Make sure your bed and surroundings are comfortable. Arrange the pillows so you can maintain a comfortable position.
- Keep your bedroom dark and quiet.
- Use your bedroom for sleeping only. Don't work or watch TV in your bedroom.
- Avoid napping too much during the day. At the same time, remember to balance activity with periods of rest.
- If you feel nervous or anxious, talk to your spouse, partner, or a trusted friend. Get your troubles off your mind.
- Listen to relaxing music.
- Do not rely on sleeping pills. They can be harmful when taken with other medications. Use them only if recommended for a brief period by your healthcare provider if other non-medication methods don’t work.
- Take diuretics, or «water pills,» earlier if possible, so you don't have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
- If you can't sleep, get up and do something relaxing until you feel tired. Don't stay in bed worrying about when you're going to fall asleep.
- Avoid caffeine.
- Maintain a regular exercise routine, but don’t exercise within two to three hours before the time you go to bed.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/12/2020.
12 Actionable Tips To Destress And Feel Happier Right Now
Last Updated on November 11, 2021
Scrolling down your Instagram and you see your friends swimming at the beautiful beaches in Spain, visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris or sipping their cup of coffee at a cafe in Italy while you are still sitting at home dreaming about going to Europe, but think you can’t?
Think again, because the euro just hits a 20-month low, making it a perfect time for your Europe dream.
As an avid and frequent traveler, I’ve always loved Europe.
European know how to enjoy life and there’re a lot of amazing places to explore in Europe.
From the beautiful harbors in Southern France, to the incredible architecture in Spain, the amazing castles in Germany and the stunning alps in Switzerland and more; there’s just so much you can see there.
And not to mention the food there, just try to think about how persistent Italian are when it comes to the quality of food including the pasta, pizza and even just a cup of coffee.
Having studied in Madrid for half a year, I’d to suggest you some of the most affordable cities to visit in Europe. You really don’t need to spend a lot to have a memorable trip in Europe, here we go:
1. Seville, Spain
▲ Plaza de España
Seville is the birthplace of Flamenco and a day in this passionate city with a double-sized bed will cost you $30 on Airbnb.
Instead of paying to watch Flamenco dancing in the US or your hometown, watch it for free at bars the famous El Palacio Andaluz or La Carbonería at the birthplace of this hot and passionate dance. If you make it in time in April, you could also go to the festival ‘Feria de Abril’ in Seville to see the passion and hospitality of Spaniards.
Visit the Plaza de España, Metropol Parasol and Palace of San Telmo to enjoy the not-to-be-missed architecture in this cultural hub of southern Spain. Save your Sunday morning before 2:30pm to visit the Seville Cathedral because it is free!
Do not forget to try out all different kinds of tapas there! (And usually if you order a beer at the bar, you’ll get tapas for free!)
2. Porto, Portugal
▲ The port in Porto
Accommodations in Porto are affordable as most of them are priced locally. A decent double bedroom costs you less than $20.
Traveling in this second largest city in Portugal and a world heritage listed by the UNESCO in 1996, you will be able to explore the historical sides of the Europe by visiting the Porto Cathedrals, the beautifully painted São Bento Railway Station which inaugurated in 191 and the Ponte de Dom Luis I bridge that allow you to get the best views over Porto.
The awesome part is, they are all free. If you are up for some wine in this world’s top wine destination, pay $3USD to try their the local port wine.
3. Berlin, Germany
▲ Berlin Cathedral
While you might not believe, but it’s actually not expensive to travel in the capital of Germany.
A comfy two-person bedroom costs less than $25 on Airbnb and a dinner out in beer halls or average restaurants would be around $8-16.
Being one of the most multicultural cities, not only will you be able to experience the energetic vibes of the Berliners’, but also get to try out different kinds of food, be it kebab or currywurst can go as cheap as less than $3. If you are on a budget but still wanna drink, go to those beer halls or bars only in happy hours.
Berlin has many world-class museums which offer student discount for entry, so make sure you bring your student cards when visiting the museums the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. The Berlin Wall is also a must-go spot — an important symbol of the German unification.
4. Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn is able to offer everything in a much lower price than you find in Western Europe. A double-sized bed costs $20 per day on Airbnb, double if near the old-town center and a budget dinner would cost around $7-14.
The Sõõrikukohvik Donut Cafe is the place to be for a budgeted meal with salads, pancakes, Estonian-styled donuts etc.
Instead of going to towers or hotels to enjoy the views of Tallinn, you can simply go up to the Toompea Hill and enjoy the beauty of Tallinn for free.
Remember to visit the world heritage – the Old Town of Tallinn, join a free tour there to get the most it.
5. Prague, Czech Republic
One should not be unfamiliar with the word – Prague when doing budgeted travel. Although the Czech currency has been rising over the years, you could still find cheap, decent and cozy double-bed bedroom for less than $20 per night on airbnb. And it would cost around $6-10 to dine out in Prague.
Make sure you go to see the huge Prague Castle which offer some free parts to enter, a short visit would cost you for only $10.
Also visit The Prague National Gallery which holds the country’s most treasured art pieces after 4pm because it would be cheaper. You might also want to try drinking inside a nuclear fallout center in Bunkr Parukarka.
6. Krakow, Poland
Krakow has a lower costs of living than those in Western Europe. Just Prague, Krakow is listed as the one of the best-valued destination in Europe in 2017.
Visit the known historical monument and world heritage – the Old Town where you can see the historical european monuments and churches showing you the classic Europe.
There are also free walking tours available daily leaving from the main square and one should visit the Auschwitz Concentration Camps for one to understand the painful memories of war for the Pole and the entrance fee is free.
7. Brussels, Belgium
You could get cozy accommodation for two in Brussels for $20 on Airbnb, and a dinner at an average restaurant would cost you from $9 to $17.
Do visit the oldest Musées Royaux Art et Histoire to see the most important art pieces in the world. The Grand Place and Palais de Justice are what you should see too if you’re fond on the European architecture. There are also free walking tours available on sites New Europe Tours.
Do try the locally-made Belgium chocolate at Leonidas too!
8. Granada, Spain
▲ Alhambra Palace
It would cost you $9-16 to dine out in Granada and you could easily find room for two to stay overnight for less than $20.
You must not miss the historical Alhambra Palace, a palace and fortress complex with Arabic architectural style. The tickets get sold out easily, so it’s better for you to book your tickets in advance, or you’ll have to queue for the tickets at the door very early in the morning.
Remember to visit the Cathedral of Granada as it is the second largest cathedral in Spain and the Royal Chapel to see the historical sides of Spain. They are all under $5.
Go dine at some local restaurants and bars that give you free tapas upon a beer order to save some money!
9. Split, Croatia
Splits in Croatia is known for its blue coastlines and beaches. The accommodations here are in good value, a room with sea views for two costs you less than $30 per day.
Visit the Campanile Bell Tower to walk up to the tower and enjoy the views of Split. Also visit the gallaries there the Meštrović Gallery and Gallery of Fine Arts for less than $5.
Dinner is ranged from $7-14, at a rather cheap price comparing with dining in the other parts of Europe. Make sure you get seafood from the local restaurants.
10. Naples, Italy
In one of the oldest continuos inhabited cities in the world, Naples has plenty of historical museums and architectures that are worth visiting.
Although you cannot get hotels or hostels as cheap as those in Eastern Europe, it is relatively cheap compared with the northern sides of Italy with less tan $20 for a day in a hostel and less than $40 for a three-started hotel with convenient transportations nearby.
Visit the National Museum of Capodimonte which opened in 1957 for some of the finest Italian paintings .
Food and drinks here are just the accommodation, reasonable and cheaper than in the cities in the south of Italy.
Now you are ready to go, time to pack your bag, buy your tickets and explore Europe!
Featured photo credit: Everaldo Coelho via unsplash.com
7 Ways to Stay Positive Even on the Most Stressful Days
You know that co-worker of yours who always has a smile on her face, maintains an upbeat positive attitude and carries herself with such grace? Yup, we probably all know someone that, and if you’re slightly jealous and want to know the secret sauce to staying positive even throughout the stress of day to day life, keep reading.
We are going to talk about how to stay positive even on the most stressful days by simply shifting your mindset, moving your body, and giving yourself a break every once in a while.
So whether you are looking for tips on adding more positivity into your day to day life, or are looking for what the secret to staying positive at work is, we have you covered.
Let’s take a look at seven ways you can stay positive even on the most stressful days.
#1 Be Present
Want in on the number one way to keep your day upbeat and positive?
Drum roll please…it’s being present in the moment! Something as simple as just going through your day being super mindful about everything you do can help you stay positive even on the busiest days. It will help you focus in on one thing at a time, tune out any background noise, and putting everything you have into what is going on in the present moment.
When you’re present and mindful, you can also really tune into everything you have to be grateful and positive for, so stay present my friend, and positivity will naturally follow suit.
#2 Stop Yourself When Needed
Have you ever made a mountain a molehill? Trust us when we say we all have. And if it’s something you tend to do often, then give yourself permission to stop yourself when needed. Pump the breaks for a second and think about the situation at hand.
Don’t let yourself spiral down a rabbit hole you don’t need to go down something that just doesn’t require that much of your energy. This can be a huge game changer when it comes to keeping things upbeat and positive throughout the day, even if you hit a bump in the road.
Take a few deep breaths, and just keep moving right along.
#3 Do Something For Someone Else
Sometimes doing something nice for someone else is exactly what we need to bring more positivity to our day, and it will certainly bring a smile to someone else’s face.
So, if you are feeling stressed, tired, overworked, or all the above, make it a point to practice one act of kindness each day. You would be surprised at what doing for others can do for your overall mood as well.
Plus, we could totally use some extra kindness going around!
#4 Move Your Body
Have you ever heard the saying you’re just one good workout away from a good mood? Well, this is so true, and if you feel yourself getting stuck in a rut and in need of a mood boost, be sure to get a good workout in. The post-workout endorphin rush is sure to give you that positive mood boost you need to get through the rest of your day.
And, if you want a great way to kickstart your day, try getting a quick 20-30 minute workout in before you head out the door to work. FitOn app has plenty of exercise classes taught by celebrity and world-class trainers that are always open! Just press play, and get that workout in right from home before your busy day begins.
Trust us, you will be happy that you did!
#5 Stop That All or Nothing Thinking
Are you guilting of being stuck in that all or nothing mindset? You are totally not alone, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
So many of us think that if we don’t have a full hour to work out, then what’s the point, or if we ate that donut for breakfast, our day is ruined, so why not make it your cheat day.
Listen up girl, we are here to tell you to ditch that mentality, because life and healthy living is SO not all or nothing, and you can bring so much more positivity into your day if you just give yourself a break.
So, if you only have 20 minutes to exercise, that’s perfect, and just enough time to get in a quick HIIT session in with FitOn app.
And, did you slip up between breakfast and lunch and grab a handful of candy from the candy jar at work? Brush it off, and move on.
You have the whole rest of your day to make positive choices, so don’t get hung up on these things, and make one healthy choice at a time, one day at a time.
#6 Leave Your Work at Work
If you’re crazy stressed at work, it will be easier to stay positive throughout your day if you know that when it’s time to punch that clock, that you can leave work at work and go home to unwind.
It’s when we bring out workloads home and never have time to rest and reboot for the next day that we can find ourselves frazzled and extra irritable.
So, if work has you stressed, look on the bright side by thinking about what you get to do after work. It will help you power through your day.
#7 Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Real talk-life is way too short to take yourself too seriously! So, if you find yourself up against some type of criticism, let’s say at work with a coworker, try to take the criticism in a more positive light. This is a great way to stay positive at work even on the days where you feel your boss is breathing down your neck.
Take some deep breaths and start to reframe how you look at criticism. While any negativity can seem a direct insult, and of course rejection can be harsh, don’t let it steal your sunshine, girl.
Instead, ask yourself what you can take away from the criticism-is it constructive criticism you can learn something from, or is it non-constructive and something you just need to brush off?
Either way, remember not to take yourself too seriously, and don’t let it get in the way of your ray of positivity you have to share with everyone else around you.
The Last Word
Bringing more positivity into your day even on the most stressful days can be as easy and as simple as getting a quick workout in, being more present in the moment, or taking some time to really dig deep and shift your way of thinking about certain things. So, if you’re stuck in a rut and in need of a serious change, try implementing a few (or all) of these tips. Positivity is a powerful and contagious thing, so don’t be surprised if the more positive you are, the more positive others are around you too.