Seven Ways to Cut Out Stress

Stress can make even the most focused and hardworking people lose their minds. Stress can ruin your life when you're always worried about something and scared that you're going to fail. Many people may not realize how easy it is to relieve stress and live a healthier, happier life. There are many things you can do to get your mind off something that's bothering you and relax your mind and body.

  1. Take a hike. Walk through a park or on a mountain trail. Nature is so relaxing and forgiving that you can truly be at peace with yourself away from the hassles and noise of the modern-day urban jungle. Just getting away from it all can help you to forget about what's bothering you and rejuvenate your mind and body.
  2. Read a book. Jump into the pages of your favorite story and let your mind wander through mythical worlds, solve a mysterious murder case or go back in time to forget about stress for awhile. You can be anyone you want while reading, and you don't have to deal with the IRS, nosy neighbors or job deadlines while exploring the pages.
  3. Go to the gym and hit the weights. What better way to release stress than to pump some iron? Your mind releases powerful endorphins when you lift, making you feel "pumped." This "pump" eliminates stress and helps you relax, especially after you complete a good workout.
  4. Listen to music. Break out your iPod and listen to something that calms you down and helps you escape. Music is the best medicine when you're stressed, and you can often relate to the songs you listen to. Just turn the volume up high and get away for a little while.
  5. Make a list of the positives in your life -- it helps. Having a negative attitude when you're stressed doesn't contribute to solving the problem. Make a list of things that you're grateful for in your life. You'll be pleasantly surprised with this little reminder of all the positive aspects of your life.
  6. Eat something you love, like your favorite dessert. Moderation is key, but certain foods and sweets have chemicals that can release oxytocin into your body and help relax you. A bowl of chocolate ice cream or a piece of cake can make you feel better. Plus, hunger exacerbates stress. Eat sensibly to curtail cravings.
  7. Laugh -- it really is the best medicine. Find someone or something that makes you laugh and let yourself go. A good belly laugh releases those feel-good hormones and can improve your outlook on things, at least for a little while.

You can add your own stress-relieving activities to maximize the potential to have a better day. Never underestimate the power of a good night's sleep, a nutritious diet and regular workouts. Stay calm in times of stress and know that things can get better.