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With all of the uncertainties surrounding us, we are more stressed than ever before. From trying to balance working from home and family life to wondering how you are going to handle your child’s school schedule this fall, it seems to be affecting everyone in one way or another. Stress can feel overwhelming and sometimes it can feel like a small inconvenience, but it can take a toll on us and it shouldn’t be ignored. Let’s discuss some ways to help reduce stress.

Stress impacts your physical and emotional health and when left unmanaged, can contribute to health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

Here are the most common effects of stress on your body, mood and actions.

Effects of stress on your physical body: Effects of stress on your mood: Effects of stress on your actions:
  • Neck pain, back aches, muscle spasms
  • Constant tiredness
  • Headaches and / or migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Upset stomach, nausea, heartburn
  • Depression
  • Inability to focus
  • Lack of motivation
  • Increased frustration, irritability, edginess
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Overeating or not eating enough
  • Fighting with family or coworkers
  • Socially withdrawn and isolated
  • Reduced work efficiency or productivity

The top causes of stress are money, work, relationships and family issues.  While you can’t avoid stress, you can do a few things to help manage it and get your body feeling more relaxed.

Here are 10 helpful tips that are ways to reduce stress and will have you feeling more relaxed within minutes:

1. Physical activity – Go for walk, go for a run, just get your body moving.  Exercise produces endorphins, which are responsible for making you feel happy.

2. Slow your breath – When you start feeling stressed, start to slow your breaths. It’s even helpful to count to 5 on your inhale, hold for a moment and count to 5 on your exhale.  This deep, slow breath calms your body and mind.

3. Yoga / Stretching – Yoga is ultimately a moving meditation. During yoga practice you are taught to concentrate on your breath and movement. Each breath correlates with each movement.  It’s a discipline to let your mind go and focus during yoga, but with practice it can be a major stress reliever. If you aren’t ready for yoga, incorporating stretching is helpful to reduce tension. This is especially important if you are at a desk the majority of your day.  Take a few moments to stand up and stretch.  Just by raising your shoulders to your ears, rolling them back and relaxing them down can help to reset your posture.  Try these exercises that you can do at your desk.

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4. Practice gratitude – It’s amazing what can happen when you set aside a few minutes of your day just to express gratitude. Try it before you even leave your bed in the morning. Allow yourself to give thanks for five things, this could be people, pets or opportunities. This will allow you to start your day balanced and positive.

5. Get some sun – Sunshine can make a world of a difference in your mood. The sun actually increases levels of serotonin, a hormone that is a natural antidepressant in the brain.  Whether it’s summer or winter, a quick little walk outside will be helpful.

6. Journal your thoughts – Writing down your feelings is one way to clear your mind and allow you to focus. This may be especially important at night when you are trying to sleep, but your mind won’t shut off.  Instead of tossing and turning and fighting with your to-do list, write it down and relax.  Once it’s written down, you don’t have to worry about forgetting it.

7. Organize – Some people have a hard time working at their desk when it’s a complete mess (others enjoy the organized chaos). If you don’t thrive under messy conditions, then take a few minutes to neatly stack, file and organize your work area.

8. Color – Yes, it’s not just for kids anymore. Coloring can be very therapeutic. Like meditation, coloring allows to leave thoughts behind and focus on the moment. Because coloring can help with emotional and mental health issues, doctors use them with patients that suffer from PTSD, anxiety and stress.

9. Have a mindful presence – Practicing mindfulness is powerful. Many of us are always on the go and trying to be three steps ahead. Slow down. Take time to live in the moment. Allow feelings to come and go and accept what is in front of you right now. The more you practice mindfulness, you might start understand how certain things can trigger you to feel a certain way and you will be able to have more control over it.

10. Try calming essential oils – Otherwise called “aromatherapy”. Sniffing some lavender can naturally calm your mind.  Peppermint and citrus oils can energize and enhance your mood.  Keep one or two at your desk and use as needed. Whether you need a pick-me-up or some stress reduction, essential oils are helpful.

Finding what works for you might take some time, but once you find better ways to reduce stress and find a bit of relaxation, your body will thank you. Here at Quotacy, we take the stress out of buying life insurance. By working with multiple carriers, we find you the best product at an affordable price, so you can sit back and relax while we do the work for you.


About the writer

Headshot of Jeanna Simonson, Life Insurance Marketing Content and Social Media at Quotacy, Inc. in Minneapolis. Holiday gift ideas.

Jeanna Simonson

Marketing Content and Social Media

Jeanna has a passion for letting her creativity shine. At Quotacy she manages social media, is a co-host of Quotacy's Q&A Friday YouTube channel, and enjoys writing here and there. When she's not at the office, you can find her hanging with her husband and rescue animals, brunching with girlfriends, or loving up on her nieces and nephews. Connect with her on LinkedIn.