Stop stressing and start living the life you want.

Here are 5 things you can do right now to stop stressing and start living the life you want. Because no one wants to feel overwhelmed and anxious all the time.

Stop Stressing. Start Living. 5 things you can do right now to stop stressing and start living the life you want

Want more out of life than feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed out all the time? Are your health, your relationships, and your waistline paying the price?

Loretta LaRoche had it right when she said that life isn’t a stress rehearsal.

Stop stressing. Start living.

Here are five things you can do right now to stop stressing and start living the life you want.

1. Just breathe.

I know. I know. You’re already breathing. The problem is, you’re breathing wrong. Most of us breathe in our chests, causing our heart rate to increase, our blood pressure to go up, and our anxiety levels to go through the roof. When you shift your breathing into your belly (AKA abdominal breathing), you slow down your heart rate, those racing thoughts in your head, and begin to put yourself in a state of relaxation. Best part? You can feel the difference in less than a minute.

2. Change your thoughts, change your life.

This probably won’t come as a surprise, but the way the think has a  huge impact on the way we feel. Ever notice that a fight with a friend or loved one can lead to destructive thoughts when you look in the mirror? By focusing on what you can change, what you can learn from the situation, and even what the benefits are of what you’re going through, you will change how you feel. Which, in turn, means you stress less, worry less, and feel better.

3. Just say no.

Saying no isn’t selfish, it isn’t rude, and it most certainly isn’t going to make other people resent you. Saying yes all the time isn’t healthy, either. It leads to being overcommitted, stressed out and sick. Saying no may not be the easiest thing to do, but it is a path to stress relief. Be brief, be honest, and be respectful. But most of all, be willing to say NO!

4. You’ve got to move it, move it.

If you’ve ever watched Legally Blonde, you know that “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. And happy people don’t kill their husbands.” So make a plan to move more. Go for a 10 minute walk at lunch, park a little further away when you go to the store, dance around the house to your favorite tunes, or pop in that yoga video from 1998. It doesn’t really matter what you do, just do it!

5. Cut the crap.

Are french fries, coffee, chocolate, red wine, cupcakes and donuts your best friends when you’re feeling stressed out? They can certainly be mine. Stress often leads to poor food choices. Unfortunately, these food choices can create more stress in the long run. Cut the crap and reach for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, good quality protein, and good fats. Good nutrition can make the difference between feeling great and energized, or cranky and tired. Which would you rather feel?

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More about Emily Levenson

Emily Levenson is a meditation encourager, mama, and Pittsburgh enthusiast. She recently launched a podcast called Nourish + Flourish and is a co-pilot at Propelle.

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