April is Stress Awareness month.
Why do we need a stress awareness month? Stress is a huge issue which most people can relate to. We have work stress, home stress, all kinds of stress. But why is all this stress bad? Our bodies can be negatively impacted by stress. It can affect every part of our body from headaches, to digestive issues, to heart problems. It’s something we need to be aware of and work on reducing.
How do we reduce stress?
- Focus on the now. We can’t change the past and we can’t fully prepare or plan for the future. Worrying about what you did yesterday or what will happen next month does nothing good for us. Stay in the moment and enjoy it!
- Help someone or volunteer. Giving our time and energy can help us feel happier. It can also help take your mind of your current worries by focusing on others.
- Stay or get healthy. This includes eating better and getting physical. Start off the day with some yoga, eat your fruits and vegetables, and get outside for a brisk walk!
- They don’t say laughter is the best medicine for nothing. Rent a funny movie, listen to a comedy podcast, or get together with the friend that always has you rolling with laughter. It doesn’t get any better than to giggle away your worries.
- Take a break. Do something that helps you relax like meditation, a warm bath or treat yourself to a massage.
How else can you reduce stress?
Start a happiness journal. For the month of April, take 15 minutes each day to write in your happiness journal. It should become a habit by the end of the month and you can continue writing each day! To start, find a pretty notebook, one that will make you smile when you pick it up. Get some pens that you love to write with. And find yourself a comfortable spot to write. Some people like to write in bed while others prefer their desk or a table.
Not sure what to write?
Here are a few prompts and ideas to get you started.
- Five things that made you smile today.
- Purge your worries. Get all the thoughts swirling around your head on paper. It helps your brain process and forget them.
- Write down all your victories for the day/week/month. It doesn’t matter if they are big or small. If drinking one more glass of water is your goal and you do, write it down!
- Pick a positive word. Write down all the ways you’ve experienced it lately.
- Write out your version of what you would do on your most perfect day. Try to incorporate those activities into your days.
- Doodle. Draw things that make you smile.
- Five things you are thankful for. Why are you thankful for them?
- Five people, you are thankful for. Explain how they help you and what you can do to return the feeling.
- Right now I feel…
- How do I currently handle stress? What can I change to do better?
- List everything you do for self-care. Star the ones you want to do more.
- How can I fit in more self-care, especially on more stressful days?
- Feeling overwhelmed? Write out everything you have to do. Rank them from most important to least. Be honest.
- Write out everything that makes you happy. Everything, from avocados to the zoo and everything in between. Nothing is too big, small, or silly to put on your list.
- Write a letter and get out all your feelings. You could write it to past or future you or a friend, whoever you want to talk to about what is troubling you. Write unedited because you will never send this letter.
There you go! Five tips to reduce stress and 15 prompts to get you started on a happiness journal!