When it comes to stress, most of us are no stranger to the feeling, but we all still know that one person who seems to be zen no matter what life hands them. In an attempt to reach their level of calmness, it can help to look at the daily habits of people who never get stressed. Although everyone has their obstacles, some people just seem to be doing something right when it comes to handling their emotions and problems,
"If you have daily habits that are functioning to calm you down, center you, and relax you, your stress levels in general will be lessened," says psychotherapist Kristen Martinez to Bustle over email. "If you remind yourself to take a few minutes to just breathe when you're under a stressful situation, you can more easily work past the stress to think more clearly. The reverse can be true, too: If your daily commute is grueling, for instance, and you get frustrated every day about the amount of traffic and any delays, that stress will undoubtedly leak into your larger outlook for the day and will make you more tense."
Although avoiding stress altogether is impossible, if you participate in the right daily activities, you can help minimize your negative emotions. If you want to relax and destress, try adapting these 11 habits of people who don't get stressed.
1. They Practice Deep Breathing
"This sounds like an obvious one, and it is," says Martinez. Despite it's obviousness, most people don't pay particular attention to how they breathe throughout the day. "When we are caught up in a tense situation, we are probably breathing shallow, quick breaths," Martinez says. But taking in deep breaths can relax your body, which eliminates its fight or flight response that causes panic and tension, according to Harvard Health.
2. They Are Mindful
Even if they don't spend every single day meditating, people who don't get stressed pay attention to the present as much as possible. "Mindfulness means slowing down the thoughts that might be racing through your head, noting each thought, but not following it away. The intention is to keep you always focused on what is happening in that very moment. When you remind yourself to pay attention to the present, you are much less likely to be carried away by overwhelming feelings of stress, anxiety, and worry that are future-oriented," says Martinez.
3. They Have A Good Laugh
"Having a sense of humor and making sure you laugh every day is so important to managing stress response," says Dr. Kathy Gruver, PhD, LMT, CHt over email. Laughter releases endorphins, stimulates your heart and lungs, and improves circulation, all which help to cool your stress response, according to the Mayo Clinic.
4. They Practice Gratitude
Being thankful is not just reserved for Thanksgiving. "Even just taking five to 10 minutes out of your day and journaling what you are thankful for on that particular day can help decrease worry, increase your focus on the positive (fighting our brain's negativity bias), and help your sleep," says Martinez.
5. They Exercise
Working out is not just for your body. People who stay calm know that exercise is not only a good outlet for their frustrations, but it helps to make changes in their body chemistry that keeps them calm as well. "Exercise helps produces feel-good hormones in the brain," says Gruver. "Regular exercise is a great way to help manage stress."
6. They Sleep Well
Stress and sleep go hand in hand, and healthy people combat their stress by making adequate sleep a priority. A study from the University of Pennsylvania found that people who are sleep-deprived report being more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. "When you can get into a stable sleep schedule, you no longer have to worry about getting by the next day on a handful of hours of sleep," says Martinez.
7. They Eat Healthy
"This one seems like a no-brainer too, but it goes back to the mind-body connection," says Martinez. Healthy foods contain nutrients that help combat your body's reaction to stress. "Additionally, when you're eating poorly, you may be groggy, uncomfortable, and consequently stressed about these symptoms and probably the larger picture of your health," she says.
8. They Monitor Their Caffeine Intake
It might seem like loading up on coffee can help you power through your day, but it also may unknowingly be your cause of stress. "Increased caffeine = increased symptoms of anxiety in the body," says Martinez. Research from the journal Advances in Psychiatric Treatment shows that caffeine can exacerbate anxiety in people who suffer from the disorder.
9. They Spend Time With Friends
People who don't get very stressed have good, healthy, supportive relationships. "Studies show that that human connection and interaction tend to decrease the stress response," says Gruver. "It also allows us to lean on others in times we need extra support."
10. They Get Outside
Stress can make you want to curl up into a ball inside your bed, but people who don't get stressed spend much of their time outdoors. Research from Stanford University found that even a short walk in nature reduces stress and improves wellbeing.
11. They Take Time To Disconnect From Work
Work is a major cause of stress for many people, so it's important to make some boundaries between your work life and your personal life. A study from the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found that psychological detachment from work during non-work time is important for employee recovery and health.
Everyone gets stressed, but practicing the right daily habits can help give you the power and control to prevent your emotions from overwhelming you.
Images: Pixabay (12); Isla Murray/Bustle