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Choosing a stress management habit
August 12, 2014, 4:54 pm

Whether you’re looking for health benefits, less stress in your life, or just the enjoyment of something you do for yourself, there are many reasons why maintaining at least one regular stress management practice is worth your time. However, there’s a difference between wanting to take on some stress relief habits and actually maintaining these habits on a regular basis. Sometimes maintaining a new healthy habit is harder than it seems. Fortunately, there are a few tricks that can make it easier to maintain a new healthy habit.

Choose Something Simple: Unless you’re really ready for a challenge, don’t take on a habit meant to relieve stress that will actually end up causing you excessive stress as you attempt to master it! For example, if yoga seems too difficult to try at the moment, don’t force it. Choose something easier, like walking; you can always switch to yoga or add it to your routine as your level of stress decreases and you feel more confident to take on a new healthy habit.

Pick a habit that compliments your lifestyle: If you’re not a morning person and find yourself struggling to make it on time to the office as it is, don’t choose a morning workout as your new stress management habit; you’ll find it too difficult to maintain. Likewise, if you are exhausted by night-time, perhaps a meditation session right before bedtime isn’t the best choice for you; you may be too tired to stay awake for more than a couple minutes of it! And if you care for small children full-time, it would be much easier for you to pop them in a stroller and go for a power walk than to attempt a meditation session that requires privacy, silence, or even your full attention for very long. Not unless you have someone who can watch them for you for a little while. Instead of forcing a health habti that doesn’t fit in your schedule, look at your lifestyle and see where you have the most ‘space’ for something new, and see what would fit well there.

Work with your strengths: If you’re trying to lose weight, an exercise-based stress reliever would be great, whereas it might not be so useful for someone with certain physical limitations. Looking at your strengths and weaknesses, and finding a stress reliever that fits with them, is one of the most important steps in choosing a new stress management practice.

Once you’ve carefully looked at yourself and your needs, choosing the right new healthy habit will become much easier. Once you’ve chosen a stress management practice that fits well with your lifestyle and that you enjoy, you’re much more likely to stick with your new healthy habit. Check out a list of the many stress management practices you can try, and see which suits you the best.


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