8 Simple Lifestyle Changes to Help Reduce Stress

How to Relieve Stress and Anxiety in a Healthy Way

Stress is our body and mind’s normal response to challenges in our daily life. Short term, it can help us perform better when the clock is ticking and we are under pressure, and it enables us to respond quickly to threats and danger. However, longer or constant exposure to stress can pose problems for our overall health – it can affect our physical health, our mental well-being and emotional state.

While we may not (to the full extent) be able to change what causes stress, we can focus on our reaction and our stress management. Now you’re probably thinking ‘easier said than done’, huh? Well here I offer 8 simple and healthy lifestyle changes you can implement into your daily routine, slowly and steadily shifting your mindset towards a slower, lighter, more mindful, and healthier way of living. Why do I think that can help in reducing and better managing everyday stress?

Just imagine 2 scenarios: in one, you woke up in a rush, you ate some pizza from yesterday for breakfast, while scrolling through social media, and you quickly got dressed and rushed off to work. In the other, you woke up in time, even earlier, you didn’t look at your phone right away. You stretched out a bit, meditated for a couple of minutes, and made yourself a healthy breakfast, which you ate mindfully, without any distractions. You had enough time to get ready at your own pace and went to work. Which of these two scenario-people do you think will handle that day’s work stress better? The second one, without a doubt. The cause (outside element) might be the same, but the person managing it will be different.

8 Healthy Lifestyle Habits for Better Managing Everyday Stress

Create a simple, but effective morning routine

How you start each day sets the tone for the rest of that day. Wake up early, give yourself time to wake up entirely – stretch or workout to wake up your body, meditate, and have a healthy breakfast without any distractions. Set yourself for a more mindful and focused day.

Go to bed early

Tiredness is like adding fuel to stressful situations. Having more energy is the first step in dealing with stressful situations more effectively. Also, in order to maintain a productive morning routine, it is important to get enough sleep and rest the night before. Go to bed early and enjoy your well deserved rest.

Avoid people who stress you out

Other people play a huge role in our everyday lives. Some people may not be that easy to avoid, but sometimes we keep hanging out with people that cause negative emotions in us out of pure habit. Re-evaluate your social life, detect who influences your life in a solely negative way, and re-consider how you handle them.

Practice deep breathing throughout the day

Set your timer for every couple of hours, and pause to have a couple of deep and mindful breaths. All of us easily get caught up and race through the day, this can help you keep yourself more grounded and remind you to pause every now and then.

Identify what is causing your stress and anxiety

Sometimes it takes us some time to recognize we are under huge stress or feeling anxious. Mindful breathing breaks are a tool in helping you understand your state of being – if you’re under stress, taking a pause can help you realize that. Beside acknowledging your body and mind are experiencing stress, work on identifying the cause. Look at your habits, your attitude about the cause, and the possible excuses you might be making. We often multiply our stressful response by building it up in our mind – break that cycle by observing it and calling it what it is. The purpose is not to minimize what is happening, but to minimize your reaction to it.

Get regular exercise

Except for having great physical health benefits, exercise can also be a powerful stress reliever. Whether it is a daily 30-minute walk, a fitness workout using an app on your phone, just find what works for you and stay consistent.

Reduce caffeine and sugar

If you adopt healthy habits, while still maintaining the unhealthy ones, not much can be done in managing and reducing your stress levels. Reduce your refined sugar intake and the amount of coffee you drink. Besides being your sidekick for stress relief, it can also improve your sleeping habits.

Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other drugs

Tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, along with many other harmful health consequences, are also your enemy when it comes to healthy coping mechanisms and relieving stress. I just cannot stress enough the amount of negative impact it has on your overall well-being and how you deal with stressful situations, so here are a couple of useful links if you want to look more into it:


If you are struggling with negative self talk and wonder how to change it, this post can be your starting point for understanding how to deal with and respond to those negative inner thoughts and work towards finding inner peace.

These tips are aimed at those dealing with regular everyday stress and wish to improve their general well-being. However, if you are overwhelmed by stress, feel like you cannot cope, you should seek help right away. Ask help from a health professional, and/or call your local hotline.

With love and compassion,

Common Unicorn

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a girl stretching, doing yoga

4 Reasons To Include Yoga In Your Morning Routine

Reasons to practice yoga in the morning

Our lives get so busy that we sometimes forget to stop and take a breath. Whether you have an elaborate morning routine, or no routine at all, a simple yoga stretch with a few mindful breaths to start your day can do wonders. Benefits of practicing yoga every morning are numerous. The beginning is always the trickiest, so be sure you find poses and practices that suit you best first thing in the morning. There are plenty of basic yoga stretches that you can do in the comfort of your own home, so be sure to check them out!

My morning routine was not built in a day. It started with a stressful waking up and running around the apartment to get ready for work, rushing to catch the tram. Step by step, I started to include different elements to start the day off better. How we set the tone for ourselves in the morning really is important for the rest of the day.

A very important element of my morning routine is a 10-20 minute yoga practice. At first, my body found stretching, bending and lengthening first thing in the morning to be challenging. Slowly but surely, my body started to appreciate it, even love it. What did the trick to enjoy the practice itself was how I felt (my body and my mind) after the practice.

4 Awesome Benefits of a Morning Yoga Practice

Starting the day with some me time

Waking up and not immediately rushing to get ready, to do a task, but first taking some time just for myself, my mind and my body. Even when I have a super busy day, especially then, I feel grateful and thank myself for first finding the time for myself.

Having more focus for the day

Doing the practice helps me ground myself, stay present, declutter the mind, and to approach the day with more mindfulness.

Improving posture, strength and flexibility

Physical benefits are also numerous. Yoga can help you improve muscle tone, build core strength. It can make you stronger and more flexible, and your posture can improve. Even within a couple of weeks of regular practice, I started noticing some of these improvements.

Energized body and reduced stress levels

I’m usually really sleepy and tense at the same time first thing in the morning. Yoga helps me with both – softens the muscles, the body, while energizing it at the same time.

girl practicing yoga

Related topic:

4 Ways to Develop a Spiritual Yoga Practice

In the end, we choose our own time and workout that best serve us – it is all about listening to our own body and what it needs.

Hope you have a great day, namaste!

Enjoyed this read? Check out these 7 healthy summer habits to start practicing today!


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