17 Dec How to Create a Stress-Free Environment
Searching for ways to create a stress-free environment? For many of us, stress is a part of the daily routine — from work to bills to health issues, we carry a lot of burdens. Even the things that bring us the most joy, such as friends and family, can be a source of stress.
Whether you’re concerned over a friend making dangerous decisions or a child performing poorly in school, there are many sources of stress in every facet of our existence. That doesn’t mean stress is going to win.
The thing about stress is that this feeling is supposed to come and go. When stress becomes chronic, you can run into potential issues. You can’t avoid your loved ones or quit your job, but there are steps you can take to ease the feeling of stress.
Why Do We Feel Stress?
To conquer the overwhelming feeling of stress, you should have a firm understanding of what causes it in the first place. Whenever you face adversity, a biological reaction in your body causes your adrenal gland to secrete cortisol. Cortisol is our fight-or-flight instinct. In small doses, it’s good. However, excessive cortisol may lead to several potential health-related complications.
Let’s think about two stressful situations. In the first scenario, you look across the room and see the most beautiful or handsome person you have ever seen in your life. After locking eyes and exchanging a few smiles, you decide to finally say, “hello.”
As you approach the apple of your eye, you immediately start to sweat. That nervous tension causes cortisol to enter the system. In these moments, you survey the situation. You notice they see you approaching and they smile. From there, you feel a sense of relief, perhaps a little confidence and a burst of adrenaline. This fleeting stress was actually beneficial because it propelled you to make the first move.
Now imagine that you have a jerk for a boss. Tomorrow you have a big presentation about why sales are down and what you’re going to do about it. Not to mention, you have to work overtime and you haven’t slept in days. Does this scenario hit a little too close to home?
These are all the ingredients for a stress cocktail. Dealing with a mean boss, poor performance and lack of sleep may cause a downward spiral of excessive cortisol production. In turn, you might feel chronic stress. Unfortunately, stress triggers more anxiety. Once you get caught in the cycle, it’s hard to get out. That’s why you need to create a stress-free environment. Here’s how.
Identify the Triggers
Conquering chronic stress is a lot like getting over an illness. You can handle the symptoms as much as you want. If you get a lot of colds, you might take a lot of over-the-counter remedies. However, the chances of these issues coming back are pretty good. Instead, you are better offgetting to the root of the issue, which is boosting a less-than-robust immune system. Knowing that, you can make dietary changes such as eating more fruits and veggies and cutting out allergens.
Now, use the same idea for stress. Grab a pen and paper. When you think of the word stress, what comes to mind? Jot down a list.
You’ve identified the culprits. With this information, you can easily concoct a plan to handle each potential stressor properly.
For every item that causes you to stress, there is a new way to handle it that may cause less stress in the long run. It’s obvious what you’re doing now isn’t working because you feel stressed in the first place. To combat those bigger stressors, start on a closer level with the environment you interact with every day. Here are some ways you can make the world around you a peaceful place to be.
- Diffuse Essential Oils
There is such a strong connection between scents and our perception. Think of the smell of turkey on Thanksgiving Day with your whole family in tow. Remember the salty notes of a sunset by the beach. Recall the awful scent of the banana your kid left under the driver’s seat for a week.
It’s amazing how just reading a sentence can recreate smells in your memory. That’s just one amazing feature of how our minds work. It’s also what makes aromatherapy a useful practice that is followed by millions.
Our olfactory bulb is just inside of our nostrils. This complex communication system interprets chemical compounds in essential oils. As a result, diffusing essential oils may support relaxation after a stressful day.
Imagine you created a physical representation of stress using your body. What would you look like? Would your face be scrunched, shoulders up to your ears? Fists balled up tightly? That tension is suffocating. Perhaps your environment is doing the same to you.
Take a look around at your piles of bills, dusty knick-knacks and random mounds of laundry. When your life feels like a twister just came through, it sometimes manifests in clutter. Get rid of the unnecessary.
We know what you’re thinking. With so little time, how would budgeting more of it to clean up make life less stressful? The random items strewn about and all the things you don’t need in your house are just a reminder of the stuff you need to do. Every time you open that fridge of expired salad dressings, it’s another reminder of, “I need to do that.” So, just do it.
- Get a Pet
There is nothing in this world like the love of an animal. They depend on us for everything, choose us over everyone and show us nothing but love, even when we haven’t been the nicest. As the saying goes, “be the person your dog thinks you are.” Make your house stress-free by bringing a pet into it.
There’s a reason why many children’s hospitals and elderly homes get regular visits from animals. They legitimately bring us joy. In fact, for some, a pet is a necessity. Service animals can be trained to help with everything from anxiety to sever conditions. That’s how deep our bond with four-legged critters goes.
Before going out to find your new best friend, it is important to remember that having a pet is a big responsibility. If you feel too overwhelmed to take on basic day-to-day tasks, it may be best to hold off on adding a pet to your life.
- Go Outside
A good metaphor to explain how you feel when you’re upset is that you’re “boiling up inside.” We tend to let things fester like a percolating pot. If you’re indoors when that happens, go for a walk. There are numerous studies that tout the benefits of light exercise outdoors.
When you’re in a stressful environment, you need to vent that boiling water. Going into another room with the same stale air isn’t going to do the trick. You need to go outside. Getting in some fresh oxygen and extra vitamin D from the sun should help you relax.
- Limit Phone and Web Use
We are all so connected. While that’s great for keeping up with the grandkids or what your bestie is doing on vacation, it’s also eating up our own time. Every second of our day is broken into fragments. How we spend that time causes more stress to pile up.
Time is perhaps our biggest stressor. Whether it’s making deadlines, the biological clock or getting enough hours of sleep, there is an expectation associated with time. Meeting these expectations puts a lot of pressure on us.
Society makes us feel like we need to be married by a certain point in life. Bosses want above-quality work in record hours. You want your business to hit a financial goal in less than three months. Whatever the case may be, this time-focused chatter is always in our heads. For many of us, it becomes overwhelming. It can freeze us up, causing us to procrastinate and put off accomplishing goals. This head-in-the-sand approach is made even easier thanks to social media.
We get so lost in what others are doing that we forget to take care of ourselves. Instead of meeting “the one,” we’re avoiding eye contact at a grocery store by scrolling Facebook. Rather than working on the report due in four hours, you get in a Twitter fight with your aunt. Escaping through our social media is making us less social. As social creatures, it’s setting us up for a more stressful environment.
We’re burning more hours reading other people’s mindless chatter instead of using our time to meet our goals, spend time with people we love or to get work done. This habit-forming activity creates more stress in three distinct ways.
We’re stressed about keeping up with everyone. We worry about what everyone else is up to so much that we end up ignoring those around us.
Excessive social media use is taking up time we can spend on time-sensitive projects. Becoming aware of this neglect can cause you to feel more stress.
Smartphones are distracting us from things that actually bring us joy, such as being present with family and friends. Then, we stress about how fast our children have grown or how much we miss our siblings even though we didn’t cherish those moments when we had the opportunity to make lasting memories.
- Use CBD Products
The mind often feels stressed because the body feels stressed. There’s a lot going on inside, and sometimes your body needs a helping hand. Many find that support with CBD products.
There are a number of ways to add CBD into your daily routine. You can kickstart your morning with some CBD coffee. CBD is also a great addition to your post-workout recovery routine. Others enjoy CBD to help get some rest.
What’s so great about CBD products for stress is that they’re so versatile. For those on-the-go, all you need is a few drops with CBD oil tinctures. Others find it easier to add CBD softgels into their pill containers to take with vitamins. Whatever you decide, let CBD products help you make your environment less stressful.
Stress is inevitable but curating a peaceful environment around you can help make those stressful times a little easier to handle. Take some time to think about your environment and the changes you can make to lead a more stress-free life. Let us know your tips in the comments below and please reach out if you have any questions about how CBD can help you through those stressful moments.