4 simple habits you can start today to cut stress and improve performance.
--- Kent Yoshimura, Co-Founder & CEO, Neuro
Have you ever felt stressed and exhausted to the point of being burnt out? As if growing up—with all of the responsibilities that come with it—is not stressful enough, there’s a whole other set of things that contribute to the stress that keeps us up at night and makes us unproductive. It takes away our ability to perform under pressure and takes away so much of our potential to do more and be more.
The thing is, some (maybe most) of the stress that we experience in our daily lives is stress that we bring on ourselves via the habits that are part of our regular routine. Harsh to hear, but the good news is that means by modifying these habits we can dump unnecessary stress.
So, straight from our folks at Neuro to you, here’s a list of some of the most mundane habits that stress you out, as well as some tips on how to remove them from your life and maximize your potential.
1 – Quit Browsing Without Purpose.
We’re all guilty of this at some point, whether we’re aware of it or not. How many times have you found yourself browsing aimlessly without any real purpose in mind? How many times have you picked up your phone, opened your favorite shopping app (or maybe food delivery app), and browsed, just looking for something, anything to buy?
One of the main reasons why social media is popular is because it allows people to connect, however sometimes, this “connection” causes unnecessary stress, not to mention sets unrealistic expectations because people tend to compare their lives to others.
The next time you grab your phone, make sure you know exactly what you need to do and do just that. Have a specific mission, and when it’s done, put the phone down.
It’s going to be difficult, especially if this has become a regular habit, but it’s not impossible to change it! Try disabling the notification feature in some of your apps; sometimes receiving those notifications is all it takes for you to dive deep into that rabbit hole. You don’t always need to be reminded every time a new menu is available in a restaurant nearby, or someone posts something in their stories, right?
Some smartphones have a built-in feature that allows you to set time limits on your usage for a specific app. Use that and stick to the limit you set. This will allow you to browse and destress, but still give you the control over your usage and the reminder to stop when you should.
2 – Drink More Water.
It’s pretty common knowledge that the adult human body is made up of 60% water. Even though we know that we need water to sustain ourselves and survive, some of us tend to overlook this and skip to more enticing options such as sodas or other sugary drinks.
Increased water intake has so many amazing benefits. It can help you to lose that stubborn weight, it can make you more energetic and alert, it can even help with that pesky hangover. Best thing of all, in most places it’s accessible and affordable!
3 – Get Up and Move. Now. Go!
No matter how busy you are in a day, there’s always a lull, no matter how short, and you know it. Whether it’s 30 minutes or just 10 minutes in a day, there is always time that you can dedicate to working out, no matter how basic or easy the routine is.
If you can spend an hour of your day mindlessly looking through all of your friend’s Instagram Stories, then you have 30 mins to do a simple yoga routine or some basic plank exercises. Not only can it decrease your stress and anxiety, it can also lift your mood! Do it now; your bones and muscles will thank you later.
4 – Find the People who Bring you Joy
Among the friends and company you keep, how many of them do you think really, absolutely, genuinely care for you? How many do you think really have your back and will come to your rescue when you need someone?
We want to believe that we know what company to keep, but sometimes, we have this self-sabotaging nature of wanting to spend time with people who make us worse. They either gratify our small vices and justify them as “harmless” and “just having fun”, or they don’t correct us when there’s a need to.
Don’t you want to spend your time with people who genuinely look out for your wellbeing? Healthy friendships and relationships will not just celebrate good times with you, they will also boost your happiness and reduce your stress in life.
For some, quitting these habits cold turkey may be the only way to go, like ripping off a bandaid and dealing with the pain all at once. For others, the quitting process might take longer, like a slow and steady boil, until they can finally learn to let go.
However quick or slow your process is, what matters is that you start and you start immediately. So what if you stumble at some point? Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again. Progress, not perfection, should be the goal.
Find someone who can make you accountable--a friend, a significant other, or a family member--and who can check up on you and motivate you to keep trying. Don’t wait for the next year to set your “resolutions.” The choice has always been yours to make. Now that we’re almost towards the end of the year, are you still going to make excuses? Or are you going to make it happen?
Good luck out there.
Kent Yoshimura is co-founder & CEO of L.A.-based Neuro, a health and wellness company that creates functional gum and mints that you can take anywhere, anytime to refresh your state of mind and do more. Yoshimura also is a multimedia creative, filmmaker, and athlete. He currently paints large-scale murals as both a freelance artist and a qualified muralist through the L.A. Department of Cultural Affairs.