Unfortunately stress, depression and anxiety are a fact of life but did you know that beating these things is a lifestyle choice? There are simple changes we can make in our lifestyle to help beat depression and reduce stress. Here are 10 simple changes you can make in your life to reduce depression, stress and anxiety.  No drugs or medication, Just simply lifestyle changes.

#1 Learn to Slow Down

Stress is caused by doing too much too fast. We need to learn how to slow down and relax throughout the day and take what the day gives us.

When you have too many tasks on your to-do list and too little time, you will feel stressed. Keep in mind that stress is a part of life and tasks need to be accomplished but learn how to take your time and do things without constantly rushing.

Your work and tasks will always be there the next day. Life tends to lose its meaning and enjoyment when you are constantly overwhelmed. Remember, getting one more task done doesn’t necessarily add value to your life. You will feel like the hamster on the treadmill that never stops. If you don’t learn to slow down. All your tasks don’t need to be accomplished in one day or even one week. The best way to get anything done is one step at a time, little by little.

#2 Minimize the Daily Distractions in Your Life

The average person is bombarded with distractions. Have you ever taken an assessment of your day to see how many things distract you?  Chances are, you are constantly dealing with Distractions that take away your focus. Use your day to write down all the distracting things that come your way. When you write them down, you will know how to deal with them And be able to come up with a way to minimize those distractions.  This one thing will bring down your stress level considerably.

#3 Start Your Day Off with Quiet Time

Find a quiet place in your home and Start your day off with prayer or meditation! By doing so, you are preparing your mind and your spirit for the day. Even if your home is small and busy with small children, you can find a quiet and private space such as your bedroom, the kitchen or even a spare bathroom, in a busy home. A great start is giving thanks to the Lord And thinking about all the blessings that He has given you! Don’t compare yourself to neighbors or friends! Be thankful with what God has blessed you with and know that you will be blessed far more in due time!

For Christians, this means Praying to God and asking him to direct your day. It also means spending time reading bible verses or a chapter from the Bible. You have now invoked the power of God to direct your life and place your life in his hand! And God promises in his words, the bible, to direct your life.

This puts your mind and your spirit in a good place to Take on the day. It also puts the responsibility on God to direct your life! For others, just being able to Free Your Mind and relax by thinking about blessings, will put your spirit in a good place to begin the day.  Spending quiet time in prayer and meditation is far better than waking up to Loud music, TV, screaming kids, and a frantic day, that hasn’t even begun. Starting your day off with quiet time is a major stress reducer that is proactive.

#4 Organize Your Life

You may not realize it, but staying organized is a great way to reduce your stress! To be organized means that things need to be written down! Organize every aspect of your life from waking up, to sleeping. Write down The things that need to happen each day, and even put a time slot next to it!

Keep in mind, and this is very important. You don’t have to stick to a particular time slot or task!. It’s more important that you see on paper what needs to be done on any given day, and prioritize that list. If things or tasks do not happen that day, its OK. It can happen another day, but you need to know what your priorities are! And when things are written down, you can clearly see them!

#5 Make Time for Friends

Make time for friends you enjoy! Having friends in your life and fellowshipping with them is a great way to bring joy to your life! Friends are a gift from God that should be enjoyed! Unfortunately, too many of us neglect friends.

Make time to call even your acquaintances and connect with them. The more you connect with others the more they will connect with you. And the more acquaintances you turn into close friendships the more close friends you will have.

There’s nothing better in life than having other people come alongside you, to listen and share problems. People who make wise decisions tend to have many good advisors. Those advisors, are your friends. Friends can be found from various social groups, possibly your church, gym, neighbors or from hobbies that you enjoy!

Don’t forget to find friends from your job. There are people all around us that will start off as acquaintances, and with a little watering, much like what you do with plants in your garden, may turn into great friendships.

#6 Take Daily Walks

Taking daily walks is a proven way to reduce stress and anxiety as well as improve your health! Studies have shown that daily walks of 20 minutes or more extend your life expectancy by 10 or more years. You feel so much better after a short walk! You should incorporate at least 20 minutes of walking; five times per week. If you can extend that 20 minute walk to 30 minutes, even better.

I guarantee that even though you won’t feel like walking every day, you will feel so much better after the walk is completed. You don’t have to walk at a fast pace and you can listen to your favorite podcast during the walk if you choose. Find a one mile route in your neighborhood or drive to a local park for your walk.  Wherever you Choose to walk, it should be easy to access and be safe!

Use the opportunity to walk with your spouse, friend or the entire family. Walking is more fun when you walk with someone. Recruit your neighbor or good friend to walk with you.

Walks are great for improving blood flow, burning extra calories, and losing weight. If you have a dog, take your Canine Companion along with you! They need the exercise too, and it motivates you to walk daily. You will look and feel so much better after a steady routine of walking.

#7 Get a Pet

If you can, consider getting a pet such as a dog or cat! Having a pet around your house, and in your life, does wonders for your emotional state. Studies have proven that dogs and cats greatly reduce stress and anxiety. Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, so make sure that a pet fits into your lifestyle!

Dogs require regular exercise. Walking your dog daily not only keeps you in good shape, but it’s also great exercise for your furry friend. Just the act of stroking or petting your dog or cat has shown to reduce stress and anxiety. There’s a reason for the old saying that a dog is man’s best friend. Also, just them being near you, helps combat loneliness.

#8 Schedule 30 Minutes a day for Your Favorite Podcast, Audio Book or Book Reading

Do a search on audible books, podcast on a subject you like, or just find a book you enjoy if you like reading ! You’ll be surprised how relaxing listening to a great audio book or podcast can be. It’s a great escape that enlist your imagination as you listen. It’s like going back 80 years when there were no tv’s and everyone listened to the radio to their favorite programs. Be sure to schedule this activity, or life will certainly get busy, and you will miss out on this relaxing down time.

#9 Break Down Big Project into Smaller Mini Tasks

Stress and depression come when big projects or a major home task must be done and you’re running out of time. Don’t wait until the last minute, doing big chunks of the project under stress!  Break up the project into lots of smaller tasks and start sooner. Doing small tasks of the project each day or several times per week until the project is complete.

The root cause is usually procrastination or laziness, but a big project is not so daunting if you learn to do smaller chunks daily until the project is complete!

These projects can be home tasking, home repair, business, or work project or just about any big project that’s bogging you down. The key is identifying that certain things in your life need to be done at a slower pace and not the frantic pace with time running out.

#10 Schedule a Weekend Get-Away

There is nothing more relaxing than a weekend retreat to your favorite town!  It can be anywhere that you enjoy. Rent a weekend cabin in the mountains through Air bnb. Take a weekend trip to a small resort town in your state or neighboring state. Visit your favorite regional wineries and stay the weekend. Drive to your favorite big town where there’s lots of eateries, restaurants and amusing things to do.

The goal is to find places that interest you and plan a weekend retreat. Whether it’s with your spouse, friends or alone, you decide how you will spend that time. Weekend getaways help us leave behind our cares and focus on enjoyment. Getting out of our usual environment helps us mentally escape the dull routine and rut we most often fall into. Weekend get-aways don’t have to be expensive. Most Air bnbs are reasonably priced and you can drive somewhere within a couple hundred miles to get to your perfect escape weekend.

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