Turns out, sweating the small stuff can have a major impact on the well being of your heart, mind and body. Considering the fact that bumps in the road are inevitable in life, it’s best to learn how to manage this dooming stress that we often encounter so we can live our Ultimate Life:
“Try to focus on solving the problem if it’s solvable, rather than focusing on your emotions about the problem,” Almeida says. Make a list of all the steps you need to take to get something accomplished and then cross them off as you complete them. When you see that you’re making progress on smaller, more manageable tasks, the job as a whole will feel less overwhelming, Dan Ariely, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and economics at Duke University who studies irrational behavior.
2. Laugh It Off
The people who do best at not dwelling are those who have some sort of positive outlook on life, Almeida says. “In the face of challenge they can maintain joy, happiness, or humor—that seems to help a lot in limiting the duration of the stress response,” he says.
Research shows that smiling and laughing increase feel-good endorphins. Cracking up also causes levels of the stress hormones to plummet. Your laughter Rx? Hit up Buzzfeed.com and belly-laugh at animal photos or watch a YouTube clip from your favorite comedian.
3. Count Your Blessings
Being grateful can help calm you down. In a study published in Applied Physiology, people who focused on feeling grateful at bedtime were less worried and anxious and their overall sleep quality was better compared to previous nights.
4. Massage It Out
A rub doesn’t just make your muscles feel good—it can also do wonders for your anxiety. When the nerves in your skin sense firm pressure, your brain activates your parasympathetic nervous system. As a result, your adrenal glands cut back the release of stress hormones such as cortisol and vasopressin and your brain boosts production of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin.
5. Eat Your Veggies
New research shows that happiness is highest among people who eat seven servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The more good-for-you foods people ate, the more likely they were to report satisfaction and happiness and the less likely they were to experience nervousness and “feeling low.”