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06.16.22 | Community

Simple Ways You Can Expel Stress This Summer

As one of the pillars for our model of 9 Ways of Vibrant Living at Sage Collective, we believe stress reduction is crucial to living a vibrant life. And while stress is a normal component of life, our focus isn’t to eliminate it but rather to learn how to manage, control and minimize it. Today, we’re spotlighting four tools everyone can utilize this summer and throughout the year to reduce stress:

Get Outside

Spending time outdoors is one of the easiest ways to relieve stress throughout the summer. While sunshine is accessible year-round, summertime is when you can benefit the most from the vitamin D it supplies! Vitamin gain leads to stronger and healthier bones and boosts immune systems. Research has even found that exposing yourself to fresh air and natural light for as little as 15 minutes a day helps to decrease emotional distress. 

Spend Time With Friends and Family

Time outdoors isn’t the only thing you should be adding to your daily routine in the summer. Another way to assure less stress and anxiety is by spending more time with your friends and family. As the proverb goes, “it takes a village.” Community and safe spaces are extremely significant to our wellbeing, especially when going through a stressful time. So, setting aside time to spend with family and friends is a sure way to help you stay stress-free! 

Reflect on Your Day

Whether it’s prayer, meditation, or simply practicing gratitude, taking time to reflect on your day is another way you can expel stress. As little as ten minutes of any of those activities can leave a profound impact on how you view your days, even when you may be facing stress. Along with reflecting on your own, taking opportunities to practice acts of service is another powerful way to relieve stress while engaging with your community and building relationships!

Take a Nap

Naps aren’t reserved for just little kids and are much better for our health than many people realize. Along with being a great way to break up your day and provide a much-needed break, naps have been found to lower the risk of heart disease, increase the body’s energy and lower stress! Naps don’t have to be long either; studies show that the most beneficial nap length for our bodies is only 10 to 15 minutes.

Living with stress isn’t enjoyable for anyone, but once we utilize the correct techniques and tools, controlling and minimizing stress is much easier than it sounds.

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12.28.20 | Community

The Importance of Practicing Gratitude

Gratitude is both a way of thinking and a way of doing. By definition, it’s the quality of being thankful, as well as the readiness and willingness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. And by practicing gratitude, we open ourselves up to being more connected, more happy and more healthy.

Finding the Good

According to American psychologist Robert Emmons, there are two parts to gratitude. Firstly, it’s “an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received,” he says. While this doesn’t overwrite challenges or frustrations in our lives, it allows us to look at our lives wholly and to always find balance and goodness. Finding good in the world helps us to feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, deal with adversity and even improve mental and physical health.

Becoming More Connected

Secondly, says Emmons, “we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves…. We acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.” In this way, Emmons describes gratitude as a “relationship-strengthening emotion, because it requires us to see how we’ve been supported and affirmed by other people.” Therefore, practicing gratitude allows us to feel more connected with our surroundings, whether that be nature, our spirituality or the people in our lives. This in turn leads to stronger, more positive relationships.

Practicing Gratitude

So how do we cultivate and strengthen our practice of gratitude?

First, we must notice our surroundings. What or who makes you feel good? This reflection can happen in-the-moment throughout your daily experiences, or later when you have a private moment to yourself for meditation. Many experts recommend keeping a gratitude journal and regularly listing things you’re grateful for.

Savor and absorb the things for which you’re grateful. Once you acknowledge the good things in your life, make sure you enjoy those experiences to the fullest and treat them with the utmost appreciation.

And finally, express your gratitude. Happiness is best when shared — and everyone likes to feel appreciated. Take the time to write a thank you note or voice your gratitude verbally. 

We all experience gratitude, but taking the time to acknowledge the feeling and become more intentional with how we engage with it and share with others will make all the difference in the world. 

White and green text over a dark green background, with quotation marks and the Sage Collective logo. Text reads: Gratitude is an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world.
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