Stress can weigh you down, prevent you from performing your very best, and leave you stagnant.

Check out these easy to follow tips in order to stay Pretty and Sane™

#1: STOP SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY. The snooze button, that is. Yes, it looks and feels good; but once you hit it, you are bound to hit it again….and again (no pun attended). The issue is that those extra 10 minutes are not enough for you to fall into the sleep stage that you are hoping for. You allow your sleep to be interrupted, which, in turn, will potentially result in feelings of stress, agitation, mental exhaustion and/or excessive tiredness. Not to mention, you have just procrastinated…and who wants to start the day off like that.

#2: GET MOVING. Exercise is a natural mood lifter. Research studies show that people who are depressed and are engaged in an exercise program recover just as well as people who take medication for depression. Start where you can. Even 20 minutes per day is proven to boost happiness and improve overall wellness.

#3: DROP SOME WEIGHT. Emotional baggage weighs us down. It shows up in how we talk, think, and relate to others around us. Propose to travel light by keeping your focus on the positive in both past and present experiences. Look for the opportunities within your challenges and use those to help propel you forward. Once we rid ourselves of emotional baggage we are free to focus on the things that really matter.

#4:  SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE, BUT KEEP TO YOURSELF. Individuals with a good amount of social support are generally happier. On the flip side, alone time is also healthy. The key is balance. Don’t surround yourself with too many people all of the time that you end up losing yourself; however, don’t become too isolated that you lose other people.

#5: DETOX DAILY. Rid your mind of negative thoughts, feelings, and images. They can eventually become toxic and affect your overall health. To help detoxify your mind, eliminate information overload, clear your mind through meditation, and focus on positive thoughts and feelings.

#6: WASTE YOUR TIME. “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” E. E. Cummings. Waste your time on laughter; it is the best medicine! Though not a cure all, it helps to lower anxiety, boost the immune system, and aids in circulation. It also feels good and mentally lightens your load.

#7: LOOK FORWARD. Schedule something to look forward to on a daily basis. Research suggests that anticipating an experience boosts your level of happiness.

#8: BE MINDFUL. Mindfulness Meditation is a practice whereby you increase awareness of your thoughts and actions in the present moment, without judgment. It helps you to stay focused on what’s going on right now, improves focus and concentration, and reduces overall stress.

 #9: HAVE A LITTLE FAITH. Spiritual faith is a strong belief in God. Faith helps you to find inner peace and provides a basis for trust outside of oneself. Focusing on faith, especially in times of hardship can help you accentuate the positive in any situation, which in turn, improves your outlook.

#10: PUT A LITTLE LOVE IN YOUR HEART. Affectionately called the “feel good” hormone; dopamine is a natural stimulant that is activated when intense feelings of romantic love are present. It affects the brain the same way as drugs (but a lot less risky), causing intense feelings of euphoria. That goes to show that love also does the body good.

#11: JUST SAY NO. The difficulty with saying “no” is a result of the unrealistic pressure to say “yes.” Know your limitations. When you are overcommitted, you become overwhelmed and generate more stress. Saying “I’ll get back to you” or “Let me check my schedule” may be a good starting point.