Small Things That Affect Your Stress Level

By Rachale Kelley

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We tend to notice how big things affect our stress level. Taking a vacation to Hawaii, marriage, divorce, death, and serious financial issues are a few of the big items.

However, small things can also impact your mood is a big way, and the small things happen more frequently. Understanding the small, day-to-day experiences that impact your mood is important.

Many of the smaller things in life can affect your stress level:

  1. Dehydration. If you’re feeling sluggish or irritable, you might just need a drink of water. Some people don’t have the benefit of good thirst mechanisms. Have a glass of water at least every few hours. Your mood might improve considerably.
  2. Music. There are at least a few songs that impact your mood in a positive way. It only takes a moment of listening before you can feel your mood shift. Try to listen to a few songs you love each day. Upload them to your smartphone so they’re always handy.
  3. Scents. Certain smells can alter your mood. Your smelly cubical mate has one effect. A scent that reminds you of your all-time best date has a different effect.
  • Are there any scents that you love? Find a candle or air freshener that mimics a smell you enjoy.
  1. Weather. Too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, or just right. A nice day lifts your mood. A dark, rainy day can drag it down.
  2. Compliments. Receiving a compliment is sure to enhance your mood. Just a few kind words can have a big impact. Giving compliments can have a positive effect on your mood, too. The opposite is also true. A few unkind words can result in a bad mood. Keep that in mind when you’re talking to others.
  3. Sleep. If you have children, you know what they’re like when sleep-deprived. You’re not much better! Ensure that you’re getting enough sleep that your mood isn’t being affected negatively.
  4. Your posture. Studies have shown that slouching results in more negative thoughts, and standing or sitting up straight results in more positive thinking.
  5. The food you consume. It’s common to have a mild reaction to certain foods and not even be aware of it. Try eliminating certain foods from your diet for a couple of days and see if it changes how you feel. Eliminate one at a time or you won’t be sure which food causes issues. The most common culprits are:
  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Nuts
  • Peanuts, which aren’t actually a nut.
  • Anything with a high sugar content.
  1. Financial issues. You might not consider financial issues to be a “small thing,” but even small financial issues can harm your mood. For example, one unexpected bill can create a lot of emotional turmoil.
  2. Spending a lot of time with negative people. Whether it’s a coworker, family member, or friend, spending time with a very negative person can sour your mood.
  1. Exercise. Interestingly, when you least feel like exercising, doing so seems to have the biggest positive influence on your mood. A brisk walk is all you need to boost your mood. It doesn’t take much to make a difference.

You don’t need to purchase a sports car or vacation if you’re looking to boost your mood. There are plenty of smaller things that can change your mood significantly. These small things can occur on a daily basis and are well worth the effort to either seek or avoid. Focus on the small things that enhance or detract from your mood and you’ll enjoy pleasant moods more often.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God”. Philippians 4:6

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About the Author

Rachale Kelley teaches moms who desire to be home & present with their children, how to face her fears & develop skills and strategies that will help her quit her job, conquer overwhelm, believe in herself and find her voice so that she can experience true freedom in her life.

She has been married for 25 years. Has 3 children, the youngest diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

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