Becoming immune to the stressors of everyday life may sound like a foreign concept to many—but a simple lesson from our more relaxed counterparts can teach us a lot in the way of taking life in stride. When you consider the many negative ways in which chronic stress can erode your quality of life—from insomnia to anxiety and depression—it would behoove us all to learn a thing or two about living life a little more simply. Thanks to Real Simple, we've tapped into the habits of the unequivocally laid-back, many of which you can start doing today.
The narrative surrounding work-life balance is constantly evolving, but letting the two bleed together entirely isn't the answer. Checking your work email after-hours has actually been linked to "emotional exhaustion," according to a recent study from Lehigh University. If you want to live a life unbound by stress, this definitely requires drawing a hard line between work and play, giving yourself time to disconnect and unwind from the "real world."
Spending time in nature has long been lauded as one of the infallible ways to improve mood and relieve stress. In fact, natural light alone has been shown to "reduce mortality in cancer patients and reduce the length of hospital stays for cardiac patients," according to Real Simple. Even just being outside and interacting with the world around you can serve as a welcome reminder of how small you and your worries actually are.
Many young Americans today are self-proclaimed workaholics, even foregoing vacation days in an effort to appear committed at work. In fact, only 41 percent of workers plan to use all of their allotted vacation days, according to Project: Time Off. Unfortunately, it's habits like these that lead to chronically elevated stress levels—enough to increase your risk of heart attack or disease later in life. So please, take a vacation—even if it's just to catch up on sleep.