12 Jun Top 6 Stress Reducing Tips
Let’s face it, at some point we all stress our bodies in one way or another. It might be from the pressures of a relationship, job, family or finances. Or, from environmental toxins, processed food and other commercial products that disturb our natural state of health.
Stress in the body triggers many biological responses that, while helpful in the short term allowing our bodies to self-protect and evade danger, in a prolonged state can be detrimental to our overall well-being.
Our hearts, blood vessels, adrenal glands and immune systems become taxed when they’re in a constant state of stress. So it’s vital that we learn to manage how our bodies respond to stress.
Here are a few stress reducing tips to help you turn down the dial on your body’s stress response, so you can live healthfully and peacefully.
Become aware of your breath. As simple as it sounds, just by focusing your attention on your breathing, it begins to slow down. Start to take full deep breaths that fill your abdomen completely, slowly begin to lengthen your exhalations. This turns up the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest mode) and turns down the sympathetic nervous system (fight, flight or freeze mode).
Avoid Refined Sugar:
Not only is sugar devoid of nutrients, it entices us to eat more to get the nutrients the sugar product lacked in the first place. Eating sugary foods triggers an emergency call of insulin from the pancreas to balance our highly spiked blood sugar. The surge of insulin ends up leaving too little sugar in the blood to fuel our brain. It is this chronic spiking and plunging of blood sugar levels that stresses our vital organs. You don’t have to do away with sweetness in your life, however. Consider natural sweeteners: maple syrup, honey, fruits, coconut sugar or nectar instead.
Water is one of the most critical nutrients your body requires to operate optimally. Without an average of 8 glasses of pure water a day, a great deal of stress is added to your body, impairing functions like:
- metabolizing fat
- regulating body temperature
- carrying nutrients to cells & removing waste, just to name a few.
Water is the glue that keeps your body together. When you feel like you’re coming apart at the seams, pass on the wine and reach for a big glass of H2O instead.
Find a way to move your body regularly, doing something you enjoy. Exercise begrudgingly and you’ll only excel into stress mode. Studies show exercise decreases symptoms of tension, anxiety, depression and worry, while increasing the body’s effective functioning.
Slow Your Mind, Calm Your Body:
Meditation, nature walks, daydreaming and stargazing are excellent options to help induce relaxation. The relaxation response is the flip-side of the stress coin. Not only does relaxation have a psychologically calming effect, it also contributes physiologically, calming the nervous system, slowing your breath and heart rate, and aiding in digestion.
Look for the humour in everyday life. If you’re open to it, it’s all around you. Research shows laughing increases endorphins (our feel good hormones) and reduces the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
When you are in a continual state of stress, the physical signs often go unnoticed as your stressed-out state becomes the norm. Start paying attention to the clues your body is giving you. Fatigue, depression, insomnia, headaches, upset stomach, digestive problems and irritability are all common symptoms of stress.
Identify the stressors in your life. If you can’t change what is initiating your stress response, you can change how you respond to them with the above tips on reducing stress.
If you’d like help identifying the major sources of stress in your life, and get specific advice on how to effectively deal with these triggers, get in touch or pick up a copy of The Art of Balance Stress Reduction Ebook.
Book an online consult here to start busting stress & boosting your mood. Or start transforming your body, health and life with The Art of Living Program.