Everyone experiences stress from time to time. Between juggling your family, commitments, and work, it is easy to become stressed out. Luckily, there are many ways you can help decrease your stress levels and protect your emotional and physical health. Let’s look at how you can begin managing your stress today.
1. Stress relief supplements – There are several supplements that help with stress relief. These natural supplements support your body and provide it with the nutrients that it needs to counteract the effects of stress on the body. Some of the most common nutrients in these supplements include B vitamins, ginseng, CoQ10, and creatine.
When you are experiencing chronic stress, your adrenal glands produce excess cortisol. Excess cortisol can increase inflammation throughout the body and lead to a number of health issues. Over time, your adrenal glands can become fatigued, and your immunity may decrease. A stress relief supplement nourishes your adrenal glands for optimal health while counteracting the effects of cortisol on the body.
2. Exercise – Getting 30 or more minutes of exercise each day helps to counteract the effects of stress on the body. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which can improve your mood and lower your stress levels naturally. For best results incorporate flexibility exercises, aerobic exercises, and strength training exercises into your workout routine to decrease stress and its effects on your body.
Many individuals find that tai chi and yoga lower stress levels better than other types of exercise. These mind body exercises help you focus on your breathing, which helps to decrease your stress. If possible, enjoy your daily exercise outdoors as it has been shown to improve your mood.
3. Sleep – One of the most important things you can do to help decrease your stress levels is to ensure you are getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately, when you are stressed, you will have difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep, which further exacerbates your stress.
Good sleep hygiene practices help you get the rest that your body needs to counteract the effects of stress on the body. Good sleep hygiene includes turning off all electronics at least two hours before your bedtime, going to bed at the same time each night, setting an alarm clock and waking up at the same time each day, and using room darkening blinds or curtains.
4. Breathe deeply – Deep breathing exercises help to rid the body of stress. As you practice deep breathing exercises, the body release endorphins, which help counteract the effect of stress on the body. In addition to this, deep breathing improves blood flow to help reduce toxic overload in the body. Finally, it slows down the heart rate, increases oxygen flow, and signals for your brain to slow down.
Whenever you feel stressed out, practice deep breathing exercises. To do these exercises, sit comfortably with your feet placed flat on the floor. Close your eyes, and concentrate on taking a slow, deep breath through your nose. Then, slowly exhale through pursed lips. As you breathe deeply, feel the stress leave your body and calmness overwhelm your body, spirit, and mind.
5. Muscle relaxation – When you are under stress, your muscles may tense up. Loosening your muscles by taking a hot bath, getting a massage, or practicing progressive muscle relaxation can help decrease the effects of stress on your body.
Progressive muscle relaxation is a mind-body technique that helps to promote muscle relaxation. To perform this, lie down in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a few cleansing breaths and then concentrate on the muscle group in your head and neck. Tense the muscles in this area and then allow our muscles to completely relax. Continue to work downward throughout your body until you reach your toes.
6. Eat well – Meals filled with lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provide the nutrients and energy your body needs to combat stress and improve your overall health. Avoid refined carbohydrates as they can negatively impact your health and cause further stress to your body.
Skipping meals should be avoided. When a meal is skipped, it can result in a bad mood and further increase your stress levels. You can help counteract the effects of stress on your body and mind by eating a small, nutritious meal every two to three hours. Eating like this will help regulate glucose levels and prevent sudden drops, which can cause further stress to your body and mind.
7. Take a break – Most people’s stress is caused by trying to pack too much into their day. It can be difficult to give yourself permission to take a break; however, it is one of the best things that you can do to help reduce your stress levels.
Schedule at least three days of “me” time each week. During this time, do things that you enjoy that are not stressful, such as journaling, reading a book, listening to music, prayer, or meditation. In addition to these days, it is important to learn how to set boundaries and give yourself permission to say not to avoid overbooking yourself.
8. Talk therapy – If you are stressed out, talking to someone you trust like a therapist, clergyman, family member, or friend can help lower your stress levels. When looking for an individual to talk with, you want someone who you are comfortable with, someone who will keep your secrets, and someone who will listen rather than give unwarranted advice.
During your talk therapy session, discuss the things that are stressing you out. As you continue to talk about your stress levels, you will soon be able to pinpoint areas of your life where changes need to take place to decrease your stress. For example, you may realize that you have taken on too much, you are holding on to old emotions, or are feeling guilt or shame for things that have happened in your past. As you identify these issues, you can take steps to eliminate these from your life.
9. Essential oils – Essential oils like lavender, frankincense, ylang-ylang, and chamomile can help decrease your anxiety and improve your sleep. These and other essential oils promote a sense of calmness and soothe your body and mind, which can reduce your stress and anxiety levels naturally.
Essential oils can be applied topically. When applying essential oils topically, mix the essential oil with a carrier oil and apply it to your pulse points, including your wrists, the back of your neck, and the umbilical regions. In addition to this, they can be used as aromatherapy. Simply place your favorite essential oil in a diffuser.
10. Reduce caffeine intake – Caffeine is a stimulant that is found in energy drinks, cola, coffee, chocolate, and tea. Consuming too much caffeine can increase your anxiety levels and cause you to feel jittery. Although caffeine in moderation offers a number of health benefits, you should limit your caffeine consumption to help reduce your stress and anxiety.
If you currently consume more than five caffeinated beverages a day, you will need to ween yourself off caffeine. Stopping suddenly can stress your body and lead to headaches, anxiety, and stress. Rather than stopping cold turkey, slowly reduce the amount of caffeine you consume daily.
Stress and anxiety are commonplace in today’s world. Stress can impact both your physical and emotional health. Learning how to manage your stress levels will improve your physical health as well as your emotional health. Practicing stress relief techniques, making good lifestyle choices, and eating well can help to decrease your stress levels.