We are constantly bombarded by stressors, such as work deadlines, traffic, and family obligations. We rarely get a break long enough to relax and relieve the stress. The over-activation of our stress hormones have been linked to high blood pressure, heart attacks, lower immunity, depression, anxiety, and more. Here are 5 ways to manage stress:
- Eat well. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, eating whole, real foods restores balance and reduces the effects of stress on your body. Replacing harmful substances such as caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugars, with clean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats helps regulate your hormone levels, including stress hormones. The gut and brain are constantly sending signals to each other, so by keeping your microbiota (the bacteria in your gut) healthy, your brain feels less stressed.
- Exercise by Shaking and Dancing. The quickest way to relieve stress is to release endorphins through exercise. An easy way to do this is through shaking and dancing, a form of expressive meditation that loosens your joints as well as clears the mind. Don’t feel the need to follow any specific dance moves, just do whatever feels good for you in the moment. Dance for about 5 minutes, or until you feel satisfied.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep and stress tend to cause a vicious cycle – if you’re stressed, then you can’t sleep, which makes you ill-prepared to handle the stressors of the next day, leading to more stress. To relieve stress before bed, try some relaxation techniques and disconnect from technology as much as possible an hour before bedtime. Set a bedtime reminder alarm to to ensure the proper amount of rest (7-8 hours).
- Guided Imagery. Positive, relaxing images can be an effective tool for relieving stress. Search for images of beautiful scenery, or take a trip to the mountains yourself if you have the time.
- Breathe. We do it all day, every day, and yet we often forget the healing powers of deep breathing. By slowing down your heart rate and lowering blood pressure, breathing deeply relieves stress.
The most important thing to do when trying to manage stress is to slow down. When we try to get everything done at once, we end up causing ourselves more stress. Slow Down, breathe, and take your time.
Mwekali-Tsering, Amberjae. “5 Ways to Relieve Stress.” The CEnter Blog. N.p., 7 July 2015. Web. 6 June 2017. <https://cmbm.org/blog/5-ways-relieve-stress/>.