Slow traffic. Screaming children. A job interview. A crumbling marriage. Any of these could be a stressful situation. We all face stress in our lives, and some days are more stressful than others. Stress can take its toll on our physical and mental health. Learn more about stress and its effects by taking this multiple-choice quiz.
Now that you had a chance to gauge your stress level here are 4 easy ways to help reduce it.
1. Exercise: Surprise, surprise….yes I recommend exercise! Aerobic exercise or strength training can greatly reduce your stress level. Natural endorphins (feel-good hormones) are released when you exercise. It’s also a time where your brain can focus on something other than your worries. You can get in tune with the movements of your body, your breath, and your muscles.
2. Sleep: One of the most common reasons for stressful behaviors is lack of sleep. I know as moms this can be a great challenge! If you aren’t getting the proper amount of sleep, your body doesn’t have time to recover from the day and therefore can feel tired and sore. This tired and sore feeling can cause physical and mental stress throughout the day, making anxiety more prevalent.
3. Eat right: Another surprise, huh?! If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed it’s easy to reach for the quickest (which tends to be the fattiest) food. Try to plan ahead by cutting up fresh fruits and vegetables and grilling extra chicken breasts on the weekend to have ready to throw on top of salad or into a wrap. Trust me you will feel so much better eating something healthy, than the greasy, to-go foods. I know personally if I eat badly when I’m stressed, then I feel fat AND stressed….not a good combo :-)!
4. Relax: Many people are so focused on work, family, and other responsibilities that they forget to relax. Relaxation techniques such as meditation and massage therapy have long been known to reduce stress levels. People often forget that relaxing is a part of a healthy lifestyle and by skipping this aspect, people often cause more stress and feel the effects of stress more profoundly. So just BREATHE!
Hope you find these tips helpful. I’m here for you, just let me know what I can do to help!
Yours in health,