Feeling a little stressed lately? Yeah, so are we. Did you know that stress impacts more than your mood? It can negatively affect many areas of health, including your digestion. So now more than ever it's important to focus on ways to manage stress. Here are some of our favorites.
- Meditation: Can't stop thinking about what's stressing you out? You may want to explore meditation. Meditation is the practice of training your mind to come back to the present. Instead of getting caught up on thought patterns that stress you out, you focus on the here and now. There are many different meditation techniques, including guided relaxation, creating a mantra, or practicing mindfulness. Get started quickly by exploring meditation apps or finding guided meditation videos online.
- Walking: Get outside! The change of scenery alone can be enough to help distance you from stressful thoughts. Exercise also releases feel-good endorphins, which help elevate your mood even further.
- Yoga: Yoga combines several stress-busting techniques into one. By taking time to stretch, exercise, meditate, and focus on your breathing, you'll reduce anxiety while supporting a healthy body. Enroll in a physical class for mood-boosting social time, or find a free online class to get started at home.
- Physical Touch: Don't be afraid to ask for a hug when you need one. When you receive a hug, your brain releases oxytocin. This hormone helps you feel less stress, more happiness, and can even lower your blood pressure. Physical touch also helps you connect with the people you love, which can further reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
- Removing Stressors: Some stressors you can't do much about, but others you can. Are you constantly watching the news or checking your mobile device? Do you consume alcohol, caffeine, or sugary foods to an unhealthy extent? Distance yourself from harmful habits and you may find your stress levels decreasing.
- Healthy Eating: Relying on refined carbohydrates (like baked goods or chips) can cause your blood sugar to spike. When it inevitably crashes, you'll feel even more anxious and irritable. Remove yourself from this cycle by transitioning to a healthier diet. Focus on foods that keep you full longer. Eggs, walnuts, and avocados are known to help your mood stay stable, so they're a great place to start.
- Saying No: We all have things we find hard to let go. Whether it's unhealthy habits or taking on unnecessary obligations, filling our lives with negative influences can lead to stress. Practice saying no where you can. Maybe you step back from a committee. Maybe you decline an optional responsibility at work. Maybe you lower your housekeeping standards a little. Let something go in one area to make room for a bit of extra calm. You deserve it.