Can you feel the stress in the world right now? Whether you are shopping for groceries, have children who can't go to school, have to work from home or can't work from home, which means you aren't getting paid, stress levels are HIGH everywhere. I can't even go on social media right now without feeling everyone's stress.
Stress is a horrible feeling that affects every part of our body. From our mind (who here gets moody when your stressed?) to our body (stomach not feeling so well? probably stress related).
Stress can cause illness, such as flu, colds and serious health issues like heart disease and high blood pressure. Stress makes you moody, interrupts your sleep, makes you sad or irritable. (Source: NIH) This is some serious stuff!
Yet we are living in a time where we can't escape it. News and information is available all day long seeping into our lives even if we don't realize it. If you are stressed but you don't know how it may be affecting you, look at this list of symptoms. Do you suffer from:
Gas and bloating
Diarrhea and constipation
Fatigue, lack of energy and brain fog
Skin rashes and acne
Abdominal pain, frequent belching and stomach gurgling
Anxiety, depression and feelings of worthlessness
These are all symptoms of a bigger health issue. Stress, which can cause any of the above, is a symptom. You can take control of the stress you are experiencing and heal your symptoms by getting to the root cause of your stress. Not sure where to start? I am here to help!
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist teaching people just like you how to stop suffering and get back to living. The TAKE YOUR LIFE BACK coaching call is a FREE 30 minute call where we will talk about your specific symptoms and start creating a plan on how to heal using the Simply Great Health program.
Simply Great Health is a customized 5 Step plan that gets to the root of your symptoms and fits your busy lifestyle.
How would eliminating your symptoms improve your life? You could:
✅Be more present with your children
✅Thrive in your career
✅Improve your communication and your relationships
✅Have more fun!
✅Move your body and improve your fitness
✅Lose weight and feel better about yourself
✅Be able to cook healthy meals for you and your family
✅Take an active vacation
✅Reclaim your life!
It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.
If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.
If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing your gut.
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In addition to working directly with me, there are tips that you can use immediately to reduce stress in the moment as well as long term activities you can do to better respond to stressful situations.
RELIEVING STRESS IN THE MOMENT
1) JUST BREATHE.
When I am stressing in the moment I take a step away from what I am doing and take a few deep breaths. In fact, Delicious Living recommends doing the following:
Inhale for four slow seconds (one Mississippi… two Mississippi…), hold for three seconds, and exhale for four seconds. Try to inhale and exhale so deeply that your belly expands out and in (sometimes called yogic or diaphragm breathing). Repeat twice more.
By doing this, you are activating your parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers blood pressure, decreases the stress hormone cortisol and eases your “fight or flight” response. I always feel better after taking a few deep breaths.
2) SET GOALS AND PRIORITIES.
At the end of the day, does it really matter if I didn't get to do laundry today? Well, maybe if I need clean underwear for the upcoming week! But 9 times out of 10, it doesn't matter. When stress rears it's ugly head, look at your to-do list and figure out what really must get done and what can wait for another day.
3) LISTEN TO MUSIC.
I work in an open environment without offices. That means when I am stressed, I have no place to hide! So I pop in my earbuds and listen to music. Turns out, listening to music can help you lower stress. Research shows that listening to music can lower blood pressure and anxiety (Source: WebMD). So create yourself a playlist or tune into your favorite Spotify channel. You'll reduce stress in no time!
LONG TERM STRESS MANAGEMENT
Exercising has helped me manage stress for a really long time. I just feel better after working out. If it is hard for you to find time to get to the gym, try taking a walk everyday with a friend or colleague.
Why does walking help? It’s a stress-relief trifecta: Exercise, nature and laughter all relieve stress by triggering the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormones, from your brain. Spending time outside, especially in a forested park or other green area instead of a city street, is linked to better blood pressure. (Source: Delicious Living)
2) USE ESSENTIAL OILS
I used to think lavender was only useful to help me go to sleep. Research suggests that inhaling certain essential oils such as lavender can quell anxiety, possibly by igniting the smell receptors in your nose to send soothing signals to your brain. (Source: Delicious Living) You can either use a diffuser or try using an aromatherapy necklace.
3) PRACTICE YOGA AND/OR MEDITATION
Why is this different than exercise when you can experience a wide range of physical benefits from yoga? Because yoga is more than physical. Sure, most people start practicing because of the physical benefits (me included!). But after you practice for a period of time, you realize the mental benefits of practicing yoga.
I'm not saying you have to convert your spiritual or religious beliefs and start following yoga philosophy. But there is something inherently calming about only caring for yourself for 30 minutes to 1 hour. You have to be in the moment to practice yoga. If your mind wanders, you won't be able to execute the poses. Also, it creates a better relationship with yourself that is nonjudgmental and allows you to develop a more balanced ego with nothing to prove or hide (Source: Yoga Journal). If you can't get to a class, there are free yoga classes for beginners to those who have been practicing for a period of time. Two of my favorites are Brett Larkin and Yoga with Adriene.
Meditation reduces stress by helping you turn inward and reduce stress. While most people think they have to spend hours meditating to get the benefits, turns out even 5 minutes will help calm your mind. The hardest part about meditation is being still and allowing the mind to go blank. Thoughts will come to you while meditating so you have to recognize them and then let them go. There are a ton of free YouTube guided meditations that are from 5 minutes to 1 hour.
4) USE SUPPLEMENTS
I am a big believer and user of dietary supplements. There are so many ingredients beyond the multivitamin that are therapeutic, used in traditional Chinese medicines and have studies to show it works. One supplement I take daily is Ashwaghanda.
Ashwaghanda is part of the ginseng family and is known to help reduce stress. It has been used for over 3,000 years and helps reduce cortisol. In one study in chronically stressed adults, those who supplemented with ashwagandha had significantly greater reductions in cortisol, compared with the control group. Those taking the highest dose experienced a 30% reduction, on average. (Source: HealthLine) You can buy a supplement or the powder to put into drinks. I use the powder in a cup of chai tea in the morning. It has a grainy taste so it takes a little bit of time to get used to. But once you do, the benefits are amazing.
I hope this blog post gives you a few ideas about relieving stress in your life both in the moment and for the longer term. Remember, stress can cause a lot of negative physical and mental symptoms making you feel awful. Long term exposure to chronic stress will impact your health and make you more susceptible to illness.
Do you think you will try any of the tips I shared to help reduce stress? Let me know in the comments below.