Let’s set the scene for when the universe gives you a reason to decrease your stress.
Its 4.00 am Sunday morning and you are awake, even the birds aren’t stupid enough to be up and on with their day. Right bring it on, no point in stewing, may as well get shit done.
The universe, however, has other plans for you and the whole day turns into one hot mess tornado with you flailing around its periphery. It would be so easy on these days to let the stress take hold and swallow you whole with you ranting and screaming, all the way down to the bottom of the achieve-nothing-but-total-overwhelm-and-self-pity well.
The truth is that it is important to acknowledge stress so you can reach into your tool bag for the right tools to help you reduce it or at least cope with it a little better.
You may not have the ability to change the stressors in your life, but if you can manage the impact on your body, you’ll stay healthier and more able to cope with future stress.
I’m the first person to pretend that stress is no big deal, so if you’re like me, then the two of us need to have a “Come to Buddha” moment and get real about how stress IS affecting our bodies….
You’re not here to know about all the problems associated with stress though, you’re here because you want a solution.
Remember, since we can’t always control the stresses in our lives, the goal is to reduce its effects. Even the littlest reduction is so worth it for you and your body.
Here’s how you can decrease your stress NOW
If your nutritional needs are met your body is better able to cope in times of stress. Avoid too much caffeine and sugar, these provide a temporary boost but the resulting crash can crush your mood and interrupt your sleep patterns.
There is more room to breathe and be relaxed if you know exactly what you should be doing and when Is there one item on your to-do list that you can delegate to someone? Example: One of my daughters folds the washing up every day. If I so much as look in the washing’s direction she gets mad as a cut snake. She considers it her job and the one thing she knows she can do to help. The fact that I don’t have to worry about the washing being folded at all is liberating.
Take time to relax and be mindful
Exercise is one of the best stress relievers. 30 minutes a day is best but build up to it. Even a 10-minute walk will do wonders for your state of mind.
Before your next meal, try what I call the “5-5-7” breath. Inhale for a count of 5, hold your breath for a count of 5, then exhale for a count of 7. Repeat at least 3 times. This gives your body a chance to relax before your meal, which will increase your digestive capacity and help your body pull more nutrients from the food you’re eating.
You don’t need these people in your life.
Instead of fuming about a traffic jam value the time to sit and be mindful.
Look at the big picture. Will this be important in a day, month, or year? If not move onto something else.
Perfectionism is a major cause of stress for many. Take the path of least resistance.
Taking a moment to be thankful for all the good things in life is a great way to rewire the brain to release stress easily
And learn to accept the things you can’t. They are not worth any of your precious time being spent on them.
All work and no play besides making you dull are not good for your stress. Give yourself time to switch off and try to have a laugh. Laughter release endorphins which are like taking a happy pill. You will come back refreshed and clear-minded.
Remember the saying a “problem shared is a problem halved”? Sharing with friends can often reduce the problem you are so close to and will help to alleviate stress. So, make time to connect with others. If you don’t have friends close to you join a Meet Up group of like-minded women.
So, you now have a bag of tools you can reach into and use to build your ladder to freedom from the constraints of stress. Each of these items if practised regularly will have you feeling as laid back as a cat in the warm winter sun.
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