We live in a world where stress has become a part of our daily lives. It can be brought on by a number of factors whether it’s facing big changes at work or at home or dealing with day-to-day anxiety.
Ideally the best way to overcome stress is to reduce the triggers and remember the saying ‘prevention is better than the cure’. No matter what level of stress is in your life, admitting that you should help reduce it will help you in the long run. Here are some easy 6 Steps to Reduce Stress – give these a try.
For example, Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Reflexology and other therapeutic treatments like these will work wonders for the body and mind. Below are these top three therapies along with their descriptions, find the one for you.
- Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points.
- Massage Therapy is a massage that can be both relaxing or energizing. It applies deep pressure to muscles and joints. The technique has excellent health benefits by increasing circulation in the body, reduce stress and improve overall health.
- Reflexology is a unique method of applying pressure using the thumb and fingers on Reflex areas, these being points on the hands and feet and also the face which correspond to all of the glands, organs and parts of the body. With this therapy, the body ’self heals’. This can be achieved by stimulating the reflex areas, which in turn may help to relieve stress and tension, improve the blood supply to all areas of the body and promote the correct functioning of nerve impulses. (I personally have Reflexology massages a regular basis and they have proven to be a life saver)
2. Herbal stress-relief Supplements
Instead of relying on expensive prescription medications to ease your anxiety, give herbal stress-relief supplements a try.
- Valerian Root is known to relax the nervous system and promote restful sleep. You can look for a supplement or a just enjoy a soothing cup of Velarian Root tea (many ‘sleepy time’ teas have Valerian Root as an ingredient.
- St John’s Wort, while most commonly known as an antidepressant, is also touted for its ability to boost the nervous system and build up energy levels. B-complex vitamins are believed to reduce anxiety.
- Ginkgo Biloba helps to improve brain function, memory and concentration which helps to think more clearly – therefore making you feel less stressed (Ginkgo Biloba is a favourite of mine – I continue taking this supplement and I really recommend it).
- VitaminD – with the lack of sun in these wintery months especially we need to supplement. Studies show that there’s a link between Vit D and depression and even personality disorders.
(Be sure to consult with your doctor before taking herbal remedies, as they may interfere with the efficacy of prescription medications.)
3. Stay Active
Any type of physical activity can help control stress in your life. Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries.
If you’re not an athlete or even if you’re downright out of shape, you can still make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management. Discover the connection between exercise and stress relief — and why exercise should be part of your stress management plan. Aerobics, weightlifting, pilates, even yoga or just a brisk walk, may act as a stress reliever. Too busy to devote 1hr of physical activity? Do a simple workout for even 15 minutes a day to get you going, and try to repeat that later on. (from personal experience, my muscles are extremely weak and exercise is very difficult but I try to do a bit of something each day – sometimes it’s just walking lunges around the living room, sometimes I’m on the mat doing a some leg lifts – I get exhausted really quickly and I can’t do any cardio because my legs start to feel like rubber – but I still do something most days, slowly building my strength). Go ahead get moving today – let those endorphins do their thing and make you happy!
4. Improve your Diet and Nutrition
Add more low-fat, high-fiber, carbohydrate-rich meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables. They soothe us without sapping our energy and give us the nutrients we need to boost our immune system. Carry a few good healthy snacks with you if you’re on the run, such as cut up veggies or an apple – so you’re not making quick decisions in a coffee shop filled with sugary high-fat products. Avoid caffeine and sugary items such as colas, coffee – opt for green tea and a Perrier for example – as your beverages. Hooked on coffee – try filling the cup 1/4 with coffee, the rest with steamed milk – even better, almond milk – Yum! my personal favourite ;)
5. Get more Sleep
Lack of sleep can have a negative overall effect on your ability to get through the day. A good night sleep will help you perform at your optimal levels and can hinder your ability to think clearly, concentrate and focus. All of these factors can lead to stress or can increase current stress levels. As much as possible, try to get yourself seven to eight hours of sleep per night. While some studies suggest that fewer than six hours of sleep per night is detrimental to your health, and other studies suggest that more than 10 hours of sleep is not recommended, the key is to follow your own body’s signals. It’s usually harder to sleep longer in the mornings so try going earlier to bed by 1/2 hour each day.
6. Find ‘me’ Time
OK, this is the fun one. It’s not selfish to take time for yourself and far too often, we forget to do this. So make it a priority to find ‘me’ time to reduce stress. Whether it’s a half an hour at the end of a busy day or a weekend away, make “me time” a must-do on your endless to-do list. Whether you spend the time quietly reading a book, crafting, knitting etc. or catching up with old friends over a quiet dinner, the point is to indulge yourself in relaxing activities that help you unwind. And the best part is that you can’t just do it once. You need to make it a habit. Blogging may or may not fall into this category ;) it all depends on if you’re relaxed and enjoy what you do or if you’re frantically trying to get a post up. The key is to enjoy the ‘me’ time and to unwind.
I hope these 6 Steps to Reduce Stress were helpful. Stress is no doubt quickly becoming a normal part of life, but remember an imbalance in the body and mind can lead to a whole wide range of health problems and not to mention a dissatisfaction with your life in general. It’s important to balance with therapies, supplements, improved diet and nutrition, proper sleep and finding space of your own.
Be well my friends!
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