With school starting and a busier schedule right around the corner, you may be feeling a little (or a lot of) stress. Too much stress can have a negative impact on your work, family, and personal life, making it difficult to get through the day. Here are some tips to help you control your stress and live a better life.
The food you eat turns into fuel for your body. Eating junk food can make you feel sluggish and depressed, leading to stress. There is also a link between binge eating and stress, which can lead to even more health problems. Instead of turning to that chocolate bar, look into super foods. These can include leafy vegetables, pistachios, blueberries, and avocado. Keep these at home and work for when that junk food craving hits.
TAKE DEEP BREATHS
When taking deep breaths, your heart beat slows down, your blood pressure decreases, and your muscles relax. To practice, place one hand on your chest, the other on your belly, and take a deep breath in through your nose. Let it fill you completely. Then release the breath out of your mouth, continue to repeat until you feel relaxed. There are several different styles of relaxation breathing, so try out a few to see what works best for you.
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years to help restore calm and inner peace. There are several different methods of mediation from guided to mindfulness. You can even combine mediation with yoga or Thai Chi for additional relaxation. The best part of meditation is that it's free, requires no additional equipment, and can be done almost anywhere.
Chamomile is a type of flower that contains a natural, gentle relaxant. For flavor (and nutrients), add a little honey. As a side note: while tea is a great drink to help you relax, coffee is not. Try to decrease your caffeine intake if you are feeling overly stressed. Also, cut off your caffeine intake at least 6 hours before you go to bed.
Sometimes, the person that’s hardest on you is you. Taking a few moments each day to think positively about yourself will help you feel better not only about yourself, but your life as a whole. It can be as simple as ‘I am proud of myself because _______________’
LISTEN TO MUSIC
We all know that instant mood pick me up when your favorite song comes on the radio. Music has a unique link to our emotions, making it an easy way to combat stress. Make sure to pick music that has a soothing tempo to help your body calm. If you hate classical music, don't force yourself to listen to it. There are a lot of options out there when it comes to relaxing music, but it should be something that you can tolerate.
Exercising releases endorphins which makes you happier and helps lessen stress. It also improves your self confidence, concentration, and alertness. You can get your family involved with easy workouts such as a bike ride, a walk, or a hike. If you don't have the time for a full workout, as little as 5 minutes of aerobic exercise has been shown to help reduce stress.
Lack of sleep can contribute significantly to your stress. This stress can then make it difficult to sleep, creating a cycle that's hard to break. Start with creating a bedtime routine. You should wait at least two hours after eating & exercising before heading to bed. All work related items and electronics should be put away an hour before you go to sleep. Keep things consistent as possible to give both your body and mind time to relax. If you continue to have life disrupting sleeping problems, talk to your doctor.