Every day, external pressures, internal goals and endless “to-do lists” bombard us with anxiety. Between busy careers, parenting, running errands, household chores, and so on, it’s easy to forget the amount of stress you’re actually under. However, your body is well aware. This tension can start a chain reaction of health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a head start on managing them so that you can stay calm and live long!
Learn how to cultivate calm with these simple suggestions.
Just Breathe: Paying attention to your breathing is one of the fastest ways to become calm, centered, and energized. Regulating your breath is paramount to reducing your anxious heart rate. By taking deep inhales and exhales, you are sending fresh oxygenated blood to your brain for clearer thoughts, while simultaneously reducing your heart rate. The key is to breathe fully, deeply, and slowly. As you inhale, let your stomach expand and fill your lungs with air. Do the same as you exhale. Your stomach goes in first, and then your lungs contract as you let the air out.
Practice Gratitude: Make it a habit to wake up each day and think about all the positive things in your life. A roof over your head, eyes to see, ears to hear, food to eat, family and friends to love, and so on. Maintaining this grateful mindset will help to put things in perspective when times get overwhelming or stressful. Keep a journal next to your bed so that before you fall asleep you can jot down happy events that happened during the day. This will enable your subconscious to remember these fond memories as you drift off to sleep.
Get Movin’ & Groovin’: It’s easy to use stress as an excuse to skip exercise. But did you know working out actually helps balance stress hormones? Staying active is essential in remaining relaxed, happy, and healthy. Not only does exercise regulate your body’s functions, make you stronger, and keep you happy with the release of endorphins, but it is scientifically proven to sharpen your mind and organize your thoughts – leading to less stress. Find a flight of stairs to walk up and down, take a jog around the neighborhood to cool off, or better yet, sign up for a local zumba class and dance those worries away! http://sandhillswellness.wixsite.com/sandhillswellness/zumba-fitness
Meditate: According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation is a great stress reducer that can calm you and bring relaxation. Calming meditation can help you sleep better, focus better at work and remain calm throughout the day. Research continues to show that this act promotes a healthy immune system and self-healing abilities. Try your best to go somewhere quiet and close your eyes for 5-10 minutes a day.
Snack Right: When you are feeling overwhelmed, it’s human nature to want to treat yourself to a big bowl of ice cream or a bag of potato chips. But in stressful times like these, it’s more important than ever to stick to healthy eating habits. Did you know sugary munchies spike your blood-glucose level, making you feel even more jittery? A much better option would be to munch on some carrots or celery sticks. Chomping on these crunchy snacks helps you to release pent-up frustration. To really stay on track, sign up for fun and informative health classes like The Suppers Program, where you will learn how to cook delicious and wholesome meals. http://sandhillswellness.wixsite.com/sandhillswellness/suppers
Laugh it Off: When times get rough, just laugh. Connect with a good friend or family member that has a great sense of humor and brings out the best in you. In general, spending time with loved ones helps our bodies pump out the feel-good hormone oxytocin. If possible, make time to socialize and hang with a pal who makes you smile and laugh regularly. By doing this you will get a continuous boost to your well-being which will keep you calm, happy and laughing through all of those stressful times!