The world we are living in can be a stressful one, and for many of us, the worries of everyday life can weigh us down. We worry about our health, money, our family, job security- not to mention the world around us and all that is happening on a daily basis.
Stress takes its toll on our bodies and mind. Not only do we feel mentally drained and unmotivated, but it can also affect our sleep, memory and overall quality of life. Stress can also increase risk of health problems and promote severe weight gain/loss. If acute stress is repeatedly experienced, or if stress becomes chronic-it can cause damage to blood vessels and arteries which increases the risk of heart issues..
So with all the worries you take on, how can you calm yourself down?
There are ways to manage and lower your stress. It can take some leg work and practice, but the reward will surely be worth it.
Our bodies need exercise, it is one of the most important things you can do to help combat stress. Seems odd doesn’t it? When we’re stressed, the last thing we may want is to go exercise, many of us just want to sit down and try to relax, but the truth is exercise actually releases endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood. Exercise also lowers your body’s stress hormones.
Working out and exercising may also help your quality of sleep as well.
You may be thinking this is cliche, but meditation is actually a great way to escape your own mind and find peace. Here are some meditation steps you can follow to calm your body and mind.
- Find a quiet space where you feel safe and at ease.
- Breathe deeply and slowly. Allow your mind to focus solely on your breathing.
- Mentally calm your body, be aware of any tension in your muscles, places of comfort or discomfort, the feel of the floor beneath your feet. Begin to pay attention to the natural rhythm of your breathing.
- Repeat a mantra. This can be anything you find that is tailored to you. It can be of a religious aspect or some small phrase you find soothing. It could be as simple as “Just let it go”
- Don’t let your mind wander. It’s inevitable for your mind to wander, so try to bring it back by focusing on your breathing and focusing on the sounds around you.
We all know eating healthy is crucial for our overall health and wellness but some foods actually have the ability to boost serotonin and affect our mood. Eating processed food, foods high in refined sugar and fried foods can actually worsen stress and mental fatigue stripping you of nutrients.
A healthy diet will not only keep your stress levels down and mind healthy, but your body will also thank you.
Take Time For You
Your time is important. We all need self love. A bubble bath, shopping trip, manicure, relaxing walk through the park, movie night alone in bed, whatever you desire! Life is busy, but taking time for ourselves is also a priority. Sometimes we just need a little bit of alone time to do something for us. It is a great way to rejuvenate the soul and even self reflect.
If you find yourself in a partially stressful situation, deep breathing works wonders. Take a minute to focus on deep breaths. In and out. Close your eyes and focus on just the inhale and exhale of your chest. Clear your mind and listen to your breathing. Repeat this as often as necessary throughout the day or during any stressful moments.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
Alone time is always crucial, but when we are feeling stressed or worried, surrounding ourselves with those we love, is great medicine. Making time to sit down with a friend or family is a great way to unwind. Laughing, sharing memories or just talking about everyday life helps keep our mind distracted and also reminds us of the good times.
We try to eat a healthy diet but sometimes we are lacking certain vitamins. And sometimes the vitamins we are lacking, are actually ones that can help keep our stress levels in balance.
Magnesium is an important nutrient for the brain and body. Magnesium also plays an essential role in your body’s response to stress. When we feel stressed, our body actually ramps up magnesium excretion.
Magnesium also increases GABA (a neurotransmitter that blocks impulses between nerve cells in the brain)-which encourages relaxation as well as sleep. Low GABA levels can make it difficult for us to relax. So it makes sense that our levels need to be high in order for us to feel more relaxed.
Keeping our magnesium levels up will keep our magnesium stored for when our stress depletes us.
Calming down is easier than you might think. It just takes some leg work and some practice. It won’t happen overnight but these tips can help get you on your way to feeling more like yourself and lifting some of that heavy stress off your shoulders.
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