7 Sure-Fire Stress Busters To Transform Your Life
Stress? It comes in all forms from worry to profound life-altering changes. Writing a soliloquy on how bad stress is will not suffice here however, because most people know or have heard that stress is not healthy. Simply recall a family member, friend or even yourself who has been through a stressful situation, chances are they or you did not look very healthy or may even became ill which is an obvious indicator that chronic stress is harmful. Chronic stress – stress that occurs often without resolution, is the troublemaker. Stress here and there is not unhealthy and in fact, there is such a thing as ‘Eustress’ or positive stress! Nice to know right?
If you are experiencing chronic stress in your life, the most important way to bring wellness into your body and life is to decrease the level of stress you experience on a daily basis. Even if you do not experience chronic stress, practicing stress reduction is a very healthful and protective supportive action.
Why is reducing stress so important? Well, for one, it will keep you out of the doctor’s office. Two-thirds of all doctor visits are due to stress-related conditions! Studies confirm women experience stress and depression more often than men. Reducing stress will also help to avoid stress-related conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headaches, and other illnesses and chronic conditions. Stress also steals your good looks. When you feel tense, breathing gets quick and shallow – and that, in turn, invites toxins (which you would otherwise have exhaled) to wreak havoc on the skin. So take control of the stress in your life by adding stress reducing actions to your daily life.
Here are 7 Stress Busters that will change your life:
Exercise is one of the very best ways to reduce stress. In fact, it is the #1 prescribed stress reduction activity. Stress, relaxes muscles and tension while triggering feel good neurotransmitters. You will feel relaxed and upbeat after you exercise and this stays with you. A study at the University of Southern California showed that those who exercised showed a 20% drop in bodily tension vs. the second group who were given a tranquilizer. Reduce your stress hormones by moving your body.
2. Deep Breathing
To keep stress at bay, get into the habit of breathing deeply – big belly breaths. The slower and deeper you breathe, the more peaceful you feel. This not only encourages relaxation, but over time you will develop deeper breathing on a natural level without thinking about it. If you are in the midst of stress or anxiety, use tactical breathing used by special forces in the middle of battle: Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds and exhale for 4 seconds. This stops the stress response in its tracks.
3. Eat to prevent and relieve stress.
Eating healthfully with lots of colorful plant-based foods, lean protein at every meal, healthy fats such as avocados, salmon, nuts or chia seeds and mindfully reducing excess carbohydrates. Optimal health starts in the kitchen and a healthy, fit body is more resilient to stress.
4. Drink up!
Mild dehydration has a negative effect on the body in the form of joint pain, headaches, fatigue, weight gain and much more. Lack of clean fresh water diminishes the kidney’s effect of removing waste material and toxins. Lack of water raises stress hormones as well. Get into the habit of carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go, use any type of reminder to drink water such as your phone or sticky notes.
5. Get some Zzzz’s.
Lack of sleep prevents the body’s ability to handle stress on any level. Therefore, getting roughly 7-8 hours a night of sleep is key to stopping the negative effects of stress. What is a good test to see if you are getting enough sleep? If you require an alarm to get out of bed in the morning, you most likely need more sleep. People who are getting adequate sleep can awaken at a regular time without an alarm.
Being thankful is an amazing stress buster and studies show that those who are most appreciative, even for the smallest of things in their lives, are the healthiest and least stressed. There is always something to be thankful for. Taking a moment here and there everyday to reflect on what it is you are grateful for, even during the most difficult times, is an important way to reduce stress and transform your life. Practice kicking negativity to the curb and make your “positivity tipping point” happen!
7. Assume the best.
Simply thinking about what you want in life encourages positive feelings or emotions. Studies show that when we even think of a good outcome, we activate the same part of our brain that would experience that pleasure. Opting for more positive thoughts will set you up for a positive outcome. Expectation is key.
To Your Good Health,
© 2014 DLS HealthWorks, LLC.
Lori Shemek, PhD, CNC, health and weight loss expert is the best-selling author of ‘Fire-Up Your Fat Burn!