We´re living very fast paced times where most of us don´t pay attention to our health until something´s wrong, until something happens and our body can´t handle more and we get sick. When it comes to health most of us think of diet and exercise, but we forget about stress and sleep and they´re both important.
Nowadays we´re all living with high levels of stress and that stress is the cause of 90% of all visits to the doctor, it´s the cause of many diseases or at least it makes diseases or illnesses worse. We worry and put a lot of attention to the food and lack of exercise when we´re trying to make a change but sometimes just by doing some daily exercises that helps us lower stress can give us way better results and can actually make it easier to stick to a diet and exercise program.
Stress is not always something we can see physically until it is really high, when you´re under a lot of stress you may feel tired, angry, your body hurts, you may have pain, feel tense, have headaches but most of the time we don´t have symptoms or we´re not aware of them because we´re so busy with our daily activities.
Unfortunately we´ve gotten used to living with high levels of stress and we think it´s normal, we go through stressful situations every day from the moment we wake up until we go to sleep, situations like waking up late, getting stuck on traffic and we arrive late to the office, maybe school, our boss or teacher, all the work we need to do, the classmates or coworkers plus some day we get that sad or unfortunate news that makes everything worse. We didn´t pass the exam, we get fired, someone we love has been diagnosed with a chronic disease, etc. Life is tough so we need to find ways that help us keep daily stress low and to manage that increased stress that comes from unfortunate situations.
There are different options or different tools that helps us manage and lower stress but you need to find the one that works best for you, we´re all different and what works for me may not work for you, here are some ways to help you manage stress.
1.- Find the root cause of the stress.- In some cases it´s really obvious what causes the stress, it may be a new project we´ve been assigned, or being fired, changing home, school or job, a health diagnosed. In other cases it may be harder to find the root cause so you need to be aware and listen to your body, food can be a cause of stress like allergies.
2.- Improve your diet.- Eating highly processed foods that contain unhealthy seed oils like canola, safflower, corn, soy, cottonseed, sunflower, grapeseed, ricebran and sugar are toxic for your body, for some people gluten and dairy can also be huge problem so you need to be aware of what you eat and how you feel so that you can find which foods are causing problems. You can start by avoiding unhealthy seed oils, sugar, flours, maybe gluten and dairy.
3.- Exercise.- You don´t need to do intense exercise to lower stress, going for a walk is a great option, find some physical activity you enjoy doing. Some people like kickboxing, box or martial arts as a way to get all the energy out. Make sure you have a trainer or someone that can help you perform any exercise the right way and avoid injuries.
4.- Do something you love every day.- We all have hobbies or some activities that we love, for some of us it´s painting, others like playing a musical instrument, reading a novel, writing. Schedule 20 to 30 minutes to do that activity you love and make sure that you are completely focus on it so that your mind can relax.
5.- Meditation.- Meditation or mindfulness is another way to lower stress, there are different types of meditations and mindfulness so find one that you feel comfortable doing.
6.- Breathing exercises.- Something as simple as breathing can calm your body and mind and lower stress, just by taking your attention from any thought and anything that´s going on to focus on your breathe, focus on slow inhales and exhales.
This are 6 strategies you can use to help you lower stress, we´re all under stress so we need to find the tools or strategies that help us lower it, when things get harder and we go through difficult situations that increase stress breathing exercises are an excellent tool you can use to lower stress in that moment. The moment you start feeling anxious, or nervous, or you feel your heart rate increasing, your muscles tense or any other symptom of stress which usually comes after we received a dab news you can stop for a moment and start focusing all your attention on your breathe, take a deep breathe in, hold it for a couple of seconds and exhale slowly repeat this 5 or 6 times and you´ll feel more calm and relax.
Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you´ve been looking for strategies to help you lower stress and if you´ve used some of them how did you feel?
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