It’s important to be aware of what causes you stress in your life, enabling you to manage it rather than reacting to the circumstances. Some stress is healthy for you, as it protect you in times of need and can give you a sense of focus.
For example when you’re in times of emergencies it can save your life. However when we’re constantly stressed, it can be very harmful, as hormones like cortisol flood our systems. It can cause physical, mental and emotional issues which can greatly increase the risk of leaky gut and other digestive disorders, depression, weight fluctuations well as a host of other issues. Here are a few of our favourite de-stressing techniques you can implement in your life to reduce your stress levels and begin your way towards living a living a healthy and balanced life.
1. Identify Your Stress Triggers
The first important step to managing your stress is to determine what your stress triggers are. Of course we may not be able to remove all stressors in our lives (our children, in-laws, busy work schedules etc), but when you can understand exactly what stresses you and in what way, it’s helpful to learn to manage and solve the problem.
2. Get into Nature
Get outside and go for a walk in nature even if it’s for a short 10 minutes. It will help to clear your mind and boost endorphins, which in turn will help to reduce stress hormones.
3. Listen to Music
Classical music has a particularly soothing effect on the body as it slows down the heart rate and lowers blood pressure. However, listening and singing along to any music that you love can help to reduce your stress levels even, improve your mood, focus and memory. So listen to some music while you cook, shower or bath. Relax and enjoy it.
4. Create a Gratitude Practice
Gratitude is a powerful force that you can use to expand your happiness, improve your health, and of course decrease stress. When you develop an attitude of gratitude toward the people, things and events in your life, it becomes a life affirming and effective way to strengthen your emotional resilience as well as reduce your stress levels too. It’s a great habit to start focusing on the positivity in your life.
5. Legs Up The Wall Yoga Pose
Many yoga poses are known stress relievers as they can open the shoulders, relieve neck tension and reduce the physical symptoms of stress. ‘Legs up the wall’ is a deeply relaxing pose and calming for the nervous system, as it allows you to tap into the ‘rest and digest’ nervous response. This one is great to do for 5-15 minutes before bedtime.
6. Get a Massage, Reflexology or Lymphatic Drainage
Stress relief is one of the biggest benefits that go hand in hand with massage therapy. These therapies were once considered an alternative form of medicine, but now they are some of the most recommended and sought after practices when it comes to managing and treating anxiety, headaches, stress, muscle tension, insomnia, fatigue, arthritis, increasing energy and eliminating toxins. Taking care of your body should be at the top of your priority list. By adding a therapeutic massage, lymphatic drainage or reflexology into your routine, you’ll begin to look and feel healthier and happier almost immediately.
7. Have an Epsom Salt Bath
Taking a bath is a wonderful way to relax the mind and body as well as promote healing. Epsom salts when dissolved into your bath will deliver your body a healthy dose of magnesium which helps to relax the nervous system, promote better sleep, restore the body’s PH balance and create optimum hydration.
8. Hug Someone
It has been proven that a 20 second hug increase levels of the love hormone oxytocin in your body. It reduces the harmful physical effects of stress (lowers cortisol levels) as well as lowers blood pressure.
What are your favourite de-stressing techniques?
Happy changing habits.
Changing Habits Nutritionist