Between the global pandemic, economic instability, and other daily stressors, it should come as no surprise that people are looking for effective ways to naturally reduce their levels of stress. Stress can cause long term damage to your physical health. Prolonged episodes of stress have been associated with high blood pressure, insomnia, heart disease, and a weakened immune system.
If you are feeling particularly on edge these last few months, you may be wondering how you can effectively relieve your stress. Here are a few proven methods you can try in order to naturally reduce your stress.
Incorporate a Workout into Your Daily Routine
Regular physical exercise is one of the most effective ways to quickly lower your stress levels. Studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise is a great way to lower cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is the name of the hormone you release when you experience a stressful event. Unfortunately, cortisol raises your blood pressure, and is the reason why we get panicky and stressed out from time to time.
When you get your blood pumping during a great workout, your brain releases endorphins. These endorphins help to combat cortisol, and are the reason why people feel much better after they finish a workout. You don’t need any expensive equipment or a gym membership to work out. You could head down to your local park for a short jog, or do calisthenic exercises in your living room.
Consider Taking Up Meditation
When you are overly stressed, you may find that your ability to concentrate is negatively affected. You may even find that your productivity levels are greatly diminished. Stress can also take a huge toll on your sleep quality. Meditation is a highly effective way to lower your stress levels and improve your productivity, as well as help you sleep better. Meditation is a practice which has been in existence for thousands of years. When it comes to meditation, the ultimate goal is to help you become more focused and present in the moment.
Meditating on a daily basis is one of the best ways you can improve your quality of life. Starting mediation is relatively simple and easy. The most important thing to do is to find a quiet spot in your home. Once you’ve established a great spot, sit on the floor with your legs crossed and your hands resting gently on your thighs with your palms facing up. Allow your eyes to close and begin to focus on your breathing.
Try to keep your mind from racing, and attempt to remain focused on the present. It’s okay if you initially have trouble concentrating. Gently bring your thoughts back to the present, and continue meditating for ten minutes. Meditating on a daily basis is a powerful way to eliminate stress and decrease anxiety.
Write it Out Through Journaling
It is often said that getting your stressful thoughts and concerns out on paper is a great method to use to reduce stress. Another benefit of journaling, is that it can also help you come up with solutions to problems which may be stressing you out in the first place. You don’t have to sit and write for an hour every day in order for this stress reduction technique to be effective.
You can simply start out by writing down your thoughts and concerns for just five minutes in the morning. Set an alarm on your phone in order to remind yourself to write every day. Consider purchasing a high quality journal in order to help you stay motivated to write.
Address Stress Through Your Diet
Many people do not realize that your diet plays a crucial role in how your body is able to handle stress. Sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed carbohydrates, and alcohol all have a negative effect on your body’s ability to combat stress. Perhaps you’ve been tempted to pour a glass of wine, or indulge in a few beers, in order to relax after a particularly stressful day. In actuality, alcohol is one of the worst substances for effectively dealing with stress, and can actually raise anxiety levels if abused over a long period of time.
However, certain foods can actually help you handle stress more efficiently. Studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between a diet rich in leafy greens. For example, greens such as spinach, kale, and arugula help decrease levels of stress. Chamomile and lavender teas have also been found to be extremely beneficial for their natural sedative effects.
It may seem impossible for you to ever get out from under your stress, but there is hope. By following these tips and incorporating healthy habits into your life, you will notice a huge improvement in your overall well being and quality of life.
Author: Regina Thomas