Today we’re talking about major stress! In fact, I’m sharing 7 simple secrets to a stress-free lifestyle with you.
Today’s lifestyle is more hectic than ever. With the rise of electronics, it’s near impossible to completely break free from work at the end of the day. Mobile phones are at our sides every second of the day. From the moment we arise to the minute our heads hit our pillows, the cell phone volleys a barrage of text messages, alerts, and updates! It sometimes feels like the technologies that were supposed to make our lives easier have made them fraught with pitfalls of stress.
Add on top of the non-stop demands of work and career-related stress, the demands of your spouse, parents, and children. You work all day, then come home to take care of everyone else. The list of stress triggers is endless. Acknowledging your high stress level and taking steps to correct it could very well save your life!
Get A Move On
Experts worldwide agree. The top way to release stress is to get up and get yourself in gear! In fact, it’s the most commonly prescribed method of natural stress management.
Stress is caused by an imbalance in your hormones. In fact, it’s an evolutionary mechanism that helped early man decide whether to fight off predators or flee from them for survival. You may have heard this referred to as “fight or flight response.”
When you exercise, you release chemicals called endorphins. It doesn’t matter if your exercise is running laps on the track, a brisk walk, or a quick game of basketball. All forms of exercise will help to restore the stress hormones back to normal levels. Therefore, your stress levels will be reduced after exercise.
Cut the Caffeine
Because caffeine is a stimulant, it can cause stress and anxiety. Have you ever noticed yourself getting the jitters, pacing, or tapping your fingers or feet after you’ve enjoyed your morning java?
This is the effect of the caffeine. This isn’t just coffee. You’ll find caffeine in chocolate, tea, hot cocoa, and energy drinks.
While the initial rush of energy may make you feel like you can conquer the world, that’s a short-lived feeling. Once it wears off, you’ll sadly be left feeling even more stressed!
Breathing Exercises and Meditation
Anxiety can cause the release of those pesky stress hormones. But you can counteract those hormones by learning to perform deep breathing and meditation exercises. Here’s why.
Deep breathing and meditation exercises can help you clear your mind, re-focus your energy and calm yourself down. People who regularly use these techniques as part of their stress management plan report a feeling of “melting away the stress.” While this isn’t a literal term, it’s reportedly an accurate analogy.
Just Say No!
I’m not talking about Nancy Reagan’s 1980’s campaign to end drug abuse, although it was a worthy cause. I’m talking about you saying no. Yes, it’s true that you have stresses that you can’t control. These can be horrible morning commutes, aggravating neighbors, or work deadlines.
However, you can say no to those extra-curricular obligations that you agree to. These include situations such as hosting your second cousin’s baby shower, waking up late and causing yourself to run out the door too late, paying bills at the last minute and causing your own money issues.
Politely excuse yourself from these situations. Give yourself permission to look after yourself!
There are numerous herbal remedies that can assist in rebalancing those stress hormones when they get out of whack.
Some commonly known herbal remedies are:
- Omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce stress by up to 20%
- Lemon Balm, a minty-smelling herb that helps relieve the anxiety which contributes to stress
- Green Tea, a powerful antioxidant that helps rid your body of free radicals and increases serotonin levels, both of which can alleviate stress
- Lavender, an herb that aids in relaxation and calming frazzled nerves
- Kava Kava, a Polynesian plant whose roots are harvested for a mild sedative that calms and reduces anxiety
Naturally, you much check with your doctor or a pharmacist before trying any of these treatments. Each of them can interfere with medications.
Get Some Sleep!
Because so many of us burn the candle at both ends these days, we are a sleep-deprived society. When you lack sufficient sleep, you might feel irritable, exhausted, run-down, and stressed out!
Even though it is difficult to sleep when you’re worried and stressed, make sleep a priority. Here are a few hints to help you get better rest.
- Go to bed at the same time every night. It will become part of your routine in a few nights.
- Cut off the television, cell phones, and tablets before you go to sleep so that you fall into deep-cycle sleep without sudden jolting noises awakening you.
- Get room darkening blinds or window treatments to block out lights and headlights from waking you during the night.
- Use a white noise sound player to block out city noises, if that’s an issue for you.
Seek Medical Advice
If you do experience extreme stress, and you can’t get it under control, seek medical advice. You may have an underlying medical cause for these overwhelming feelings of stress. Because stress can cause stroke, heart attacks, and diabetes, a medical check-up is a must for you!
There are prescription medications that can help get your stress levels back in check. Have an honest, open discussion with your doctor about the causes of your stress, but he can’t help you if you don’t ask for help!
Stress causes medical complications that reach far beyond those gut-wrenching feelings of dread and anxiety. Try out these simple secrets to a stress-free lifestyle. You’ll be back on the road to feeling well again very soon!