Saturday, June 24, 2017

Three Simple (Yet Effective) Ways to Eliminate Stress

Your heart is racing, your head is pounding, you’re feeling short of breath…..and no, it’s not because you just fought three rounds in a boxing ring. You’re under stress and it is negatively affecting your health. Many people don’t even recognize that the aches and pains or the chronic sicknesses that they battle could be stress related.

If you find yourself feeling frazzled and irritable, there are some quick and easy changes that you can make that will reduce your stress, improve your mood and give you more energy.

1. Keep your bank filled. Your sleep bank, that is. For every night that you shortchange yourself on sleep, you’re allowing yourself to get deeper and deeper in debt. You can make small “deposits” here and there, but if you don’t allow yourself to truly catch up on your sleep, you’re going to find that you don’t have the reserves to deal with the smaller issues throughout the day. Your sleep deficit will cause you to feel irritable and get stressed-out over minor incidents.
Most people need eight hours of sleep each night. If you only get seven hours of sleep each night, try going to bed earlier. You may be surprised at how much better you feel. Researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit found that seven-hour sleepers were sleepier during the day than those who slept a full eight hours. When the seven-hour sleepers happened to get eight hours of sleep, they were able to focus on tasks more easily and they had quicker reaction times. Set yourself up for success by slowing moving your bedtime forward – even by half-hour increments. Your body will thank you!

2. Exercise. I’m sure you’ve heard all of the benefits that exercise has on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. You probably feel like you just don’t have time to exercise, but if you can just squeeze in a few minutes here and there, you really will feel much better. Even ten minutes a day can make a huge difference in helping you to manage stress. Taking a quick walk during your lunch break will calm you and allow you to decompress so you’re ready to tackle that big project. Or, if you’re home with the kids, pack them up in the stroller and take a nature walk. The fresh air (and vitamin D) will make both you and the kiddos feel better!

3. Take Time For Yourself. It is SO important to your mental health to find some time to do something that you enjoy. Give yourself permission to do something fun. Moms especially get very good at multi-tasking, and oftentimes forget that it’s okay to sit still for a few minutes and just be. Remember, you are a human being not a human doing.

I personally believe in the power of prayer. If you are one that prays, use this quiet time to find refreshment for your soul. If you are not into prayer, you can do some deep breathing/meditating.

I encourage you to give these suggestions a try and practice them until they become a natural part of your routine. I’d love to hear how they work for you. Share your thoughts in the box below.

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