Stress is a part of our daily lives and a small amount of stress is needed to motivate us and keep us focused on our goals. It's when stress takes over, weighs us down, and brings us to a complete stop...it's then that we need help. The key is to not let stress get into full swing by using simple daily methods to keep calm. Here are 5 easy steps to reducing stress that we can all use.
Yoga and meditation are great ways to regulate stress by using the power of breath. It is easy to get wrapped up in your current affairs and forget the simple act of a few relaxing deep breaths. We recommend pushing away from your desk, closing your laptop, and sitting quietly while focusing your mind and energy on taking 20-30 deep breaths. Deep breathing centers your body, oxygenates your blood, and clears your mind.
Listen to Music:
Listening to calming music is a super simple way to head off stress. Now it may not be effective if you’re listening to hard rock, so we recommend some gentle nature music such as the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. Playing music has a positive effect on the brain and body, can lower blood pressure, and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress.
Taking even a quick few minutes to excise daily will help to eliminate stress. We’re all busy, so if you think you have no time, you don’t need to spend an hour at the gym. Take 10 minutes to take a brisk walk on the way into work or at lunch, or step away from your desk to stretch. We like to spend 15 minutes doing gentle yoga “Sun Salutations”: Standing with feet planted firmly, reach up as if trying to touch the sun. Close your eyes, reach down, touch your toes. Step back into a downward facing dog, then plank, then return to standing. Repeat 3 times. Getting your blood moving releases endorphin and improves your mood almost instantly.
When you've got a lot of work to do and stress levels are high, it’s easy to reach for a bag of chips or to run to have “fast food”. We’re trying to be quick and efficient, but our meal choices will determine how well our brain works and regulates our stress levels. Instead of hitting the vending machine, try to plan ahead when you know you’ll have a busy day. Try packing some peanut butter and carrots to snack on and a salad with salmon on it for lunch. Quick proteins like peanut butter energize your body and fish high in Omega 3’s have been shown to reduce stress.
Change Your Routine:
Studies show that simply changing your routine and adding something relaxing to your schedule can change your mood and stress levels drastically. Maybe before bed, instead of watching TV, have a cup of herbal tea. Breathing in the steam and sipping it slowly will help you wind down for bed and help you have a sound night of sleep. Or you may want to try a warm bath or schedule a massage. Being mindful of how you’re feeling and making small changes can make a huge difference in your mental wellbeing.
Keep in mind that this month, we’re giving away a free handheld massager that you can use when you’re feeling stressed! Find out how to enter here on Facebook.
Have a stress free day!