Category Fitness

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10 Ways to Reduce Stress

10 Ways to Reduce StressStress, as you probably already know, is a really bad thing for our bodies and our lives. Not only can stress be emotionally damaging but it can actually cause physical illness and sometimes even death.

The definition of stress: “pressure or tension exerted on a material object” and/or “a mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances” in itself makes it obvious that if you are feeling it, it’s not a good thing.

From Stress.org, they say it is not a useful term for scientists because it is a “highly subjective phenomenon that defies definition”. However, while it may defy definition for scientists because they have no way of measuring it, in its current definition coined by Hans Selye, stress is “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change.” Studies done on lab animals have shown that stress can cause stomach ulcers, shrinkage of lymphoid tissue and enlargement of the adrenals.

I think we can all agree that these findings cannot possibly be exclusive to animals and because of this, finding ways to decrease or eliminate stress in our own lives should become a top priority.

Below I have outlined some of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety and help you.

10 Ways To Reduce Stress


1. Meditation To Relieve Stress

Meditation is probably the top one you’ve heard about because it forces you to slow down. You must take time out for yourself to do this, you must be present in the moment, you must focus on your breathing and be still. Anxiety and stress management can both benefit from using meditation as a way to cope. Setting aside just 5 minutes per day can be extremely beneficial.

2. Exercise

Exercising makes the top of this list because fitness isn’t just to keep your body looking good. Exercising is great for your brain too. The chemicals released, known as endorphins, interact with the receptors in your brain and actually reduce your perception of pain. If you are suffering from depression as well, exercise is one of the best ways to combat the blues. Endorphins act in a similar way to that of morphine, they are known as the feel good drug. Ever heard of “runner’s high?”, that’s the endorphins and they can help reduce stress, get rid of anxiety and depression, improve your self-esteem and improve sleep. And no, it doesn’t have to be crazy amounts of exercise. Getting out for a 30 minute walk everyday can greatly reduce your stress levels.

3. Journal:

Writing in a journal every morning is a highly effective way to handle stress. By writing down everything that is bothering you (in The Artist’s Way, “morning pages” are prescribed) in the morning, it helps clear your head and improve your mood for the day. The more you do it, the more it is effective. Sometimes we need someone to talk to, but we can’t always get that – journaling is the next best thing to getting things off your chest, and THAT is a huge way to reduce stress.

4. Practice Deep Breathing:

Going along with the #1 way, meditating, deep breathing is not only an excellent way to reduce stress, but the extra amount of oxygen just 5 minutes of deep breathing per day can do actually has been proven to help your body function better. It’s amazing how shallow our breaths actually are when you think about it. Being mindful to take deep breaths will bring more oxygen to your system and can help you tremendously.

5. Get Regular Massages:

Not just a luxury. Getting regular massages is excellent for your health. The time you take out for “you” to get a massage will decrease your stress as well as helping your body to feel better overall. It’s wonderful for both your mind, body and soul. So…if you can afford them, get them. If you can’t, figure out how to. Spoil yourself a little in this life. It just might help you live longer.

6. Read:

Reading both fiction and non-fiction is a great way to relax and unwind. This will naturally help you de-stress. However, I added reading to this list primarily to point you to some of THE best resources out there that can give you some simple ways to relieve stress. Actually reading How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, The Power of Now and The Sedona Method will help you to lower your stress levels and for some, eliminate them. When you know how to beat the worry, know how to cope with things being thrown at you in life, your stress will naturally dissipate.

7. Laughing:

Laughing truly is the best medicine. So whether you watch a comedy, read a funny book or get together with friends. LAUGH. You simply can’t feel stressed when you are laughing. It’s not possible.

8. Listen to Music:

Music is a great way to unwind, as I discussed in my post Calm Relaxing Music for Stress Relief. I highly recommend finding something you like (heavy metal is fine too, whatever makes you happy and relieves your stress!) Music, next to laughter, can heal many problems.

9. Find a New Job:

If you need workplace stress management, you have two choices. Either learn how to deal with your current place of employment, i.e. by figuring out where the stress is coming from and removing it if possible. Or two, get a new job. Find a job that makes you happy doing what you love and the stress will go away.

10. Take Frequent Naps:

Last, but not least, take naps! I know you aren’t a child anymore, but they’ve actually done studies that have shown that people are more productive and happy (and yes, less stressed) when they get more sleep. Naps are a great way to squeeze in a few more minutes or hours that you are lacking at night.

They’ve also done studies that show that getting even small breaks throughout the day is more beneficial to you than sleeping for 8+ hours at night. So if you can, take a 30 minute nap around lunch time, or a few 5-10 minute breaks each hour in the afternoon. At the very least, after dinner take a short 1 hour break. You’ll likely find that you’re more productive at night after you wake, and that you sleep better when you finally head off to bed.

What reduces stress typically will work for everyone IF YOU TAKE THE TIME TO DO IT!! The problem is, most people are so wrapped up in their woes, their drama, work, family, obligations and so on, that they simply don’t STOP to care for themselves.

But you know what? Taking care of yourself on this earth should be no different than the first thing they teach you on a plane if something happens and you have to put on an air mask.

What do they tell you?

PUT YOURS ON FIRST…then help the person next to you. You are no good to anyone if you can’t breathe, if you pass out or die because you didn’t tend to yourself first. So tend to yourself FIRST right now and THEN tend to the rest of us. We’ll all be better off for it, especially YOU!

Find the best way to relieve stress that works for you, and do it regularly. Your body, mind and soul will thank you and so will everyone who knows you. Stress is something that can be passed on to another. Wouldn’t you rather pass on a smile?

If you have any other tips you’d like to share, please leave a comment below 🙂

Your Friend,

Tess
NurturingYourBody.com

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Make Money Doing What You Love

What Does a Low Body Temp Mean

What Does a Low Body Temp MeanMy family was hit by a nasty bug over the last few weeks and so my husband and I were on high alert for fevers. What we discovered about our own body temperatures floored me though. We always came back with low temps. And I figured, well that’s good – at least it isn’t a fever.

But when our temperatures were consistently WAY below the normal 98.6 mark I went online and did some research. I was astounded to find out that not only is a HIGH temperature bad, but apparently a LOW one can be just as bad!

It makes sense though, it is normal for a reason – it means things are working properly and you are GOOD. Swinging in either direction can be an indication of something being wrong.

Now, my husband and I are under some pretty good stresses (aren’t we all?!) and I’m certainly not going to say, “Mine are WAYYYY more than yours!”, even if I feel it haha. It’s part of the reason I started Nurturing Your Body. Taking care of myself and my family are top priority and I knew that stress was a killer.

I’m finding stress is far more than just a nuisance that you may or may not have to deal with. It can do some serious damage and the low body temperature is actually an indicator that it may be silently doing just that.

One thing I found is that it can mean that your metabolism is low. This I found slightly ridiculous because it would appear I have a very fast metabolism, but what do I know?

Here are a list of possible symptoms for low metabolism:

– poor digestion and food intolerances
– cold hands and feet
– constipation or abnormal bowel movements
– frequent urination
– mood swings and instability
– dry skin and or other skin issues like acne or eczema
– thin, brittle hair and nails
– sleep problems (insomnia)
– exhaustion (tired/wired)
– PMS, infertility, low sex drive and/or other hormonal imbalances
– blood sugar instability or crashes
– susceptibility to illnesses
– weight gain, especially around midsection
– chronically low body temperature

Having a low temperature can actually be normal for you so don’t freak out if you do. But I just wanted to make you aware that if you are running low that it COULD be an indication that something is wrong. It could be anywhere from stress, lack of sleep to problems with your thyroid, liver, adrenal function, low on vitamin B12 or even a side effect from medication.

A low metabolism is just one possible cause, I bet if you take a look at your life you’ll be able to easily pinpoint something that just doesn’t quite feel right. Oh and note that body temperature is always lower in the morning.

How Do You Fix It?

You can start to try to fix it by first knowing WHAT can affect metabolism the most. There are FOUR core things. Diet, Activity, Sleep and Stress.

Diet: If you restrict your diet this can hurt your metabolic function. Your diet needs to be well-rounded or you could be missing some vital nutrients.
– Eat an appropriate amount of food for your body type and level of activity
– Don’t restrict the types of foods you eat, learn how to balance fat, protein and carbohydrates.
– Make sure you have enough fuel for energy, make sure your glucose and electroclytes are where they should be.
– Drink water, but not too much that you end up depleting your sources of glucose and salt.

Activity: Physical activity is a must.
– walk 30 minutes every day
– get 20 minutes of cardio 3 times per week
– do some form of strength training
– stretch and meditate for both muscles and your soul
– don’t exercise too much or you will be out of balance, taking too much from your body than you are putting in (food wise)

Sleep: Sleep is vital.
– get between 7-8 hours of sleep every night
– set a sleep schedule and stick to it
– make sleep a priority
– don’t eat too late and make sure you are asleep between 1-3pm so that your liver can function properly
– create a calming bedtime routine
– eat a blood-sugar leveling snack to keep things stable during the night (a piece of cheese or some fruit is a good choice)

Stress: We are all stressed. But to be healthy we HAVE to learn how to manage it or eliminate it as best we can.
– address psychological sources of any stress-emotional disturbances
– remove unhealthy relationships
– get support
– change jobs to something that makes you happy!
– allow for relaxation time
– meditate, do yoga, take calming baths

Your Friend,

Tess
NurturingYourBody.com

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