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

The Importance of a Positive Attitude

The Importance of a Positive Attitude

The Importance of a Positive Attitude – Smile!!

People are so funny. They’ll go to school and learn from books for practical things, “educational” things they would call it. But trying to improve on yourself? Reading books…to learn how to improve yourself? Oh no…they’ll steer clear of that most of their lives. Why?

Possibly because (and I’m speaking from my own past/personal experience here) it would show a sign of weakness? That they need to improve themselves? No way, those self-help aisles are for crazy people or losers.

Again, why?

If you’ve ever gone down one of those aisles (or found things online) and/or picked up some of the books I think you’d be amazed at the wealth of knowledge there. Why not learn from other people who have BEEN there, who have felt it and who discovered something USEFUL that you can apply to your own life?

I know we like to think we are all so “unique” and “original”, and in a TON of ways we are. But when you boil it all down we are all just people and we all go through a lot of the same stuff. That’s just a fact.

When I tried to recommend a couple of books that have really helped me to a friend of mine (who was going through something similar), her response was “I don’t know, I’m not really a fan of self-help books and the media. I would rather realize things like that through experience.”

My response…didn’t have one. Because that’s her opinion and who am I to argue (and honestly part of me agrees with gaining your own experience)? I probably would have had a similar response a few months ago myself. But one thing turned it around for me and an avalanche of amazing resources started flowing into my life. And guess what? They HELPED! A LOT. In all areas of my life.

Did you know that your negative thoughts can physically make you sick?

That you can actually worry yourself into an ulcer, cancer and even an early grave?

It’s true. And mind blowing really. I sort of already knew that a positive mindset was a valuable thing to have, but it wasn’t until I was reading a few of Dale Carnegie’s books – specifically How to Stop Worrying and Start Living that I heard about specific and EXTREME examples of just how true this is.

I’m actually fighting a sore throat right now…and yeah, I might get sick. But until I actually DO, my mindset will be that I’m NOT going to get sick (I’ve always thought this way BEFORE reading any books – but now I know there’s proof!).

I’m actually too busy to get sick, I simply just don’t have time for it. 🙂 But even if I do, it’s not the end of the world, is it? People get sick and they get better and then the colds are a thing of the past – so why WORRY about getting sick? The worry will likely increase the odds that you will!

But how important is a positive attitude really? Isn’t what’s going to happen going to happen regardless of how you think or feel about it?

The answer: Not necessarily.

Have you seen that toothpaste commercial that says, “Life opens up when you do?” That’s actually true. Someone with a positive attitude, a welcoming persona, a smile on their face is going to have far more doors open for them in life than someone with a frown on their face.

A really amazing analogy that I was recently shown and is so true but we rarely think about, is the ebb and flow of life. Just like with the tides, relationships need give and take, you breathe in and out, there’s always good and bad.

When we worry or resist we are often met with resistance, rather than if we go with the flow, we find that our inner state can remain even regardless of what’s going on around us. There’s always going to be conflict, good and bad, red lights, green lights. Why fight it?

Why not have a positive attitude and see the silver lining and see what happens? Could it hurt? I don’t think so.

Okay, those were my thoughts for today, I don’t know if you found them useful or not. Please feel free to leave me a comment below with your thoughts.

And IF you are open to some great books 😉 I highly recommend – (I haven’t even finished them yet!! But they are great. I’ll leave a full review for them when I’m done):

The Sedona Method

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

Your Friend,

Tess
NurturingYourBody.com

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