There are a lot of things happening in the world today. Some are good, some, not so much.
Prolonged stress can increase your inflammation in your body and increase you cortisol levels and lead to poor health, including increased risks of Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease and Depression.
There are many ways to decrease your stress levels. Some ideas are:
Decrease your caffeine intake. Caffeine will increase the effects of stress on your body. If you consume a lot of caffeine, you may want to consider trying alternative, non-caffeinated, beverages.
Improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. Some people need less, some people need more. Determine what your optimum sleep length is and then create a healthy, electronic free, sleep environment to help reach your desired sleep time. Consider short naps during the day to refresh if needed. Naps have been shown to decrease your stress levels. There is much research on the topic of sleep. Find what works for you and stick to it.
Engage in regular physical activity. Move your body. Exercise can take many forms. Find what works for you as an individual and strive for 30 minutes a day. Set goals for yourself so you stay focused. Yoga has been shown to b very helpful in stress reduction, lowering blood pressure and cortisol levels. You can practice yoga right at home, there are many options on videos, fitness apps or on you tube. The same can be said for Meditation and practicing mindfulness. Google any of these tips for much more information on them.
Spend time doing what you love. If you don’t have a hobby, spend some time cultivating one. Creating art has been shown to help reduce stress. Spend time in the great outdoors. There are studies that show being in nature or green spaces lowers your stress and has other health benefits. The fresh air feels amazing.
Boost your mood by listening to music or making connections. Social connections can help combat stress. If you cannot be around people in person right now, use technology and reach out to friends and loved ones. Music also helps reduce stress. Hugs are proven to release oxytocin which is a hormone associated with reduced stress and higher levels of happiness.
Pet your pets. Research shows petting your animals can be a quick stress reliever. Getting out and walking your pet has the added benefits of exercise and fresh air. Sometimes a quick break to walk the dog is refreshing.
Be nice to yourself. Positive self talk, affirmations and expressing gratitude are all great ways of improving your mood, and decreasing stress. Being optimistic will help you move forward in a positive direction.
Get Started. Pick one or more of the above methods of reducing your stress and see if it helps. Then add another one. Just reading these tips alone will not help. Now you have the tools to reduce your stress, it is time to put them into action.
Ms. Jenn Landers | Patient Advocate Alliance LLC Edited by Dr. Justin Groode
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