24 Ways to Reduce Stress and Feel Better
In a world that tells us to BE MORE...DO MORE...YOU’LL SLEEP WHEN YOUR DEAD...HE/SHE THAT DIES WITH THE MOST TOYS WINS...etc., has created the number one reason for doctor’s visits, stress, and stress related conditions. Surprised?
The most common stress related conditions we see today are headaches, diabetes, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, neck, and back pain. And the solution is not taking a drug, vitamin, or herb BUT it is about creating a lifestyle that allows us to cultivate mindfulness, gratitude, connection, and self-care.
My advise...slow down and practice some self-care to reduce the stress and reconnect with yourself and loved ones.
These are my top self-care strategies for a happier and healthier you:
Get 8-10 hours of sleep – get good quality sleep, nothing is better than a good night’s sleep for your body, mind, and spirit.
Take an afternoon or mid-morning 20 minute nap - it's ok to nap and detach from everything for 20 minutes.
Drink Kava or valerian tea – kava is known for its power to calm the mind and body and help with a good night’s sleep. Valerian has very calming effects and is often mixed with passion flower and lemon balm because alone, the odor may be a bit strong.
Get a massage – we hold on to stress in our body which eventually turns into chronic pain. Therefore, a good massage therapist can help alleviate tension in the muscles through the power of touch.
Spend time outdoors – spending time outdoors without checking our phone allows you to connect with nature and experience serenity.
Go to the beach and walk barefooted in the sand – connecting with nature helps as it promotes energy balance in the body.
Spend time at the ocean or lake – water has a very soothing, relaxing, and even invigorating effect on our body so go and take a dip!
Walk your dog - A dog is man’s best friend, they are always excited to see you and can change your mood almost instantly.
Practice yoga – yoga helps with focusing on breathing as well as poses that help bring peace and calm to the body.
Meditate – take time to be still and connect with your higher power.
Volunteer at church – spiritual connection can help minimize what may appear stressful as well as provide support when you need it the most.
Participate in community services – helping others always feels good and takes the focus off of our own problems as well as minimizes the immensity or perception of our problems.
Go for a bike ride – riding a bike gives you a sense of freedom and allows for outdoor time as well as good exercise.
Go kayaking – kayaking can be a relaxing form of exercise that allows you to connect with nature while enjoying the calming effects of water.
Floatation tank therapy – image floating on water with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt which is rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps reset the circadian rhythm which is usually erratic in stressful people and great for muscle aches and tension.
Plant a garden - plants, flowers, and dirt have elements that allow us to connect with the earth which has negative ions and can balance out the surplus of positive ions from electronic stressors (cellphones, tablets, computers) and it’s also a form of grounding while connecting directly with the elements of the earth.
Epsom salt bath – the magnesium in the Epsom salt allows for improved blood flow and relaxation in addition to being a great way to detox the body.
Use therapeutic essential oils like lavender - aromatherapy has been used for years as an alternative therapy and lavender has very calming effect by simply inhaling.
Biofeedback therapy – is a type of training program that teaches patients how to help regulate their own unconscious bodily processes so they can learn to respond to stress better. Electronic sensors are connected to the body and a biofeedback therapist will teach and guide you through the relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and mental exercises that can most benefit you.
Use adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha and reishi mushrooms – both are known to nourish and support adrenal function helping combat stress. Recommended dose for ashwagandha is 3-6 grams in capsules or 2 droppers full of tincture 2 times a day. The recommended dose for reishi is 3-6 grams in capsules or 2 droppers full of tinctures 2 times a day.
Eliminate any stressor in your life that is within your control – take a look at what is the biggest stressor in your life and decide how you can eliminate it or minimize contact with it.
Practice gratitude – be thankful for the little things like breathing on our own accord, fresh air, freedom, clean water, or whatever makes you happy. A gratitude journal is the best way to keep track of your joys and focus on those through those challenging days.
Take an electronic sabbatical even if it’s only for 24 hours – when we take a break from electronics it allows us to spend time on other activities and notice more of what happens around us.
Color or paint – I love adult coloring books and painting because it allows the creative part of the brain to be active and give a break to the logical part. It is also relaxing and a type of meditation.
Make your lifestyle a spa lifestyle and incorporate something every day!