We all know that stress isn’t good for us. Often referred to as the “silent killer,” it has become an epidemic in the Western world. When one remains in a state of stress, physical symptoms begin to appear, such as headaches, nausea, fatigue, and sleeplessness.
If this continues over a prolonged period of time, the damaging effects can be devastating. Inevitably our bodies can’t keep up, leading to more dangerous outcomes like heart disease, anxiety, high blood pressure, weight gain, insomnia—the list goes on and on. It’s important it is to keep your health at the top of your priority list, so consider using the following ideas to get the ball rolling:
- Meditate – studies have proven the many health benefits of meditating. It will also help you to become more aware of the stress-related symptoms you may be experiencing in addition to the behaviors that are a result of them. This is an important place to start!
- Get More Sleep – according to the CDC, this step alone can improve your health and make you stress less.
- Take a Yoga Class – not only will you become physically stronger and flexible, you will lower the stress and inflammation experienced by your body. Any type of exercise is good, but this ancient art has been long hailed to help you cope with stress and anxiety unlike any other method.
- Exercise – if yoga is not your cup of tea, find something else that will get you moving! Exercise burns corisol, the hormone released when stressed, which makes us feel better and happier. As an added bonus endorphins are released, natures happy feel-good messengers.
- Nutrition – when our bodies are being fed properly, our body is more equipped to deal with the everyday strain it experiences. Caffeine can also aggervate the mood.
- Laugh – if ever there was a medicine that is beneficial to all, this is it! Laughter actually decreases the stress hormones produced by the body, cortisol and epinephrine, while increasing the flow of endorphins. It is an instant mood booster. Learn to laugh at yourself!
Why not kick off the New Year with a promise to yourself to lower your stress levels?