Stress is something that exists for our own benefit, believe it or not. Our ancestors used stress as a survival tool for life-threatening situations. The natural flight or fight response was critical in order to escape dangerous scenarios.
Nowadays, modern society presents less direct threats to our survival, and stress comes on for different reasons than for our ancestors. From work deadlines to traffic jams, to money problems, sometimes the stress is neverending.
Stress isn’t just an unpleasant emotion, but it also takes the form of physical issues. The overproduction of stress hormones results in teeth grinding., higher blood pressure, a weaker immune system, and anxiety.
None of these physical responses are doing us any favors. So, how do we reduce stress and live a calmer life? Here are some of the best tips for lowering your stress levels and increasing your inner peace.
Believe it or not, you are what you eat. When you eat wholesome and healthy foods, your body has the fuel that it needs to regulate your hormone levels.
Eating foods that are highly processed and full of unhealthy chemicals stresses your brain and sends mixed messages throughout your body. Eat a diet that’s full of real and whole foods, and you’ll find that your body is much better equipped for stressful situations.
One of the best ways to instantly reduce your stress levels is to get your heart rate up. Whatever your favorite form of exercise is, get moving! Whether it’s dancing or going for a run, exercise releases endorphins and sends your brain into a “happy” state.
Next time you start to feel yourself overwhelmed by stress, take a few deep breaths, and get moving. Stay active for at least 5 minutes, and you feel out of breath. You’ll find that you feel much calmer after the five minutes are up.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep can be a tricky subject when you’re stressed. They both play off of each other, which can lead to a vicious cycle. The more stressed you are, the less you sleep, and the less you sleep, the more susceptible to stress you are.
Consider learning some calming relaxing techniques before hitting the pillow at night. Also, consider limiting your screen time to avoid too much stimulation before you try to sleep.
There’s a lot to be said for deep breathing exercises. When you start to feel your blood pressure rising and patience running thing, do some deep breathing. Your belly should expand with each inhale and go down with each breath out.
Deep breathing will help your stress levels go down almost immediately. By practicing a few ahead of time, you’ll know what to do when you feel stress setting in.