Got STRESS? Stress can wreak havoc on your body, skin, hair and even your brain. (Read “How Stress Affects Your Skin And Hair And What To Do About It” here.) It can AGE you. Stress is up there as one of the biggest beauty bandits around, along with sun exposure and a poor diet. It’s best to have an arsenal of solutions available to reduce stress, especially around the holidays, which are right around the corner. If you want to keep your life running in tip-top shape throughout the year, or stop the madness, try these tips to help you break through roadblocks, unleash your true power or simply give you that badly-needed tune-up to put you back on track.
STRESS BUSTING TIPS
1) Unplug and Meditate
Did you know that meditation is a great way to reduce stress? Meditation reduces cortisol levels, regulates blood pressure, and helps our bodies process oxygen more efficiently. And you only need 5-20 minutes of meditation a day to reap positive effects.
TEAR yourself away from texts, the internet and emails and sit in a quiet room, close your eyes, and concentrate on deep breathing while clearing your mind. This will help undo the damage done to your nervous system by the “fight or flight” response that is activated when stress levels increase. You can also try Qigong, which is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention. Making meditation a habit can lower your stress levels, lengthen your telomeres and have other anti-aging benefits as well. If you simply can NOT find the time, you can listen to a relaxing meditation tape at night while in bed.
Exercise is so vital! Time.com recently reported that lack of exercise is as deadly as smoking and contributes to as many as 1 in 10 premature deaths. Exercise can decrease cortisol levels and increase endorphins, which make you feel happy! Find an activity that you enjoy (you’re more likely to do it). Try biking, rollerblading, swimming, or walking, for at least 30 minutes a day. Find the time, peeps – it’s well worth it!
Instead of mult-tasking, try single tasking. Studies have shown that multitasking can increase stress levels and reduce your ability to concentrate effectively. If you have a lot on your plate, making a list can help you focus on the task at hand. Prioritize the list according to what is most important and do those items first. Concentrate on one task until complete, taking 10 minute breaks every hour. Try not to make the list a mile long.
4) Eat And Sleep Right
Number 4 on The De-Stresser List is to maintain a balanced diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins, and complex carbs. Salmon and flaxseed oil, which are rich in Omega 3’s, can help to reduce stress symptoms and even anxiety (more EPA than DHA). Also, the big no-no’s of course are sugar, alcohol, coffee, processed food and fast-food. That means less “box” food, “Jack”! Don’t forget to get your 8 hours of sleep every night to allow your body the opportunity to relax, reset, and regenerate healthy cells. Can’t sleep? Read my tips to fall asleep here.
5) Breathe, Let It Go and Visualize The Best Outcome
Take a breath and keep moving forward, knowing you can’t control everything, but you CAN control yourself. If a major part of your stress is due to worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet, or if you are stuck repeating a past stressful event in your head, you are just spinning your wheels! Try to get back into the NOW and embrace it. If you visualize positive future outcomes for yourself that are empowering and resonate with your life goals, that can lessen your worries. You can also try a chakra balancing or Reiki healing to rebalance your energy.
The Mayo Clinic tells us that laughing can relieve stress.
- Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
- Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
- Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
And those are only the SHORT-TERM effects of laughter!
If you shift your mind into thinking of things that you are grateful for, you will find that it is hard to stay in a state of stress!
My fave ways to deal with stress? I’m glad you asked …
– Play with my dog. She’s crazy funny and makes me laugh.
– Listening to relaxing subliminal tapes.
– Yoga. (The Top Five Benefits Of Yoga article here.)
– I try my best to stay away from disingenuous people, and negative or mean people!
–, Bubble bath, Bubble bath.
Here’s to cruisin’ stress-free every day of the year ! And admiring the scenery along the way!
~Are Those Roses I Smell?