Creating Habits to Lower Stress
By Luci Anya Fardo
Today I want to talk to you about stress. In the world today there is so much going on to cause stress in people. We live in a world that is constantly changing. People are facing rising cost of things like groceries, rent and gas. There is added stress of caring for your family and dealing with work in addition. The crime rates have risen and with that more fear. I wanted to share some things that I have changed in my own life. By making changes over time the changes have helped me to really make a difference in the quality of my life. I hope that you find something in this article to make your life better to.
Prioritize Your Diet
Food affects stress levels in our lives.
Food can either heal you or harm you. People have to deal with hormone changes in their bodies from stress. Food is a good way to manage those changes in your body and at the same time reduce stress.
Eating a balanced diet can help support a healthy immune system and at the same time repair damaged cells in your body.
We need to add foods like oatmeal, berries, dark chocolate, green tea, and tumeric.
Focus on Your Body
Focus on moving every day. This is one of the best things I have found in my life for a healthy mind and body. I workout every single day. I work out at the gym five days a week. On the weekend I go for long walks. My husband and I go hiking in mountain parks together. We go swimming at the local pool during the summer. We purchased a kayak to go to lakes. I also enjoy running races and bicycling. The important thing is for you to find something you enjoy and do it. You have one body and it is up to you to do what it is fashioned to do. When you feel healthy and strong it is a huge difference in your self-esteem.
Make Sleep a priority.
Getting adequate sleep is extremely important to stress levels. During sleep our body goes through many processes to heal it from the inside out. If you don't get enough sleep, you are more stressed and tired. This impacts your mood and energy and can lead to being unproductive. We started reading in the bedroom for one hour before we go to sleep. We purchased blackout curtains to keep light out of our bedroom. I switched to decaffeinated coffee. I also have switched over to sipping green tea. I also sought medical help from a doctor in the form of medication. Sleep is crucial so do whatever you need to achieve quality sleep.
This is one I struggled with. I had to learn in my forties to finally start setting boundaries. Start saying no to things you don't want to do. Make sure that you limit contact with people who push your boundaries. Ask yourself-does this make me happy? If it does that is awesome. If it doesn't then the answer is simple say no. At first this is hard but the more you do it the easier it will become.
Spend Time in Nature
Make plans to be outside. Go to the park and walk around. Go on a hiking train by yourself or with someone else. Make plans to go out on a boat on a lake and have a picnic with your special someone. In the summer go swimming at the pool, lake or ocean. Being outside is good for you and reduces stress. You also will get a Vitamin D boost so it is a win-win.
When you are under stress this can be hard. No matter the situation be grateful for what you have. If things are not going well try to think about all that is going well in your life. Studies show that people who express gratitude have more overall happiness than those who don't. Life is bigger than whatever moment you are experiencing. Nothing last forever that is good or bad.
Pet an Animal
Petting an animal is a way that studies show lowers blood pressure and stress levels. The next time you feel stressed hold your cat or play with your dog. Animals are adorable, playful and can really enhance your life. If you don't have one go to a pet store or the humane society.
Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal is a good way to express feelings that you don't want to share with others. If you get those feelings out it will bring relief. I love writing in my journal to relieve happy moments and to keep a record or my thoughts. It doesn't hurt to try something new. It may help you in ways you haven't thought of before.