The bills keep piling up, your car is on the fritz or maybe your relationship is going nowhere. You feel as though you are teetering on the edge of a cliff with nothing to hang on to. Regardless of the cause your body is pumping out hormones such as cortisol causing you to feel anxious and depressed.
You can regain your balance. You can lower your stress levels and change how you feel though no matter what is happening around you. From food to fun these five stress tips will keep your life in balance.
- Pump up on vitamin C
Studies have shown that people who pump up on Vitamin C before giving a speech have lower levels of cortisol and lower blood pressure that those who don’t . Berries are a good source of vitamin C and since the carbs in berries turn to sugar very slowly, you won't have a blood sugar crash. Eat them slowly one by one using the Zen method of completely concentrating on each berry. Or if you choose, peel an orange slowly savoring each juicy bite and just feel your body relax.
2. Go for the Guacamole
Stress quickly depletes your B vitamins, needed to maintain nerves and brain cells. The B vitamins are commonly referred to as the stress vitamin. Chow down on guacamole to get a healthy serving of B. It you are craving something creamy this just may do the trick. Scoop it up with whole grain baked chips. The crunching will keep you from grinding your teeth.
Consciously. Take just a minute or two to notice how you are breathing. Put one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. Take a deep breath. Now notice…..which hand moved more? The one on your chest or the one on your belly? If you said the hand on your chest moved more then you are breathing shallow. You are not getting enough oxygen into your body and not releasing enough carbon monoxide. This is a very common occurrence in someone who is suffering stress.
Why is this important? Well for starters, your brain needs 25% of all of the oxygen you take in. If your brain is getting short-changed how effective will your decision making be? Breathing from the abdomen or deep breathing will ensure that you not only get the oxygen your body and mind needs but will also help you to release toxins and waste products that your body doesn’t need. This will help to take the tightness out of your shoulders and neck or the stiffness out of your low back.
Once you get the hang of breathing properly check in every now and then and see how you are doing. Awareness is the key. When your stress levels rise your breath will become shallow. The quickest and easiest way you can lower your stress level is to just breathe.
4. Take the day off
Take a play day and do something you have wanted to do, like go to the museum or a drive in the country. Do something that you tell yourself that you can’t do because you don’t have the time. Just do it! Take the day off with no agenda, just a day filled with time for you. Don’t pick up the laundry or go to the store or do anything for anyone else. This is a “ME” day! If you find guilt creeping up your back simply brush it off and say, “This day is for me. I deserve it and after it is over I will be a much better person because I took time for me!” Your mind will become clearer and you will find that you are able to accomplish more and make better decisions after taking that much needed rest from worry.
5. Take a walk and repeat positive affirmations
When your mind is running amuck with all of the thoughts that are causing you stress lace up your tennis shoes and go for a walk out doors. Repeating positive affirmations over and over will help to replace worrisome thoughts with more pleasant ones. If you are walking out doors and no one is around say these out loud; otherwise repeat them silently in your head. You might say something like, “Each and every day I am getting better, better and better in every way or my good comes in expected and in unexpected ways.” Make up your own or borrow from someone. It may seem silly at first but you will soon find your spirits lifting and your worries a thing of the past.
Author- Kathryn Watson