How I am Lowering My Stress.
Stress… I dare to say that we ALL experience this at some point in our lives. Sure there are people, like my husband, who can feel stress for about 5 minutes and then let it go. however, that is not the case for me, and I am assuming that since you are reading this, it is not the case for you either.
Last week I shared how Cortisol, the stress hormone, can positively and negatively effect out body. If you missed that post, or want to refresh your memory see my post Cortisol - What is this stress hormone doing to your waist line.
In a nutshell, too much stress is not good for our physical, or mental, health.
Today, I want to share with you a little bit about how I cope with stress - believe me I am not an expert at this, just ask anyone who knows me - and some other ways to reduce stress levels in your life.
I have been a “worry wart” for as long as I can remember. My mom used to tell me that I would give myself an ulcer if I didn’t get a handle on my stress.
I don’t know about you, but I can get stressed out about how stressed out I am! Seriously, that is just plain dumb, however true it may be.
Here are some of the ways that I cope with stress and work to reduce it…
Write about it. I have journaled my whole life and find so much comfort in it. My hand usually hurts when I am done, but getting everything out and on paper just makes it all make sense. If you write it out but do not want anyone else to see it, simply trash that journal entry or burn it. Just the act of writing it out is impactful enough - you don’t have to keep it too.
Eating well. I honestly feel so much better, mentally, when I eat the best for my body and not my mood. This may seem obvious, because I am a dietitian, but eating well greatly impacts my stress levels. When I plan out, shop accordingly, and prepare nourishing foods for myself and my family - I feel less stressed. * This is likely because I stress about not eating well because I know what it is doing to my health!
Exercise. As much as I hate the word exercise, this is the only word I can use here. I love a good walk or playing in the yard with the kids, but going to the gym and taking a group fitness class is empowering beyond most anything I do for myself. This can uplift my spirits and put me on top of the world in no time at all. (note to self - DO IT MORE OFTEN.)
Schedule “white space” into my week. This is literally space into my schedule that I do not have to do anything, be anywhere, or have any commitment at all. Having this space built in does two things for me. First, it allows for changes to my schedule - I am one who stresses out to the extreme if I am running behind my set schedule. And second, it gives me scheduled space to just be - I may use this time to scroll social media (however, not relaxing at all), read a book, paint my nails, or just sit still and quiet.
These are the 4 things that I am currently using to bring my stress levels down. I would love to tell you that I am totally stress free and that I smell the roses everywhere I go - but that is just not true. However, I am working daily - sometimes even minute by minute - to be deliberate in how I react to things around me and things in my own head. Let us all be honest here, we create a lot of things to stress about in our heads and many of those things never come to fruition.
In a recent article that I read, How to Calm Anxiety, 12 Ways to Calm Your Anxiety, I found several simply things to do to work on bringing stress levels down. You may not be diagnosed with anxiety, but this article had some great points to it.
Here are the 12 things this author shared…
Write it out
Use fragrance - essential oils
Talk to someone who gets it
Find a mantra
Walk it off
Have some alone time
Turn off your phone
Have a bath
Managing stress takes time, trial and error, and a whole lot of effort. But it is oh so worth it.
As someone who is diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I can not image what a day would be like without worry but I am determined to work hard to get as close to that as I can. And I hope you will too.
Until next time y’all - Bye For Now!