With everything going on in the world right now, a lot of us might be experiencing stress. Since this month is January, which is also Stress Awareness Month, we wanted to help increase public awareness about the causes and solutions of stress. Stress is inevitable; it is all around us every day. It’s how we choose to react to the stress around us that can impact our overall health.
Some ways to decrease everyday stress include:
1.Practicing yoga and meditation
2.Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine
3.Getting enough sleep
4.Talking to someone
5.Taking a break
Yoga and Meditation
Yoga is a mind-body practice that is a combination of physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. Numerous studies have shown that yoga may help reduce stress and anxiety, and also improve your mood and overall well-being. (Note: If you have any health conditions, please consult with your health care provider before practicing yoga).
Caffeine, Alcohol and Nicotine
A lot of people turn to caffeine to stay awake, and nicotine and alcohol to help calm down. But since caffeine and nicotine are stimulants, they can actually increase your level of stress rather than reduce it. Alcohol is a depressant when consumed in large amounts and is actually a stimulant when consumed in small amounts. Using alcohol as a way to relieve stress is not effective.Switch alcohol and caffeinated drinks for water, herbal teas or natural fruit juices. These drinks will help you stay hydrated, while helping your body cope with stress better.
Not getting enough sleep can cause stress. It is important to focus on relaxing before going to bed, so you can get a better night’s rest. Avoid caffeine in the evenings, as this can make it harder for you to fall asleep and even disrupt your sleep. Taking a warm bath and reading can also help you relax and tire your eyes before going to sleep.
Instead of keeping things to yourself and letting your stress build up inside, try talking to someone that you can trust. Voicing your opinions about how you feel to someone can help clear your mind and relieve stress. Having a conversation with someone else and getting their opinion can help put your problems and thoughts into perspective as well.
Take a Break
If you feel yourself getting stressed, take a break to relax and reset. Taking a walk outside can help you clear your mind and destress. Deep breathing can also help reduce stress, because it increases the supply of oxygen to your brain to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to promote relaxation. Deep breathing is more effective when we breath through our abdominals instead of our chest. A good way to practice this is to put one hand on your stomach and the other hand on your chest. When taking a deep breath in, your stomach should expand outwards while your chest stays still. Practicing abdominal breathing throughout the day can help reduce anxiety and.
When we get stressed, our bodies release a stress hormone called cortisol. Keeping our cortisol levels low will help reduce stress. In addition to practicing the five solutions above, taking the right supplements can also lower your cortisol levels. LifePharm offers a product called LAMININE that can lower cortisol. LAMININE has been proven in a scientific study to lower cortisol levels by an average of 23.7%.