Stress. No one likes it, yet we all experience it. Some people feel it daily with their jobs, financial situations, family life or schooling. Stress affects everyone differently and can negatively impact our health. Headaches, insomnia, fatigue, and an upset stomach can all be effects of stress.
Living with unmanaged stress can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. With 75-90% of all doctor’s office visits being related to stress, it’s something that definitely needs to be addressed.
You won’t rid your life of stress overnight, but you there are a few things you can do to help manage your stress levels so that you can lead a healthier and happier life.
Regular exercise in general can help alleviate stress. Exercise releases endorphins, which are hormones that boost your mood and ultimately give you feelings of happiness. This doesn’t mean you need to go run a marathon or start power lifting. Even a few minutes of activity can get your blood pumping and allow for immediate relief. If you’re at the office, take a quick walk around the building, stand up and stretch or find the stairs and climb a few flights.
Yes, yoga is considered a form of exercise, but it is so much more than that. Yoga is considered a moving meditation. During yoga, you move through different postures while controlling your breath. The combination of these elements creates a mind/body connection. Yoga helps to control your body and quiet your mind. You learn to let go of what is going on outside and focus on what is happening in the present. It can take some practice to create that mind/body connection, but it can help to calm and relax the body on and off your mat.
Sleep is extremely important in your overall health and well-being. Stress can cause you to lose sleep and lack of sleep can cause stress. This can be a viscous cycle. Lack of sleep can be detrimental to your health and poses health risks such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression and poor cognitive function. For a happy slumber, follow these 7 tips to better sleep.
Sounds simple enough, right? When we experience stress and anxiety, we may experience a fight or flight response. This response makes your heart beat faster and breathing may become more difficult. Your body is preparing to take action. Slowing your breaths can calm your mind. Try breathing in slowly on a count of five and breathing back out on a count of five. You might be surprised at how much this simple breathing exercise can relax the body.
Take time for yourself
Understand that it’s okay to say “no”. You don’t have to take on every project that is thrown your way attend every event that you are invited to. Know your limits and take some time for yourself. This might just mean setting aside ten minutes a day to meditate, go for a walk or just sit. Just be sure to practice self-care and take time for you.
We all know that eating right is good for your health, but a proper diet is also closely related to stress levels. Some people are emotional eaters and crave unhealthy foods when under stress, while others skip eating completely. If you know you tend to feel stressed at work, try to keep healthy snacks readily available. Another great spot to store healthy snacks is in your car. How many times have you been so busy and you get into your car to go to your next appointment, event, or even a workout and you feel famished? Store some raw almonds or granola in your car your car for a quick go-to snack.
Call a friend
That’s right, pick up your phone and dial up a friend. Don’t text, email or send a Facebook message, make an actual phone call. This is especially important if you are dealing with something that can be talked through. Just having someone listen and give you advice, can be a real stress reliever.
Managing stress can help your health tremendously by reducing your chances of developing certain health conditions. And remember, the healthier you are, the better rates you will get on your life insurance. Curious about how much life insurance could cost you? Run a term life insurance quote to find out. It only takes 30 seconds and you don’t need to enter any personal information (it’s less stressful that way!)
Photo credit to: Take Back Your Health Conference