Can you recognize when your body is stressed out? For some of us, our heart rates quicken, and for some we have tightness in our chest. Some of us will gain weight even when our diets haven’t changed, and some will lose hair. What causes this to happen, and, how can we avoid it?
Our bodies can’t tell the difference between a shark attack, and a traffic jam. When our brains recognize a stress trigger, our bodies are flooded with cortisol-the ‘fight or flight’ response. Even if our bodies are not in imminent danger (like a shark attack), these minor triggers (a ticked off boss, a project deadline, or more bills than money at the end of the month) hurt us more than help us with hypertension, headaches, depression, and anxiety disorders.
Just as we have a ‘stress response’ our bodies also have a ‘relaxation response’. Listed are 8 ways to activate the relaxation response in your brain and work towards de-stressing your life!
- A Short Walk-I’ve said it before, it only takes ten minutes outside to reduce stress hormones, and boost endorphins.
- Breathe Deeply-Anyone who’s done yoga know that deep breathing nourishes the body thanks to an extra boost in oxygen which can reduce blood pressure and put you in a state of calmness.
- Screen-Free Time-Taking frequent breaks from the computer (look away every 20 minutes, and walk around every hour to stretch your legs) will alter the adverse effects of uninterrupted computer use (such as stress, lost sleep, and depression in women).
- Turn Up The Music-It doesn’t matter what your favorite kind of music is-heavy metal to classical-hearing music you love will soothes everyday anxiety. Can’t listen to music where you work? Try humming, even if in your head!
- Chew Gum-Chewing gum not only relieves anxiety, and improves alertness, it also helps you breathe better and reduces stress when multitasking.
- Watch a Video-A good laugh will enhance your intake of oxygen and increase the endorphins (happiness chemicals) in your brain. Whether you’re watching it on YouTube or Vine, spend a few minutes to entertain your brain.
- Massage-Stress will bind your muscles into knots. The tighter the knots get, the more painful your body becomes. The chain reaction will eventually become more than you can bear. Take care of your body and commit to massage therapy however often it fits into your life.
- Breathe It In-Scent is the strongest link to memory. Light candles (if possible) or keep a doTerra oil handy to breathe in from time to time when you’re feeling particularly stressed out. Try Balance (a woody aroma) Elevation (a refreshing scent) or InTune (to promote clarity and focus).
Stress is an inevitable part of life, but having to deal with the after effects isn’t. Take care of your body, and your body will take care of you! Ask us for more tips on how to de-stress your life and bring relaxation into your life!