by Wendy Humphris, ROHP
Stress is unavoidable, but also manageable. If you feel like your stress levels have been up lately, it's time to be mindful of ways to lower these levels before you begin feeling worse and noticing the ramifications in other areas of your life. Stress management is a crucial part of overall health, and finding what works for you is just as important. Here are my favourite ways to lower stress naturally...
Practice deep breathing. This is my go-to quick fix. When you feel stress building up, take a deep breath. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat this two or three times, and you will feel incredible afterward.
Insider tip: this breathing exercise also helps you sleep like a baby!
Healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy, whole foods and regularly exercising helps lower your stress levels immensely. Focusing on healthy foods and exercise will also boost your energy levels and overall feeling of well-being. Exercise doesn't have to be anything extreme -- a simple walk around your neighbourhood will help!
Don’t forget your social life. When you’re drowning in work, it’s tempting to forsake your social life and spend all your time working to get rid of the stress, but this will only have the opposite effect. Spending time with loved ones is a great stress reducer, so find more ways to be social in your busy schedule.
Prioritize your sleep. When you’re not sleeping enough, your cortisol levels will start to rise, which means that this feeling of constant stress will only get worse. On top of this, poor sleep will make you crave caffeine and sugar, which also increases your stress levels. So, to solve both these issues, work on hitting the sheets and getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
This may seem like a short list, but trust me, when you start putting these first three things into place it will make a big difference. When you start to implement these ways of reducing stress, you’ll be sure to feel a lot better in a short amount of time. Some are only minor changes, while others take a little more effort.
What can you start implementing this week to help manage your stress in a healthy way?
Wendy Humphris, ROHP
I’m a holistic nutritionist and I transform health for a living.