Do you want to instantly become more health conscious? It’s simple. Notice your body and how you physically feel. Small shifts in your physiology can be a key indicator that it’s time to tap into some easy ways to de-stress.
For some, it may be a wrenching in the pit of the stomach or faster heartbeat that tells them that they are getting overwhelmed or feeling anxious . For others, it may be a reaction like a headache or a feeling of nausea. These are signs that the body is feeling stress.
Unfortunately, sometimes these signs go unnoticed because we’ve come to accept them as “normal” or we just plow on through the day. After all, we have to get things done, right?
Let’s just keep it real. In our modern world, stress has just become a part of life.
Whether you’re sitting in traffic, you had a bad day on the job, or your kids are just driving you to the edge of your sanity – we all experience stress at times.
Just the other day, my 1 and 3 year old decided that they wanted to fight over the same toys ALL. DAY. LONG. Not to mention that I had a pile of administrative tasks to plow through (not my favorite thing) and some kinks to iron out with our Japanese business. It was just one of those crazy days where tensions were high.
The key is to notice when you are feeling stressed, pause and acknowledge it and then do something about it. In this article, I’m sharing some very easy ways to de-stress so that you can move on with your day without feeling like you’re going to explode… because eventually you will.
And if we’re not careful we usually explode on the people that we love the most. And I know you don’t want that.
I sure don’t. So let’s take some time to uncover some easy ways to de-stress.
But first, you have to understand why this is so important.
The Impact of Stress on Your Body
Known as the silent killer (I think Time Magazine coined that term) stress is a total disruptor to the body. It creates interference so that the body does not function optimally and chronic stress can even burn out your adrenals. But this picture is much bigger than just feeling too stressed out.
Pregnenolone is the precursor to many different hormones including progesterone and cortisol. Progesterone is a hormone essential for fertility and getting pregnant. Cortisol is a hormone that the body produces to handle stress.
So your body regularly makes a decision on whether to use pregnenolone (the hormone precursor) to make cortisol (a stress hormone) or to use it to make progesterone (a critical hormone for fertility and overall health).
You can see that if a woman is feeling chronic stress, getting pregnant (and heck, even having balanced hormones!) becomes a complicated ordeal.
And these are not the only hormones that are tied to pregnenolone. DHEA, testosterone and estrogens are also made from this hormone. But if your body is in a chronic state of stress, it will prioritize cortisol and may decrease production of other hormones.
One hallmark sign of adrenal fatigue is the inability to handle stress. If you are constantly feeling overwhelmed or you find it very difficult to handle your daily life then you may be experiencing adrenal fatigue. You can definitely benefit from some easy ways to de-stress (as mentioned in this article).
But you may also need some extra support to move your body to a healthy, and re-energized state. If that’s the case, I encourage you to reach out to our consulting team by applying to work with us so that we can lead you in living a life of ultimate health and high performance.
Now that you understand the critical nature of managing stress, let’s dive into some simple and easy ways to de-stress.
1- Get Moving… Bonus Points If It’s Outside
Any kind of exercise (even walking) can bring down stress levels and support the release of endorphins (responsible for decreasing stress hormones). Whether you’re hitting the gym or taking a leisure walk outside, regular exercise is key for keeping stress levels in check.
We love taking walks in the neighborhood or biking down our favorite trails in the area. Being in nature promotes relaxation for most people and there’s just something to be said for getting outside of the 4 walls that you normally “do life” in.
2- Mindfully Munch a Snack
Mindfully is the key word… because stress eating is not what we want here.
The intimacy between the brain and the gut is something many people do not realize. Experts call it the “gut-brain axis.” Stress is an “immune system and brain mediated” phenomena and the gut is the immune system’s largest organ.
Have a snack that is nourishing, maybe a few nuts or half an avocado.
Better yet, whip up this delicious berry and avocado pudding. Why?
Because when you’re feeling stressed, undernourishment only exacerbates the problem and fans the flame. Plus, it’s easy to forget to eat lunch or make a poor nutrition decision when you’re feeling stressed out.
This is why having a healthy snack or a protein smoothie can be a great thing when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
One thing to note: It’s essential that you avoid eating your snack in a stressful posture (like in front of your computer working on the report that is the very cause of the stress). Choose a more peaceful place and really get present to the moment.
I like to wait until my kids are napping (or at least quietly occupied) to enjoy my lunch. I love taking the time to prepare a delicious and healthful meal – without my little food poachers lurking around to snatch bites from my plate. 🙂
3 – Take a Power Nap
You may be afraid to take a nap during the day for fear that you won’t be able to sleep at night. But if you’re feeling flat out busted and super stressed, a power nap can actually be a good thing.
Besides its ability to reduce stress, it boosts your energy, increases productivity, alertness and keeps you calm and relaxed.
Just be sure to keep the nap to 15 minutes. If you nap longer you can get into deeper sleep and you’ll wake up feeling groggy… and possibly worse than you did before.
Using an essential oil like lavender just before you nap is an excellent idea to reduce feelings of stress and promote relaxation. The healing powers of essential oils are making a huge comeback right now and we use them regularly in our household.
Which brings me to my next point…
4 – Use Essential Oils
The simple ritual of taking a deep inhalation of essential oil can do wonders to clear the body and mind of stressful feelings. Aromatically, they smell amazing and when they are sourced from great growers their therapeutic benefits are diverse.
Here are my favorite essential oils for stress relief:
- Lavender and Frankincense to promote relaxation
- Petitgrain and Lavender for restful sleep
- Balance Grounding Blend to reduce feelings of overwhelm
I just add a drop or two to the palm of my hands. I rub my palms together to warm up the oil. I cup my hands over my nose and inhale deeply several times. And if it’s been a stressful kind of day, I’ll diffuse these oils to keep the relaxing feelings flowing.
For more details on essential oils including where we source ours, send us a message at [email protected].
5 – Get Intimate
Kissing and having sex promotes relaxation. If you’ve ever done it, you know it’s true. It produces those stress-relieving endorphins. A study by Laura Berman of Northwestern University, conducted on 2000 couples showed that those that rarely kiss anybody, except during sex, were more likely to feel depressed and stressed.
Any kind of physical touch – whether it’s a hug from a child or a more intimate embrace from your spouse – the act of touching can help to take your mind off of stressful thoughts and support relaxation.
There are so many other ways to fight stress and win the battle against it. It all depends on your personality and interest.
Do you have an easy way to de-stress that you would like to share with us? If yes, please share your ideas in the comment section below.