Stress often gets a bad rep, but it’s the force that drives us and motivates us to get things done. Even your body gets stronger when stress is applied in moderation; resistance helps you build muscle and get in shape. However, when the stress in your life is unbalanced, it can have some nasty consequences on your mind and body. When your body experiences stress, your adrenal system secretes adrenaline and other chemicals that prepare your body for “flight or fight”, which can be incredibly taxing.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your stress levels in check:
No matter where you are, you can try to breathing meditation, whether you’re at work or sitting in traffic. The key is to breathe in slowly from your abdomen and fill your lungs with as much oxygen as possible. Breathe in through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. The more oxygen your body gets, the less tense, anxious, or out of breath you’ll feel. It’s quite literally the opposite of hyperventilating- give it a try!
As counter-intuitive as it may seem, exercise is a great outlet for stress, mentally and physically. Exercise releases endorphins, which promote a sense of well-being and happiness. It also helps distract the mind from stressful situations as your body requires more attention to the tasks you are preforming. Exercise also helps promote self esteem and helps you feel more proactive!
Yoga is a fantastic outlet for stress- In Sanskrit, it means “to yoke” the spirit, the body, and the mind. Not only does it incorporate breathing meditation and low-impact exercise, but also stretching. This can help you increase your range of motion, agility, and reduce stiffness.
How do you handle stress?