Stress Management is critical to managing our stress. The discoveries on how stress impacts us CAN be serious but should not be of concern, as there are a number of strategies to reduce stress.
Some strategies include maintaining a healthy social network, regular physical exercise and adequate sleep nightly. These are considered the building blocks for a healthy lifestyle.
When we have adequate social connections, we can talk about issues and problem solve, better reducing our negative effects on our physical and mental self. Enjoying the company of others, especially trusted relationships, reduce stress. Laughter also reduces stress. It is during social times that we are able to lessen the focus on the issues that are creating stress and enjoy life. When our social group is not the best option, talking to a church pastor or a therapist might be another option to reduce stress.
Regular exercise, even just walking or dancing in our kitchen, reduces stress. Not only does it release endorphins that make you feel good, but it also gives you some time to yourself to clear your head. Even if you can't make it to the gym every day, try to fit in some form of exercise into your schedule, even if it's just a brisk walk around the block.
And sleep. Stress levels go up, only further amplifying our stress when we are not getting adequate sleep nightly. Practicing good sleep hygiene, such as developing a calming routine to implement nightly, can be very beneficial in managing sleep. Limiting electronics an hour before bed, reading a book, journaling to get those to-do's out or talk about your day, and taking a warm bath with epson salts can all be good tricks to implement. Magnesium is a common need for people under stress, as it is depleted with stress, so adding it into our evening routine helps to calm our nervous system. Practicing deep breathing when laying in bed is another way to focus on adding calm and inducing sleep.
Sometimes it is difficult to feel we are managing our stress in this busy world. But, if we are watching what we can and implementing regular tools to reduce stress, it can stay manageable and will not impact our day to day life or our health.for the long term.
If these tools are being regularly implemented but you need more, let's talk! There are solutions and ways to reduce your stress and benefit your health... it just takes time. :)