Stress is the devil. That’s all I can say! It devours our life, our mindset and our health if we let it – keyword “let”. Unfortunately, most people spend more time and energy combatting the affects of stress rather than reducing stress to begin with.
If you don’t take your stress seriously, I can tell you for a fact, your body does. It takes it very seriously. Here are just a few facts about how stress affects our health.
- 75-70% of all doctor’s visits are for stress-related ailments or complaints
- 43% of adults have stress-related health issues
- Stress can cause headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression and anxiety
- Stress is one of the main factors causing insomnia and other sleep disorders
- The stress hormone cortisol not only causes abdominal fat to accumulate, but it also enlarges individual fat cells, leading to what researchers call “diseased” fat
If you want to kick stress and enjoy your life, you will need to be proactive. You will have to take steps DAILY to avoid unnecessary stress in your life and to combat the affects of stress. Here are a few things that help me manage stress.
1. Start the day off right.
If you wake up late and you start your day rushing around, you will likely experience one stressful situation after the next. From getting behind a school bus on the way to work to spilling your coffee down your shirt. If you want to start your day stress-free, simply wake up earlier. So much of our life has extra stress in it because we don’t plan well. Since I started waking up earlier, making enough time to do a few chores and get alone with God, my days have been so much more pleasant.
2. Get out the scented oils.
Scented candles and air diffusers are not just for romantic nights. I use them daily to create a stress-free atmosphere all day long. Since I work from home most of the time, I make a point to create the kind of environment that can allow me to focus and stay calm. I don’t know about you, but I can’t have a stress-free day facing a kitchen full of dishes and a cluttered office. So, before I tackle work, I clean up any messes and fill the air with sweet aromas using scented oils, candles or diffusers. To make things even better, I always make sure to play a bible teaching or the Bible app so I am preparing my spirit while preparing my home for a positive productive workday. (My current audiobook: “Overload” by Joyce Meyer.)
3. Release pinned up aggression.
It is super easy to blow off exercise when you feel fatigued and stressed out, but that is when you need it most. If you are having a stressful day, exercise can’t be an option. I must be a priority. Exercise reduces the body’s stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, our body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. Exercise may take energy, but it gives back even more energy in return. Not only will your body feel energized, it makes you proud.
4. Normalize cortisol levels naturally.
Cortisol is released in response to stress by the adrenal glands. Over time, cortisol can build up in our system causing anxiety, mood swings, forgetfulness, brain fog, concentration problems, insomnia, and weight gain. You can reduce cortisol levels daily by taking better care of your health. Exercise must be first priority. Next to exercise, I recently discovered the magic of adaptogens. Taking Ionix Supreme, which has a blend of powerful adaptogens, has been a total game changer for me. I am so much clearer, more focused, energized and less stressed. Eating healthy is also a must, but it’s also important to make sure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs (I take Complete Essentials). The healthier your body is, the happier it will be.
5. Party the right way.
Many people run to food or drink as a stress reliever, but that can only add more stress to your life. However, you should make time to socialize. Human connectivity and physical touch relaxes your parasympathetic nervous system.This is something I often have to force myself to do. In addition to the chemical effect it has on your body, I have found investing in others also helps me take my eyes off myself and my own problems. So, despite my knee-jerk reaction to stay home, I make sure I get out regularly and invest time in quality relationships whether I “feel like it” or not.
Your life isn’t going to get let less stressful on it’s own. You are going to have to take the necessary steps to de-stress – and, hopefully, this little list will get you going in the right direction!