When we think about stress, it generally is partnered with a negative feeling. However, it is one of our body’s natural responses to the challenges and demands in life – which can help get us through those times. For instance, you may be generally tired just by day-to-day activities in your life. Although, when you do something like buying a new house that can be a fun experience yet the actual moving part can be very stressful. After you move and look back at that time you may wonder how you were able to pull it all off. Stress probably was a large factor in getting you through the actual moving part.
How we handle stress plays a big role in our overall health. What are some ways we can reduce stress to live a healthier life?
Here are some ways you can reduce stress in your life.
- Make good choices when it comes to what you eat and drink.
It can be easy to turn to drinking alcohol or stress eating. Even if it feels like these things are helping, they add to your stress in the long run. Caffeine can also compound the effects of stress. Making you feel on edge and adding to your stress and anxiety. Drink plenty of water. Eat fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
- Include exercise in your routine.
As we all know exercise has health benefits. It can also be a powerful stress reliever. Activities like yoga and Tai Chi help reduce stress. Also, aerobic exercises release endorphins, which is that feel-good hormone – that can help you maintain a positive attitude.
- Avoid tobacco and nicotine products.
The nicotine creates more stress for your body. Increasing physical arousal, reducing blood flow and breathing. It is also known to worsen your body’s aches and pains.
- Learn and practice new relaxation techniques.
There are a variety of techniques out there and you may find one that works for you. Take a look at some of these: deep breathing, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation. There are many online resources and smartphone applications for these techniques.
- Try to reduce the stressful triggers in your life.
Take time to evaluate your life to identify those triggers. Next, prioritize the activities or demands in your life. Practice your time management skills. You may find that you will feel less stressed once you find the right balance for yourself.
- Ask yourself what you value most in life.
When you ensure that you are incorporating what you value in life into areas of your life, you will find that you will feel less stressed and maybe even more fulfilled.
- Know when to say “no.”
It is important to know that it is okay to say no to others’ requests. You don’t always have to meet their expectations.
- Set attainable goals and expectations for yourself.
Sure, you want to accomplish all your goals. However, you do not need to be 100% successful at all of them immediately. Try to be more mindful of what you can control in life and what you can’t.
- Work on your self-esteem.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, reflect on the things that you do well. Try to avoid coming down on yourself about the things that weigh you down. Once you focus on the things that you are good at you will be more than likely to see an increase in your self-esteem and feel better about accomplishing the things that previously felt overwhelming.
- Biofeedback could help you learn more about your body.
During biofeedback, you’re connected to electrical sensors that help you receive information about your body. Such as muscle tension, heart rate, and other vital signs as you attempt to relax.
It is important to take care of your health and find ways that help you to better manage your stress. It is beneficial to your overall health. Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider before you start any new exercise routine. As always, the OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch is here to help you through every phase of your life.