Stress is a leading cause of many physical and mental health problems that we experience. Unfortunately, we are feeling more stressed than ever.
A recent report by the American Psychological Association found that 84% of people experience "prolonged stress" almost every two weeks. The average person's stress level in 2021 is 5.6 out of 10, compared to 4.9 in 2014.
Does this data stress you out? Rather than considering this a stressful situation, look at it as an affirmation that you're not alone. Others have been in your shoes before and have learned how to manage stress.
Let's discuss some ways to manage stress so that you can maintain your mental and physical health!
7 Natural Ways to Handle Stress
According to Harvard Health, stress can impact your heart, immune system, digestive system, and more. If you want to feel good, you need to make some changes on how to manage stress as it arises and after the stressful situation subsides. Here are some stress management techniques that can help you achieve the peace of mind you deserve.
Deep Breathing Techniques
One of the easiest ways to reduce stress is also the cheapest. Your breath!
Our bodies' stress responses include increased heart rate, tensed muscles, and shortened breath. All of which can be eased with some deep breathing techniques.
Breathing allows you to center yourself. It provides oxygen to areas you've constricted through clenched fists and short breaths. Allowing breath into these areas soothes tension and lowers stress.
One of the most effective relaxation techniques is the 4-7-8 method.
Whenever you feel stressed, try:
- Inhaling for 4 seconds
- Retaining the breath for 7 seconds
- Exhaling for 8 seconds
Continue this cycle four more times or as necessary.
With stress comes negative thoughts, creative blocks, or mood swings. None of these stress symptoms are conducive to an active or healthy lifestyle.
Much like deep breathing techniques, meditation is a free method of stress reduction. You just need your body and a quiet place.
Meditating can be challenging at first, especially if you have anxious thoughts. I find that meditating after using Tranquility Labs' Tranquilene Total Calm really helps get me in the zone for mindfulness.
This all-natural formula contains a carefully curated blend of vitamins, minerals, and herbs that boost GABA levels. GABA is a brain chemical that inhibits excited neurons caused by too much of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol promotes those negative thoughts that make meditation difficult to practice.
Start small when you begin your meditation practice. For five minutes, draw conscious attention to your breath. It might even help using a mantra with each inhale and exhale. Each day, add another minute to your practice.
Many people find it helpful following guided meditations. Read some of my guided meditation recommendations here.
Studies show that just three months of regular yoga practice can reduce your cortisol and perceived stress levels.
Yoga is an excellent way to combine meditation and deep breathing relaxation techniques with physical activity. This type of exercise and mindfulness practice can help boost your energy levels, improve your mindset, and tone your body.
Practicing yoga isn't about twisting your body in every which way, as you see on social media. It's as simple as being present while you stretch your body.
There are many free yoga videos on YouTube. If you are comfortable going to a yoga studio, many teachers will allow you to drop in on a class for a small donation.
Many of us think of stress as a mental state. However, it's also a psychological one.
Research indicates that long-term stress causes hormonal imbalances. Namely, elevated levels of cortisol are to blame.
High cortisol levels can lead to chronic inflammation, weight gain, and sexual reproductive issues. These repercussions inevitably lead to more stress!
Exercise is a healthy way to manage stress. Physical activity helps reverse some of these stress symptoms. Reducing these symptoms makes managing your initial cause of stress easier.
Additionally, exercise helps produce feel-good hormones, like serotonin and dopamine. Their presence lowers your perceived stress levels. In turn, cortisol levels naturally decline.
Always mix up your exercise routines so that you don't grow stagnant in your workouts. Variety also works our different body parts, which will decrease overall physiological stress.
Try this weekly routine:
- Monday: 30 min. - Cardio (Treadmill, Running, Jumping Jacks, etc.)
- Tuesday: 1 hr. - Yoga (and/or Stretching, Meditation. etc.)
- Wednesday: 30 min. - Weightlifting (or Body Resistance, CrossFit, etc.) AND 30 min. Cardio
- Thursday: Rest
- Friday: 1 hr. Cardio
- Saturday: 30 min. Weightlifting AND 30 min. Yoga/Stretching
- Sunday: Rest/Meditation
Keep us updated on your workout routines. Tag us on social media @tranquilitylabs.
Sleep is essential for your body because that's when your cells get their work done. Information is stored, tissues are repaired, and immune cells are replenished. However, sleep problems are common for people who experience chronic stress.
Our sleep patterns are heavily regulated by hormones, particularly melatonin and serotonin. As the night falls, our excitatory hormones, like serotonin and cortisol, decrease.
This action makes room for our sleep hormone melatonin. Melatonin helps regulate our sleep patterns. As the sun rises, melatonin levels decrease. Serotonin levels start to increase, prompting us to wake up refreshed.
When we produce too much cortisol, it complicates this hormonal balance. We don't burn the cortisol off, and it keeps us up at night.
Tranquility Labs' Sleep Fast Enhance Melatonin Spray can help offset this imbalance. This all-natural melatonin spray is fortified with Valerian root and chamomile flower that helps relax the system.
These botanicals cause a decrease in cortisol, making it easier for our bodies to produce melatonin naturally. However, this supplement gets the ball rolling by providing fast-absorbing, water-soluble melatonin!
Talk therapy is helpful for getting to the root of your stress. The most common type of talk therapy would be with a therapist.
Therapists typically ask you what you would like to achieve from this session. These professionals will ask you to describe your feelings or recall impactful events in your life.
Drawing attention to what causes your stress triggers gives you a roadmap to managing your stress efficiently. Acknowledging and moving on from these underlying stressors can make what you perceive as stressful situations seem less daunting.
There are many types of talk therapy, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT hones in on these specific triggers further.
These sessions differ from talk therapy. They can be hypothetical discussions, art interpretation, or sound therapy.
CBT is centered around your particular issue and provides you with real-time solutions for how to manage stress at the moment.
Determine Avoidable Stress
It might be helpful to spend time writing down your stressors. Then, determine whether these triggers are cases of avoidable stress.
Writing down your stress will help you organize action plans. For instance, the realization that money is your primary stressor can prompt you to start budgeting more efficiently.
However, some stressors are worth canceling from your life. Avoidable stress means saying no to the plans you don't want to attend, getting out of that bad relationship, or proactively putting out fires before they start!
Stress Management Techniques and A Healthy Lifestyle
Stress management isn't a one-and-done thing. We will always encounter stressful situations and will need to use stress management techniques to improve our mental state.
It is important that you set a good foundation for your wellness routine. Consider using all-natural supplements like Tranquility Labs' Tranquilene Total Calm. This supplement is fortified with everything your mind needs to operate clearly.
Using Tranquilene helps you tend to your mental state. It's very complementary to yoga and meditation. Plus, it helps lower cortisol, which can make sleep come much quicker!
Stress management also includes the physical body. Make sure you exercise and eat a healthy diet. Learning how to manage stress will improve your energy levels, mood, and productivity!
- Stress impacts your physical and mental health
- Talk therapy, meditation, and deep breathing relaxation techniques are great ways to manage stress mentally
- Exercise and yoga create feel good hormones that lower stress levels
BONUS RECIPE: Herbal Chamomile Health Tonic
4 cups boiling water
6 bags chamomile tea
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
4 slices lemon
2-4 teaspoons honey
2 sprigs rosemary, lightly bruised
-Stir boiling water, tea bags, ginger, lemon, honey and rosemary together in large heatproof bowl. Steep, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on the tea bags to get as much liquid out as possible.