I believe stress is the single worst experience we can put our bodies through. When we are stressed our adrenal glands (which sit just above our kidneys), release stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline raises blood pressure and increases our heart rate, whilst cortisol increases glucose (sugars) in our blood stream, alters immune system responses and impacts the digestive system and the reproductive system. These days chronic stress is rife and because of it, we are placing our bodies at increased risk of anxiety, depression, heart disease, obesity, digestive issues, sleep troubles and memory and concentration issues. We need to incorporate stress busters into our lives. Today I’m going to share with you, my top 4 stress busters!
First, MOVE your body. When we’re stressed, our bodies produce cortisol and our blood flows to our arms and legs (because our primal bodies are programmed to run away from threats and predators when we’re stressed). We need to release the cortisol by moving. Don’t place your body under huge amounts of stress when you exercise as you’ll just produce more cortisol. Just aim to move your body in way that feels natural and breaks a sweat.
Second, MEDITATE. I always go on about meditating – check out my post here for more info. Meditation isn’t about silencing the mind. A successful meditation session does not involve zero thoughts. Meditation is about embracing your mind, it’s about accepting thoughts as they come to the forefront, letting them pass through your mind but not acting on them or concentrating on them. Let your mind flow as it pleases. Focus on your breath, focus on the stillness. But remember, it’s okay to have thoughts. The highest form of meditation is sleep – make sure you get 8 hours every night. Our bodies need to recalibrate.
Thirdly, schedule ME TIME, even if it’s only 5 minutes each day – schedule some time to do something nourishing for yourself (think body brushing, a mini massage or going for a walk). Me time centres on self love. Self love is about loving yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle and treating yourself like you would treat your best friend – with love, respect and acceptance. We are so mean to ourselves. I would never talk to my best friend the way I talk to myself. My body hears what I say to myself – no wonder we are confused and hurting.
Last but not least, MINIMISE stressors and simplify your life. Learn to say no and prioritise. If you’ve given all you can give, it is okay to say no. We need to recharge. We need alone time. There’s no point in constantly giving, giving and giving because we will come to a stage where won’t be able to truly serve the people we love. Your loved ones will understand if you need to say no.
I would love for you to share with us your favourite stress busting techniques, leave a comment and let me know how you bust stress.