Reduce Your Stress and Explode Less!
Yes, this is a REALLY important month! Not only because spring flowers start to bloom, but because this month is National Stress Month. This is particularly important as stress is on the rise.
A little stress is good for us and can be just the thing to motivate us to do our best. But consistently feeling like you are running around with an emergency light on or feeling like a tightly wound coil can be dangerous. “46% of Canadian workers reported that they felt stress on a day-to-day basis.”
What really is stress?
This is our bodies way of taking care of the busy demands or threats that surround us. Our body will kick into high gear otherwise known as “fight-or-flight”. This is what happens throughout our bodies when it is trying to take care and protect us from stress and allows us stay focused and alert during these times.
With stress being part of your everyday, it can compromise your overall wellness. “If you tend to get stressed out frequently—as many of us do in today’s demanding world—your body may be in a heightened state of stress most of the time. And that can lead to serious health problems.”
Why does stress happen?
Stress is one of those things that can creep up on us slowly and becomes to many, their norm. This is known as Chronic stress.
I spent a lot of time in this mode early on and I am now able to catch myself these days, because I have learned how to listen and pay attention when I experience shallow breathing or I am feeling short fused.
Stress does not just affect us because of negative things that happen to us, but the significant demands we place on ourselves. Perhaps you are preparing for a wedding, purchasing a new home, or in a new job! Although these are exciting times, we really underestimate how much impact this has on our minds and bodies.
It is really important to take the time to be aware of how our decisions affect us, or when we are putting too much on our plate.
Did you know that the American Psychological Association has reported that “constantly checking of our devices is contributing to our high levels of stress?” This is enough reason to unplug for a little bit every day to recharge!
What happens when you experience too much stress?
So many things happen when we are stressed. How about running around yelling and wanting to pull your hair out? Sound familiar?
This not only causes you to have major mood swings, but has a whole load of health implications such as; headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.
It also contributes to choosing unhealthy foods or feeling less energy to exercise.
Stress cannot be completely eliminated, but we can certainly do things that can help us cope and unearth those lovely calm feelings inside. This is why Doodle Lovely was born, and I am here to bring more awareness and bring calm to your life.
Move over stress!
It all starts with becoming more aware and taking better care of you! Here are some ways that research shows we can keep stress at bay and bring more calm in our lives.
1. Learn how to relax
Try yoga, deep breathing or mediation, which are all great ways to learn how to relax.
2. Create more
The act of being creative has so many positive health effects! In a recent study, “Scientists discovered that no matter the artistic experience of the participants, about 75 percent experienced a decrease in their levels of cortisol, a hormone that the body secretes to respond to stress.” Worried that you are not creative? Start with doodling as anyone can do it! Click here for a free doodle activity!
3. Find your zzz’s
I am the first one to admit that I am working on this, but when I do, it is amazing the impact this has! Not sleeping enough contributes to our irrational side. Chronic stress can affect your sleep and you can find yourself waking up in the middle in the night, unable to go back to sleep.
4. Yes, you are what you eat!
This one I sometimes find difficult too, because I have a sweet tooth! But the more sugar and processed foods that we eat the more we are unable to arm ourselves and cope with life’s ups or downs. Your diet and nutrition choices can have a positive impact on your stress levels. Certain foods provide comfort and actually increase levels of hormones in the body that naturally fight stress. Did you know that drinking a cup of tea reduces stress?
5. Keep moving!
Keeping your body moving whether it is going for a walk, having a session in the gym are all great ways to tackle stress. Going for a walk can significantly reduce stress.
6. Read a book
Did you know that reading for as little as 6 minutes can reduce stress by 60%. Time to pick up a book!
What is important is how to find the calm in the chaos so we can handle stress better, feel better and live better! Find one thing that is a contributor to stress and try to ensure that you do your best to eliminate this.
Happy stressing less!