Stress: How to Get Rid of Yours in 2019
There’s a not-so-little feeling that we wish we had an on/off switch for every single day. It creeps into our routines, makes us tear up in frustration, and can curdle a cheery mood in a matter of seconds. The culprit? Stress.
Stress can be healthy in small doses and appropriate situations, like when our adrenaline kicks into gear, propelling us to slam on the breaks when a deer decides to rush across the road. But in chronic forms, an overload of stress can cause life-changing mental and physical ailments.
If any part of 2018 stressed you to your core, it’s time to make positive life changes. Here’s why we need to pay more attention to calming our stresses and what we can do to alleviate them in 2019 and beyond.
Why Stress Matters
Stress is not only frustrating in the moment—when there’s enough of it, stress leads to deadly consequences. When we are faced with chronic stress, it over-activates our autonomic nervous system, releasing hormones like adrenaline and cortisol en masse when they should be saved up for real fight-or-flight scenarios. Chronic stress leads to severe negative health impacts, some being diabetes, premature aging, heart disease, obesity, ulcers, and much more.
Stress also weighs down on us emotionally, paving the way to anxiety disorders, depression, and extreme burnout. Over a quarter of Americans feel that their stress levels are harmful to their physical and emotional health. We all need to start finding better ways to manage our stress.
Massage for Stress Relief
Besides an hour of calming music, fragrant scents and tension-relieving relaxation, treating yourself to a routine massage is a soothing way to melt away stress. Researchers have found that besides affecting your mood, stress will harbor up in your body in the form of muscle stiffness and chronic pain. If there’s one thing that can make stress even more frustrating, it’s your entire body feeling like its falling apart.
Besides working away the tension from your body, massages will help to allay headaches, fatigue, and stomach issues normally caused by stress. Regular massages improve circulation, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, and they help to lift your mood. They’ll help you sleep better, too! Put your stresses behind you and opt for a regenerative massage every few weeks.
Alone Time for Stress
We are social creatures and thrive off human interaction, but often times, we don’t focus enough on something essential to our well-being: solitude. When we’re stressed, having any people around (friends, family or coworkers, etc.) can further crowd our thoughts and emotions, and when we are paying attention to the needs of those around us, it’s not easy to take care of ourselves.
Allowing ourselves daily solitude is a calming way to give our brains a much-needed break. Instead of having to focus on the conversations buzzing around us or what someone else needs, being alone gives us a chance to reboot and wash away the day. This year, make time for yourself every single day—whether it’s a bubble bath with essential oils, cuddling up uninterrupted behind a closed door with a book, or even a quick walk around the block to free your mind—whenever you can take the opportunity, hang out with yourself a little more for a powerful dose of de-stressing.
Exercise for Stress
It’s no secret that exercise is good for the body but you’re too busy and stressed to fit it into your routine. The confusing fact is that you may be stressed because you don’t exercise and you might not exercise because you’re stressed…so how do you break the cycle?
The good news is that virtually any form of exercise from intense training to yoga can act as a stress reliever. So breaking the cycle could mean as little as 20 minutes a day–a little exercise can go a long way towards stress management. Besides giving you a greater sense of well-being, exercise has direct stress-reducing benefits.
- It helps you manage your mood. When you exercise your body releases feel-good endorphins and natural chemicals like serotonin that enhance your sense of well-being. With regular exercise, you can reduce symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. This introduction of natural chemicals physically alters your mood and stat-of-mind.
- It takes your mind off worrying. Exercise forces your brain to focus on the task at hand. As you move through relaxing yoga motions or concentrate during spin class, you’ll find that you can shed your daily tensions and end with more energy and optimism.
- It improves sleep quality. Physical activity increases time spent in deep sleep, the most physically restorative sleep phase. The National Sleep Foundation reports that physical activity is a key factor in getting restorative sleep. Exercise physically tires your body and helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep during the night. A study by Northwestern University showed that participants had a consistent improvement in quality of sleep and less overall sleepiness.
Just a small increase in your amount of physical activity can improve your mood, decrease worry and improve your overall quality of sleep to directly decrease stress levels. If you’ve been out of an exercise routine for some time or are looking for some low-impact options – take a look at our blog on 5 Surprisingly Effective Options for Low-Impact Exercise.
Get Some Support
If you’re looking for less stress in 2019 and really want to commit to managing it more effectively, it might be time to get some support. The first step…join us for a Discovery Journey. A Discovery Journey is a complimentary consultation with one of our Wellness Guides. We do an assessment of your goals and create a customized program where we match you with just the right treatments and team of experts to help reach them. 2019 could be the year you tell stress who’s boss. Effectively reduce stress today and discover key tools to managing it in the future so it doesn’t manage you.
Book your Discovery Journey Online or give us a call at 775-296-6985