By Nicolette Rovet
Most people may understand the importance of the damage that stress may cause one’s health on a daily basis. Your alarm never went off so you’re already running late, you can’t find your keys, and you have no time for coffee or breakfast. Stressful situations can leave you feeling more irritable, fatigued, and can possibly disrupt your sleeping patterns. Stress can also have an effect on your waistline, due to the hormone cortisol which is released during anxiety induced events. This is what makes you crave more sugar packed fatty foods and these calories are more likely to be stored as visceral fat. Stress can also increase your risk for arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and other diseases. So it is important for you to figure out what helps you de-stress and cope with your daily life stressors.
It is important to start by identifying your sources of stress. To improve your stress management you must pay more attention to your habits, attitudes, and excuses, and it is also important to think in terms of mind, body, and spirit. It comes easier to overlook your own thoughts and behaviors, which makes the stress in your life less obvious. If the demands from your job, home, friends or family are what you feel make you more stressed, maybe the procrastination or way of handling the situation can decrease the stress and anxiety.
Changing your mindset doesn’t just happen in a day; it takes time to know yourself and how to turn your attitude to a more positive one in an anxious situation. When you are walking into an anxious built up situation the idea is to try to change your thoughts from “I don’t feel like doing this” to “Bring it on, I’m ready!”. If this seems unrealistic for you and doesn’t seem to be working, learn to accept your nervous and anxious feelings as you approach these situations. Learning to identify these feelings and thinking them though can bring much improvement to your “inner calm”. A positive outlook is what it’s all about!
It’s time to de-stress your body, try a massage once a week to lower your tension levels significantly. Feel great about yourself and get moving in a workout routine. Your endorphins will be pumping and will ease your anxiety and depression. Stressing about making time, even 30 minutes a day can always help. Another way to lower your cortisol levels, if you need a “wake me up” is replacing coffee or tea substitutes with black tea, it has shown to correlate with lower cortisol levels.
Finally, for your spirit, whenever you feel stressed about your schedule or an event that is happening in your life, it is important to write it out. You know you have a lot to do and a lot of places to be in the next week; your anxiety is through the roof, WRITE IT OUT! It will turn out your week isn’t as bad as it seems and will make you feel a lot more organized. A stressful situation is happening, write out how you think you can handle it in the most positive way or what it is you can say to make things better, things will go much smoother. It is also important to find where the artist in you sits, whether it’s through drawing, painting, dancing, or music. According to Dr. Lausier, “artistic activities may reduce stress because you’re able to access…a part of your brain that allows expressing your thoughts and feelings” to come more naturally rather then becoming stressful.
To follow up with all of these activities as they may seem overwhelming, take 2 minutes to start it up by just writing out your plan for the next week. Find times to participate in activities you enjoy, think of ways to be more positive about your not-so-favorite responsibility, and try to seek a workout plan with a buddy. Just by starting this will have you feeling more refreshed already.