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Movers and Shakers

stress less: 10 Techniques for Stress Management

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So, you’ve have a bad day.

Your boss challenged you with a seemingly impossible goal. Your kids forgot to tell you about their science fair—tomorrow. Your hubby left his socks on the floor. Again.

Stress is a normal part of life for even the happiest person. It’s a totally normal physiological response to tough situations. To keep stress from becoming our default state of mind, we need time and techniques to recover from stressors and stressful events.

Learning to manage and relieve stress can be a life-long process. We’re making stress management a priority with these ten stress management strategies to help you live with less stress.

1. Determine why you’re stressed

Sure, there’s lots of ways to manage stress. But, wouldn’t it be more helpful if you could avoid some of the stress altogether?

When you start to feel your temperature rise and your heart race, ask yourself honestly: What’s the root cause of this reaction?

Is it temporary, like an imminent deadline? Or are you taking on responsibilities that someone else could—and maybe should—handle? Once you understand what’s causing the stress in your life, you’ll be better equipped to manage it.

2. Consider your coping strategies

How do you relax?

Coping strategies that are healthy will rejuvenate and leave you better prepared to manage the next stressor. Unhealthy coping strategies—like smoking or overindulging in alcohol—offer temporary reprieve but don’t actually help in the long run. Eliminate your unhealthy coping strategies and replace them with healthier options!

3. Breathe intentionally

We breathe without thinking all the time—literally. When we take the time to slow down and focus on breathing deeply and easily, we increase the oxygen levels in our blood and encourage physical relaxation.1

The best parts about using breathing to reduce stress? You can do it anywhere. And, it’s free!

4. Practice mindfulness

Meditation and other mindfulness practices can help you mentally recenter and refresh. Mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques can be helpful in lowering stress.2

5. Move it

Physical activity produces endorphin's—chemicals in the brain that lead to feelings of euphoria. It’s difficult to experience the negative side effects of stress while also feeling euphoric.3 If you’re new to exercise—or maybe picking it up after some time off—keep it simple.

6. Sleep tight

The amount of sleep you get can affect your stress levels. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.4 The impact of sleep is so profound that even a single night of poor sleep can cause increased stress.5

7. Smile

Seems too simple, right?

Yes, we smile when we’re feeling good. But, did you know that works the other way around too? Smiling can actually make you feel good. Smiling triggers the release of endorphin's, serotonin, and dopamine in your brain which can lift your mood.6

8. Embrace the no

Many of us have a hard time saying no. After all, being the person everyone can rely on is a good thing, right? Not if everyone relies on us for every small detail all the time. Set limits—at work and at home—and stand by them.

9. Eat healthy

Food fuels our bodies and our minds. When we’re stressed, it can be tempting to indulge in unhealthy comfort food—did someone say ice cream? When your brain lacks good, quality nutrients, it can affect everything from cognition and mood to stress levels.7

10. Supplement

Eating a diet rich in all the nutrients we need to fuel our brains and bodies can be a full-time job. A dietary supplement, such as Plexus MegaX®, can help fill in the gaps in our diet. MegaX contains a full spectrum of Omega-3 fatty acids and can help with stress management.*

It’s probably not realistic to think you’ll live a stress-free life. It’s super important to remember that even small actions can make a big difference. What’s your favorite rejuvenating activity?

 

References

1 http://www.nmha.org/conditions/coping-stress-checklist

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15256293

3 https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/stress/physical-activity-reduces-st

4 http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need

5 http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/sleep.aspx

6 https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201206/there-s-magic-in-your-smile).

7 http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-psychiatry-your-brain-on-food-201511168626