I don’t know about you, but for years I always thought that stress just meant being under a lot of pressure. I didn’t realise that it was also a physical thing that causes all manner of health issues, and it can come from either outside of the body – like when we are under a lot of pressure at work or in our relationships – or inside the body, like when the foods we eat are creating stress within our body.
So – here are a few ways to help manage stress in your lifestyle. Even if you start with one, and add another one gradually, you will be doing yourself a favour. Remember to check with your doctor if you have a medical condition or are on medication before trying any of these, and check out some other natural ways of dealing with stress too. Everyone is different and there is no one-size-fits-all for this kind of thing.
Mindfulness or meditation – find a few minutes a day to just focus on your breathing, focus on an action you are performing, or listen to one of the many guided meditations you can find online. There are also some great apps like Headspace and Smiling Mind that can help you with this.
Microbiome health – your gut is one of the main systems in your body, and if there is a problem in there it may be causing lots of internal stress. Poor gut health has been linked to autoimmune conditions, and a range of other illnesses. So - get your microbiome checked – there are companies you can find online that will send you a simple test to do. If you would like to learn more about the gut, I find Dr Peter Dingle is both entertaining and fascinating to listen to.
Food sensitivities and deficiencies – if you are eating foods that your body doesn’t like, that can cause weird things too. You can get a simple hair analysis test done (no needles!) which will give you a list of foods to avoid for a period of time. Talk to a naturopath or functional medical practitioner about whether you need one of these, and while you are at it, see about having your vitamin and mineral levels checked too. If you are deficient in certain minerals and vitamins that will deplete your well-being and add extra strain on the body.
Breathing – the way you breathe can have a big impact on your stress levels. Talk to a breath work practitioner or do some research online.
Movement – exercise can be really beneficial in getting the blood pumping and the angst out. Try some daily movement like a walk, hitting the bag, or dancing around the house to your favourite tunes.
Essential oils – this is one of my favourites! Get yourself some high quality therapeutic grade essential oils (low quality ones won’t have the same effect) and get diffusing. The sense of smell works directly on the emotional part of the brain, so a great, calming oil can really take the edge off after a long day at work. Essential oils won't cure your life circumstances or problems, but they can certainly provide greater access to relaxation and ways to reduce the chemical load on your body. Remember to check any advice on the label and talk to your doctor if you have a medical condition before using oils. Always invest in high quality oils (if you aren't sure why this is important, you can download my free ebook The 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Essential Oils here) as low quality oils are less likely to have any beneficial impact.
Finally - if stress is becoming overwhelming for you, PLEASE speak to a professional such as a psychologist or counselor.
Here is to living your best life! Catch you next time.
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