Stress can get the better of us sometimes, if we let it. When life can get overwhelming and it feels like we have an endless amount to juggle, it actually affects our bodies in more negative ways than we even realize! When you stress on a continual basis, your body interprets this as a threat, releasing adrenaline and cortisol. From the Mayo Clinic:
Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain's use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.
Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with the brain regions that control mood, motivation and fear.
Yikes. Not great! Here are a few ways that you can better manage stress for yourself moving forward.
1. Meditation and Breathing
Meditation and breathing exercises have endless benefits when it comes to relaxing your mind and altering your mental state. You can reduce stress, increase concentration, improve blood pressure, and more. Ahh. The next time you're feeling an onset of stressful emotions, think about downloading a simple meditation app or simply inhaling deeply and exhaling deeply for 10 seconds (at least). Believe it or not, meditation can even affect your genes!
Movement makes us feel better - it's proven. Exercising can create energy, boost your mood, and provide a healthy distraction from our never ending (or seemingly so) to do lists. We love using simple body weight exercises that can be guided by an app (like the 7 minute workout) and more.
3. Healthy Diet
It's no secret that a healthy diet can lead to lifelong benefits, but it doesn't seem that accessible sometimes when you're busy. Eating well is so important because it can reduce inflammation, create anti-depressant outcomes, and allows your energy to stay level.
Meal kits can be considered one solution (and the options are endless) or simple meal preparing every Sunday can be a great ritual to bring on. Without diving into the wide topic of a healthy diet, try to incorporate better choices for yourself day to day, and see how your stress levels react.
Tracking is one thing that we always encourage at Gini Health. We have a simple to use, easy input tracking element for food, sleep, and even your poo health! It might sound stressful to add another task to your list, but finding patterns and receiving suggestions on how to improve is only going to enhance your quality of life. Just download the latest version of Gini Health to get all of the benefits!
Getting zz's can be a difficult task when you're feeling anxious or stressed. We love recommending more sleep but it can feel hard to accomplish. A few great tools could be to reduce your screen time an hour before bed (try picking up a book instead), purchasing / playing a white noise machine, and even using something simple like an eye cover to create more darkness.
Don't stress! Easier said than done, but try to incorporate little tips and tricks here and there to lead towards a slightly less stressful future.