If you’ve ever looked at someone and thought “damn they really have their stuff together” or “how come they don’t feel stressed out about work and life?” and then fell down the rabbit hole of self-pity, envy and annoyance…please keep reading.
Some of us handle stress with grace and some of us rather throw our telephones at the wall or drown in a tub of ice cream on a daily basis.
In today’s world, it’s hard to avoid stress — we’re all feeling it in one way or another. Whether it be from work, family, politics, or lifestyle choices.
It is estimated that up to 90% of all chronic disease today is related back to stress. NINETY PERCENT! That’s insanity. What that means is most chronic diseases can be prevented.
We don’t have to let stress run our lives. When you feel stress creeping into your life, there are steps you can take to come back to balance, to equilibrium, to zen.
Stress is manageable and we’re here to provide you with the support to tackle it in the simplest way possible. We’re all about doing the simple things but doing them well!
We’ve developed a 7 step protocol to busting stress effectively. We’re tackling this topic because we’ve all got a case of the stress bug, but we don’t have to let it hang around our lives!
Stress is an epidemic today but there is a way to control our stress in a fun, non-eye rolling process (well, you may find some eye-rollers out there but let’s be honest, they’re stressed).
Knowing the information isn’t enough — if we did everything we know we should we’d killin’ the game all the time! In reality, we need more than just information.
Sometimes, we need that hand-holding to keep us accountable when creating sustainable lifestyle habits to see the positive benefits in our lives.
Just as you would commit to going to the gym every day to drop that belly fat (which is related to stress by the way) you have to commit to taking care of yourself to manage stress.
The good news is, it’s simple and it’s really just a matter of creating sustainable lifestyle habits.
Our seven-step protocol to tackling stress effectively is all about SIMPLE daily routines that feed the mind, body, and spirit the nutrients they need to live an empowered chilled out life.
1. Proper hydration
Drinking that good ole’ H2O is essential to living your most chill life. We are 60-70% water and our noodles are 80% water! That’s lotta water! Water keeps things moving and flushes out the toxins we accumulate through our environment.
We need to be constantly replenishing the very element that makes up most of our body with clean water (the most preferred would be spring water, but at a bare minimum filtered will get you on the right track to avoid harmful chemicals that can be found in our tap).
2. Greens and fiber
Greens are the queen of the vegetable kingdom! If you had to choose one vegetable to incorporate into your diet, it’d better be greens! They fill us up with the nutrients that keep us vibrant, energized and young!
Fiber is a major key to health and vitality. We have to keep things moving – know what we mean? Toxic buildup in our system will in fact cause more stress on us physically and mentally. The best forms of fiber are starchy vegetables, artichokes, garlic, onions, leeks, bitter greens, radishes, ripe bananas, and cruciferous veggies.
3. Breathe through it
You know that experience when someone is having a panic attack or are in the thick of anxiety and are told to take deep breaths? That idea didn’t come out of anywhere; there is some real science to it.
Taking conscious deep breaths (particularly from the belly) turn on our parasympathetic nervous system that signals our bodies to rest and relax. By practicing breath work throughout the day, we will be able to keep our systems in the state that they are supposed to be in most of the time vs. our fight or flight state, which we get caught in during times of stress. Best of all, conscious breathing can be done anywhere, anytime! Try it now.
4. Move a muscle, change a thought
Movement is a hugely important component to stress reduction. You probably know this by now but it does not have to be a ton of movement. Simply going out for a walk around the block each day or getting up from your desk every 30 minutes to move stagnant energy will enhance your mood.
By incorporating movement routines into your day, you’ll lower cortisol levels (our stress hormone), increase endorphins (the happy chemicals) and keep your mind engaged. If you have a desk job, set a reminder on your phone to go off every 30 minutes that notifies you to stand up and take a walk to grab some water or do a few jumping jacks.
5. Practice mindfulness- Stay in the moment to avoid worrying
By developing the practice of staying present, we eliminate the stress of yesterday and the stress of tomorrow. Focusing on the here and now (because after all, it’s all we have ;)) helps us to focus on the things that we are in control of.
When our focus is on the things we cannot control, fearful thoughts can creep in which add to our stress. Practice mindfulness in everyday activities such as brushing your teeth or going for a mindful walk. Pay attention to each detail and gently let incoming thoughts float away and return your focus back to what you are focusing on.
Before you throw out all the excuses like “I don’t have time to meditate” or “How could I possibly sit there and do nothing?” be open to the idea of meditation. It’s been around for centuries, after all, and this Eastern practice is backed by a lot of science.
Research is showing how regular meditation practice changes not only our physical bodies (reduced inflammation and blood pressure) but our brains as well. Meditation allows us to be less reactionary and be able to discern which thoughts and actions best serve us.
You don’t have to start off on a meditation pillow with incense for an hour. Start small, even one minute a day can count as a meditation practice. The good news is the more you practice the more you will notice the benefits and be hooked!
7. Human connection
We are social primates and thrive when we have a human connection. Social interaction is a big key to unlocking stress and is associated with a lower risk for obesity, lower blood pressure and longer life expectancy. Studies show that people who have satisfying relationships with friends, family, and community are happier and healthier.
While you can’t choose your family, you can certainly choose who you hang around. And a positive human connection is a necessary step in keeping our stress levels at bay. If that means scheduling in a ladies’ night with some vino, then that means scheduling a ladies’ night with some vino.