This is a guest post by Cori-Leigh Mann.
Life becomes out of balance when we find ourselves stuck in a constant state of stress. In the long-term, continual stress wreaks havoc on both our minds and bodies.
While we can’t avoid all stress much of it can be diminished. Thankfully we can make healthy choices and changes. The problem is that most of the time we don’t recognize the need to change until we are forced to.
This is what happened to me almost 2 decades ago. I suddenly experienced a panic attack while in the local grocery store. It was the first one in a series of many to follow. The panic attacks increased in frequency and intensity over the next few years.
So how did I get to the place of experiencing panic attacks? In part, it was triggered by traumatic life experiences. The rest was a result of how my life was at the time. I unknowingly continued to feed the unnecessary stress I lived with every day.
Anxiety and stress is now a subject widely talked about. Stress wasn’t a word I ever used much until this happened. I certainly didn’t understand the effects of it. At least not until panic struck that day in the grocery store.
Anyone who has experienced a panic attack knows how horrible they are. For a long time, I feared when the next one would come. My life plunged into a chaotic, fear-based, stressful, and anxiety filled daily existence.
It remained that way until I learned how my life got to this point in the first place. This meant I had to delve into the root causes of the anxiety and panic attacks. Additionally, I walked a healing journey that would eventually lead to my making changes that heal.
Six ways you can start to become healthier and reduce stress;
1) Re-Evaluate Your Commitments
These days many of us are living hassled, hustled, and hurried lifestyles. Most of us try to pack all we can into our daily lives. We fill our agendas with heavy to do lists and social events.
As a result, our commitments can become unmanageable. Consequently leaving us drained out of energy, stressed, and exhausted.
Pushing past our limits consistently will even lower your immune system. Cause you to feel internal stress which is bad for your health. When you take on less you leave room for more time to take care of you.
2) Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
Processed, fatty, and sugar contaminated foods are causing more than obesity. They also feed stress, anxiety, and even depression.
When we eat right our minds and bodies thank us! Eating healthier can change your life. Consume foods that are as close to nature as possible. Fruits and vegetables are healing foods! They are rich in necessary vitamins and minerals. Healthy dietary habits boost the immunities that help us ward of disease.
3) The Healing Power of Drinking Plenty of Water
Do you drink enough water? Did you know that proper hydration also reduces stress? Our brains need water! When we have properly hydrated our minds are clearer. You’ll think better throughout the day! Just make sure you drink good quality water and not contaminated water.
4) Rest, Relaxation, and Sleep
All of us are juggling many hats on this road called life. Many of us don’t sleep, relax, or rest enough. This turns on our internal stress responses.
Step away from whatever you are doing a few times a day just to rest the mind. No internet, phone, TV, or other distractions. This is a good time to pray, meditate, or whatever it is that helps you to rest the mind.
Relaxation breathing helps to calm you. Additionally, they are good for your lungs and heart. Some people prefer to do this while meditating/prayer. Others like relaxation music.
Floating is another method that helps to calm the mind and body. You may enjoy reading Why You Should Float Your Troubles Away with Floatation Therapy.
All of us need sleep! When we are sleep deprived it is difficult to think straight. It triggers physiological and emotions stress responses. Our immunities decrease making it difficult to ward off common colds and diseases.
5) Our Bodies Need to Be Active
Due to using computers and other devices we sit more. I work from home and am working online every day. I keep a kitchen timer set for 30 minutes. When it goes off this reminds me to get up. I walk around, stretch, and do small tasks at different intervals. This helps me to not sit for too long at a time.
Activity and exercise are fantastic for managing and reducing stress. Doing this increases our healthy energy while turning off stress responses. Yoga has gained popularity for a stress-reducing exercise.
6) Change Your Thoughts
What we put into our minds each day matters. Our thoughts impact how we view our lives. What you believe about yourself has the power to bind or free you. If you think you are at peace you will most likely live that way. Similarly, thinking of yourself as a stressed out mess will keep you there. Positive thinking results in living a healthier and happier life.
Keeping a journal that you can write in regularly helps clear the mind of negative clutter. Journaling is a great way to release your thoughts and emotions. Additionally, doing this helps you to track your progress.
In conclusion, consistent small changes go a long way to improving how you think, feel, and live. Over time these changes are ones that heal the mind body and spirit.
Join the conversation: What changes have you made in an effort to decrease stress in your life? How did making these changes make a difference in your life and health?
Cori is a mom to 2 grown daughters and grandmother to 2 grandchildren. She is a writer, blogger, and an advocate for those living with anxiety disorders.
Are you on a journey from anxiety to peace? Follow Cori for peaceful solutions.