It’s almost December – where has 2015 gone? This is the time of year where everyone is tired, stressed and counting down the minutes until holidays. The thing with stress is, in small amounts it’s easy to manage and our bodies are equipped to deal with it quickly and efficiently. Prolonged stress wreaks all kinds of havoc on the body, with symptoms like:
- An increased heart rate
- Higher blood pressure
- Blood sugar fluctuations
- Heightened emotional reactions (Anger, annoyance)
- Bad sleep
- Compromised immunity (Stressed people tend to get sick more often)
- Appetite changes
- Weight fluctuations
Stress can make you hang onto unwanted kilograms and makes it easier to “fall off the wagon” so it’s something we all need to be aware of and learn how to manage effectively.
Here are four easy ways to alleviate stress:
Take a deep breath
Long deep breaths are proven to calm you down and lower anxiety. Try it out, sync your breathing with the gif below – see how you feel after about a minute of concentrated deep breathing.
Long deep breaths are proven to calm you down and lower anxiety.
Try Yoga (Even if you don’t think you’re flexible enough)
Yoga is one of the best de-stressing exercises you can do. Connecting with your breath while moving your body into the various poses helps you to let go of anxiety and keeps you focused on your body instead of work or other stressors.
Try it out:
I watched a very interesting TED talk by Amy Cuddy about using your body language to lessen stress and make you more powerful. Instead of me trying to summarize it, I really recommend you take a few minutes to watch her presentation – it’s only 20 minutes and believe me it’s fascinating.
Smile and Laugh
I’m sure you read that heading and rolled your eyes a little bit, but laughter truly is the best medicine. According to the Mayo Clinic: “A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.”
Need something to laugh about? Check out our go-to LOL site here: [BUZZFEED]
I’ve shared these four tools with you because I am personally working on using them in my daily life – it’s way too easy to get caught up in stress and we tend to not prioritize stress management when we embark on a healthy lifestyle. Remember that getting fit and healthy can be one of the most stressful things you can do to your body, especially if you were previously very unhealthy – and that type of stress on top of normal daily stress can be counter productive on your weight loss and health journey.
I hope you’re able to use these tools and I would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions! Please comment on this post with your go-to stress management tips and tricks!