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Last week we talked about how stress can affect the body… Now let’s talk about some simple ways to prevent these effects!
1. Exercise… but the right kind
· Exercise is a great way to release endorphins (aka the feel-good chemicals). It can also help to promote a more restful sleep which again will help to decrease stress. It is important however, that you are not overdoing it at the gym. In some circumstances exercising for too long or with too much intensity can be detrimental to your health goals. Yoga can be a great form of exercise for those times that we need to de-stress.
· There are several scents that can be very relaxing, so consider lighting a candle or diffusing some essential oils. Scents like lavender, sandalwood, lemon balm and rose all smell lovely and have the added benefit of combating stress and calming the mind.
3. Limit caffeine
· Caffeine is not for everyone! Different people have different tolerances and for some people that extra cup of coffee can cause you to feel anxious and jittery. If you find that you are sensitive to caffeine, try cutting back or even avoiding it completely.
· Writing down why you are stressed out or upset can help to release those feelings and lift a weight off your shoulders. On the other hand, keeping a gratitude Journal can also relieve stress by helping you to focus on the positive aspects of life. Mindfulness and meditation can also be wonderful tools to help you to de-stress.
5. Take some time for yourself
· It is important to unwind from what is causing you stress. Take a break and do something that you enjoy. Whether that is spending time with family and friends or reading a couple of chapters of a book, choose something that brings you joy and allows you the chance to decompress. Even something as simple as spending time outdoors can help to ease tension you may be feeling.
· Physical contact can be great for lowering cortisol. Whether is be with your significant other, a child or even a pet, cuddling can actually help to relieve both the physical and mental effects of stress.
· There are tons of supplements that can help you to handle stress! These include things like lemon balm, ashwagandha, mushrooms, Magnesium and B vitamins… among others. Different supplements will have different effects on the body, so it is important to talk with your Naturopathic doctor to ensure you choose one that will be safe and effective for you!