Ah, stress! One of my most disliked words, yet one that I’ve had a close relationship with throughout my life. Stress reared its ugly head all throughout my late teens and early adulthood. I would get stressed out over petty things and this could quickly snowball into crippling anxiety. Looking back, I just didn’t have the right tools to cope with stressful situations, and this highly impacted my day-to-day life and overall well-being.
In today’s society where the norm is long work hours, a lack of exercise, an overuse of screen time and fad diets it’s no wonder we are experiencing high rates of stress!
When I found out I was pregnant, I knew it would be important that I make an extra effort to keep my body calm for the growing baby. Thankfully, I have been on a healing journey over the past few years that has helped me to manage my stress in natural, holistic ways.
These daily practices allow me to be an active participant in my own health and wellness, which feels so empowering and freeing.
I want to share with you the things I do on a regular basis to help promote calmness, peace and balance in my everyday life. By engaging in these activities consistently, I am better equipped to handle stress when it pops up. I can feel a noticeable difference in my body and I know others can recongize the positive changes, as well. My husband has even remarked, ‘Wow, you handle things so much better now‘ a few times!
5 DAILY PRACTICES FOR LOWERING STRESS
- Meditation :: This intentional practice of stillness is so important for the whole Self. By quieting the mind and relaxing the body, you are able to ground yourself in the present moment. Setting aside even just 10 minutes of your day to mediate, you’ll notice significant benefits. We often live so much of our lives in the “fight or flight” mode that meditation enables us to do the exact opposite by decreasing breathing, pulse rate and blood pressure. In turn, many people notice an enhanced mood and reduced lifestyle stress. Meditation is also a powerful way to connect with your Higher Power and can be a highly spiritual practice.
- Reduce refined sugar :: You’d have to be hiding under a rock to not know that the ‘white stuff’ isn’t doing your body any favors. Sugar is highly inflammatory and creates stress on your body. Our bodies have to work overtime to counter balance the dump of glucose in the bloodstream. Sugar not only causes inflammation; it can also cause fatigue, early signs of ageing and trouble thinking. . . all things that can stress us out even more! If you get a sugar craving or have a sweet-tooth (like me!), reach for a fruit & healthy fat combo, such as an apple or banana and almond butter. Or check out my chocolate bliss ball recipe here.
- Get some sunshine :: It’s incredible what a little sunshine can do for your mood and overall health. Sunlight boosts the production of Serotonin, commonly known as the “feel good” hormone. In addition, our bodies make Vitamin D after exposure to the ultraviolet B-rays from the sun. Low levels of Vitamin D have been associated with depression. Of course getting out in the sunshine can get difficult in winter months, so load up on eggs and oily fish like salmon to prevent Vitamin D deficiency. When I’m outdoors in the fresh air and beautiful creation, it’s hard not to be joyful, relaxed and energized.
- Essential Oils :: These gifts from the Earth came into my life at the most opportune time about 15 months ago. Over the past year or so, my overall health has been transformed thanks to my liquid gold. 😉 Not only have I experienced physical improvements, but the therapeutic benefits have taken my well-being to a whole new level. Essential oils target the root cause of any health issue and support our bodies on a cellular level. When we use essential oils aromatically, the odiferous molecules penetrate the olfactory system sending signals to the limbic system, which then stimulates the production of neurochemicals and hormones. These hormones and chemicals balance and regulate the various systems in the body, so whether you smell a calming or stimulating oil, a particular response will be triggered within your body. I have been successfully using certain essential oils to lower stress and promote inner balance by rubbing them on the bottoms of my feet and the bone behind my ears twice a day, inhaling in the mornings and diffusing before bed. The oils I recommend include Frankincense, Lavender, Wild Orange, The Grounding Blend (Balance), The Joyful Blend (Elevation) and The Calming Blend (Serenity). I can go deeper into each oil’s properties and benefits in a later post, so let me know if the comments if you’d like to see this.
- Re-evaluate your to-do list :: The sad truth is that many of us have to-do lists miles long. And when we tick something off, three more things magically get added. Whether your to-do list is being mentally rehearsed time and time again or physically staring you in the face, lots to do in little time can get stressful! One thing pregnancy has taught me is to surrender and let go of my high expectations of self. I’ve learned to prioritize the important to-do’s and let everything else fall by the wayside. And you know what? I’ve come to realize quite quickly that A LOT of my to-do list isn’t imperative. More often than not it’s busy work that keeps me both busy and stressed! So, whip out that to-do list and ask yourself, ‘what really matters today?’ Then, consolidate your list down to the three things that need your attention today. If it’s a big task, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. We can all accomplish three things in a given day, right? Tick those off and see how fun it feels!
Note: I do not advise changing any medications or health protocols without consulting a doctor. The practices above can complement any medical or lifestyle routines you are currently engaged in. If you wish to know more about essential oils and their powerful medicinal and therapeutic properties, leave me a comment below or contact me here.
// YOUR TURN: How do you deal with stress? I’d love for you to share your go-to habits and routines to keeping calm and balanced in the comments below!