Small daily stressors may not feel like a big deal, but an accumulation over a long period of time, as well as the current situation of the world right now, can affect our mental health in a big way. But while it’s something we’d all prefer to avoid – stress does serve a purpose.
Stress is our body’s natural response to demand in our lives. It helps us avoid danger and respond quickly in tough situations, it’s when we are exposed for prolonged periods that it becomes an issue. This is why it’s important for us to be able to manage, regulate and ultimately lower our stress levels as much as we can.
The phrase “take a deep breath” may seem like a broken record to those dealing with stress and anxiety, but there’s a good reason why it’s highly suggested. When under stress, our breathing becomes shallow and fast-paced, prolonging the feelings of anxiety and intensifying the symptoms of stress. Simple breathing exercises can make a big difference. When we breathe deeply, it sends a message to our brain to relax, this message is then sent from the brain throughout the body, allowing feelings of calm. Things we experience when we’re stressed such as intense breathing, high blood pressure and increased heart rate, all slow down and ease as we breathe deeply. Try it now, take a deep breath in … And out… feels good huh?
Exercise is easily one of the most powerful ways to reduce stress – plus it doesn’t cost a thing! Not only is it good for the body, but it’s also extremely good for our mental health as well! Here’s why:
- Exercise can attribute to a better sleep
- It lowers your body’s stress hormones
- Working up a sweat allows your body to release endorphins (we all love those!)
- Implementing a sense of structure to your day can make you feel in control, more focused and accomplished
Exercise is scientifically proven to improve your mental wellbeing. Consider some slow movement yoga, aerobic exercise or strengthening with weights. Commit to a form of simple fitness every day, set yourself some achievable goals and see how much better you feel 🖤 PS. We hear CLQ tights are really good to workout in 😉
3. Reduce caffeine
We know first-hand how tricky this one can be! Caffeine is a great way to get things done, but it’s also a great way to bring on stress – faster! If you find yourself getting anxious or jittery when indulging in your daily coffee/energy drink (gym junkies, that means you!), maybe it’s time to consider cutting back – it’s all about moderation. Perhaps opt for a tea instead, green tea contains less than half the caffeine of coffee and contains healthy antioxidants and amino acids like l-theanine which eases the nervous system.
4. Journal your thoughts
Have you tried journaling? It can be a great way to work through causes of stress and anxiety. Here’s one way to approach it – take a moment to write down everything that may be causing you stress. Allow yourself to really work through these things, try your best to understand why they may be causing you stress, and come up with ways to help ease the stress in a way that works for you. While you write these thoughts, jot down some things that you are grateful for too and incorporate these into your approach to mitigating your stress. Gratitude is the attitude babes!
5. Say no for a better yes
If you are someone who naturally says yes, it’s important to know your limits. When we take on more than we can handle and begin to juggle responsibilities, it can leave us feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Setting boundaries is a form of self-care! Be selective about what or who you say yes to, and remember to fill your own cup before anyone else’s. This way, when you do have the capacity to help someone else, you can show up as the best version of yourself.