12 Stress Reduction Techniques to Improve your well-being

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A research study presented at a Western Psychological Association meeting discussed findings that showed 25% of happiness depends on how well people handle stress. The study further concluded that the most critical element of effective stress management was planning and having a sound strategy and tools in place.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise, which includes running, walking, swimming, cycling, fitness classes, elliptical and other cardio machines help simulate the “fight” response to burnout cortisol levels.

All it takes is twenty to thirty minutes 3 to 5 times per week to significantly reduce stress levels and manage stress.

You can also use everyday opportunities to increase your aerobic activity, such as taking the stairs instead of elevators, parking further away from doors so you can take a longer walk, and going on walks after dinner with dogs and/or kids.

MBSR

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is a program created Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD. This 8-week program teaches mindfulness practices that include body awareness, sitting meditation, body awareness, and mindful movement. It has been highly effective in helping people to manage stress.

Digestive Relief

When you’re feeling digestive problems caused by stress, exercise, eating more fiber, increasing fluid intake can all help. If your diet lacks fiber, consider a fiber supplement.

Mind-Body Exercise

Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, and meditation are all forms of mind-body exercise that are incredibly effective at managing stress. Numerous studies have proven this fact.

Mindfulness and Loving Kindness Meditation are two great forms of meditation to keep stress at bay and just 10 to 15 minutes of mindfulness meditation daily can make a huge difference in stress levels.

Meditation calms you; it’s as simple as that. It is the exact opposite of the ‘fight or flight’ response that occurs during stress, including the decreasing of heart rate, pulse and blood pressure and a general calming and quieting of the mind.

In 2012, researchers from UCLA (Lavretsky , et al) published a study showing chantic yogic meditation for just 12 minutes each day for 8 weeks to greatly reduce stress levels in 48 care takers of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia, some of the most stressed-out people in the world.

The study found that this occurs because chantic yoga leads to a reduction in the biological mechanisms that prompt and increase the immune system’s inflammation response within the body, and this type of inflammation, when experienced at a chronic level causes various health complications.

Yoga improves resilience, the mind-body connection, and awareness helping practitioners to adjust behaviors based on their own bodily needs and experiences.



Deep Breathing

A few seconds of deep breathing daily engages the vagus nerve that signals the nervous system to slow heart rate and blood pressure and decrease cortisol levels.

Deep breathing is one of the simplest and easiest way to fight the effects of stress and stress hormones on a daily basis.

Take a time out several times each day to take 10 deep breaths. Do it more often during intense times of stress, your mind and body will thank you.

Have Fun

There are no excuses for not finding time for fun and relaxation! Your life may depend on it. Whether you enjoy bowling, a movie, or a weekend at the beach, it is important to make time to relax and have fun every single day. Your body and mind need a break from stress, and the everyday hustle and bustle.

Even if you can only fit in 15 minutes a day, it is important to “get away from it all,” and do something fun and relaxing.

All those clichés…kick your shoes off, stop and smell the roses, just let go…may be the best advice for women to get their stress under control.

Laughter

There’s nothing like a good laugh to keep stress at bay. Studying laughter for the past 30 years, Dr. William Fry reports that laughter is linked to a reduction in stress hormones. Studies showing the benefits of laughter for reducing stress are numerous.

Music

Listening to music is another great way to reduce cortisol levels and reduce stress. Music directly engages the brain and causes an incredible reaction and stimulation of neurotransmitters that can actually alter mood.

Social Connectivity

stress (14)Two studies published by the journal Science report that both social isolation and aggression result in higher levels of cortisol in mice that result in a variety of mental health issues.

Get social! Make time for friends and family, spend time connecting with humans, it is a great diversion from stress, and it is an integral part of our humanity, to deny it simply goes against nature.

Healthy Diet

Cortisol is released within the body when blood sugar levels fall, so it is important to never starve yourself or skip meals. In fact, it is best to eat very small meals every three hours, as this not only keeps your blood sugars stable it also helps you lose weight.

Our bodies need nourishment to function and excel. That nourishment needs to be real whole food, and not processed junk. In fact, it should be noted that high sugar junk food only raises blood sugar levels that increases production of cortisol. Design your plates with lean proteins, vegetables, and whole grains.

Vitamins

Ask your doctor about taking a multivitamin. When you are under stress, your body needs all the nutrients it needs even more, so it is important to close gaps in nutrient deficiencies as much as possible.

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Therapy

stress (1)Talk therapy with a qualified license mental health professional can really do wonders in helping you work though emotional issues that can be a significant cause of stress.

The truth is that many people suffer unnecessarily as a result of unresolved trauma, and emotional pain, but you can take back your power and live the life you want, it just takes a little work.

Psychotherapy, EFT and other mental health modalities can really help! They are not only useful for dealing with emotional issues, these therapies can actually help you identify and deal with all the stressors in your life.

There is a solution for everything, go and find yours!

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