3 Ways to Manage Your Stress | Acheloa Wellness
Updated: Jan 14
TODAYS TOPIC: 3 WAYS TO MANAGE YOUR STRESS
Often the root of our health and issues stems from stress. When we are stressed, we are not our best selves therefore, our success can be reduced. What is stress? To put it simply, it is a reaction to a trigger. There are ways to take your stress and manipulate it in a way that will be beneficial. It is important to know how much stress can impact you before you start the management process. Studies have shown that 66% of Americans credit their career as the source of their stress. Work stress is as bad for the heart as smoking and high cholesterol. Also, 75-90% of visits to the doctor’s office are due to stress-related health concerns. That is a huge impact!
MANAGE YOUR STRESS: DIET
This does not mean you need to go on a diet and especially with New Years Resolutions we know that diets are often unsuccessful. 86% of disease lives in the gastrointestinal tract which means, diet plays a huge role in our health. There are so many different rules for eating, is milk good or bad? Are carbs good or bad? What about red meat? Margarine or butter? The list goes on and the truth is, there is not a one size fits all for everyone. It is important to know your body type and scale your diet to fit your health needs. There are some rules that are no for everyone such as too much sugar, large meal sizes, fried and processed foods, etc.…
HOW: Think about your diet and rate yourself honestly from one to ten. Then evaluate where you can make improvements. Do you need to drink more water, eat more vegetables, eat smaller portions, add vegetables to each meal? Whatever that may look like for you, start one step at a time. The idea is to not set yourself up for failure by diving headfirst into a new lifestyle and then eventually burn out. Once you have successfully tackled that step, evaluate the healthy foods that are giving you a negative reaction. Maybe you are eating too many tomatoes and are experiencing heartburn or inflammation. Modify your recipes to include healthier alternatives so your body will recognize that food as nutritious and not as a toxin.
MANAGE YOUR STRESS: LIFESTYLE
Though the holidays are filled with joy, family, and cheer it is also filled with stress. Many of us feel that a good detox is needed after the holidays. When I say lifestyle, I am referring to your normal everyday activities from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed. Do you go to sleep late and not give yourself sufficient time to sleep? Everyone knows that we need to get at least six to eight hours of sleep each night, but did you know that you should be going to bed by ten o’clock at night? Your body will start to detox around this time each night and to allow a full and efficient detox you should be asleep while that process is occurring. What about your phone usage? Are you guilty of scrolling through your phone while laying in bed before going to sleep? Are you waking up and immediately reaching for your phone? Both habits are toxic for your stress. Being on your phone right before bed stimulates your brain causing you to not fall into a deep sleep that you should be having each night. That same stimulation occurs when you scroll through your phone right when you wake up causing you to burn energy before you even step a foot out of bed.
HOW: Small changes to shift your habits to make you feel better. Instead of waking up and immediately grabbing your phone, wait until breakfast time to check your emails. Instead of looking at your screen while eating lunch, look out a window. Read a book before going to bed and if it is on a device make sure you are using an app or setting to block the colors for less stimulation. Make a strong effort to go to bed by ten o’clock each night. If you are really feeling that you need a strong detox, unplug for a weekend. You will feel refreshed and it will give you time to refocus.
MANAGE YOUR STRESS: STRESS MANAGEMENT
This sounds like an obvious solution but may be asking yourself how? There are a few different techniques that you can adopt that will help you manage your stress.
Breathing: There are several different techniques, but the main rule is to be mindful of your breathing. We all breathe 24/7 mindlessly but when is the last time that you took a moment to focus on your breathing? It is important to take a few moments throughout your day to take deep breaths.
Exercise: Movement is important for releasing stress.
Workplace Environment: There are many people who have a job that they do not love, and it is not feasible to just get up and get a new job. There are things you can do to create a better workplace environment whether that be listening to music, placing a nice picture up in your cubicle, embracing silence, etc.
TAKE ACTION TO MANAGE YOUR STRESS
All these three things are intertwined together so if you start with your diet your lifestyle and management will fall into place. My invitation to you is to write down areas that you are doing a disservice to yourself and then add a positive shift that you can make to help you manage your stress. Remember, small changes will get you on track to creating healthy habits and will not be setting yourself up for failure.