5 Ways to Stress Less and Achieve More
Updated: Jan 14
TODAY'S TOPIC: 5 WAYS TO STRESS LESS AND ACHIEVE MORE
This month we are tackling the topic of stress. Last week we talked about the effects and impact that stress can have on your body and the week before we went over some tips on how to manage your stress. The goal here is to help you connect your symptoms to the cause which could very well be stress-related. We often experience things like headaches, dry skin, constipation, etc. and do not attribute those symptoms to stress, rather we just take a pill or rub some cream on our skin while never treating the root issue.
DEEP BREATHING TO STRESS LESS AND ACHIEVE MORE
Diaphragmatic breathing is taking long deep breaths in using our stomach rather than our lungs. This will allow your diaphragm to fully drop, extending your stomach while inhaling oxygen into your lungs (for a visual of how-to breath please watch the video below). Taking deep breaths in this fashion creates a sensation of relaxation. There are contraindications such as trauma in the stomach region which will call for softer deep breaths. However, if you are feeling overwhelmed take a few deep breaths will help you feel more grounded and takes us out of our mind for just a moment.
HOW: The idea is to not multitask but if you are having a day where you feel that you do not have time to stop try taking deep breaths while commuting to and from work, while cooking dinner, getting ready for work, etc. It is recommended to take deep breaths for one to two minutes a day and it is a great opportunity to check in with yourself which is important in decreasing stress.
SLOW DOWN STRESS LESS AND ACHIEVE MORE
We live in a world that it is a constant state of busy so the reality is, we may not be able to slow down in every aspect of our lives but really take note of all of your tasks and ask yourself, are you rushing through everything? Is there room for you to slow down in some areas such as eating, walking, showering, etc. Just by inviting a little more slowness into our lives will allow us to ground down and drop into what our needs are. Slowness brings in more awareness which will lead to feeling great.
HOW: Think about what your day looks like and see if there are any areas that can afford to be slowed down. Maybe set an alarm to remind you because again, we are living in a state of reality, and chances are your reality is fast-paced therefore you can allow yourself to need reminders.
MOVE YOUR BODY TO STRESS LESS AND ACHIEVE MORE
Most reactions to this thought are to join a CrossFit class or go for a run but most of us lack the time to implement these types of exercise. Movement is especially important and if you can fit fifteen minutes a day of small yet effective movement, I urge you to do so. There are so many small movements that you can do throughout the day that can be effective in reducing your stress. In the world of Ayurveda, emotions get stuck in the body, specifically in the center around our stomach. Eighty percent of disease lives in the GI tract and if we are not moving then food and toxins will become stuck along with emotions.
HOW: You do not have to do an intense workout to reduce stress however, you do need to move. You can do things like moving your shoulders and head in circular motions, go for a walk around your office building, stretch at your desk, twist the center of your body from side to side, or do squats while brushing your teeth.
SELF-MASSAGE TO STRESS LESS AND ACHIEVE MORE
To be honest, we would all love routine professional massages, but the reality is, that can be expensive. In the science of Ayurveda, by massaging the skin it reduces anxiety and the feeling of overwhelm. It keeps the muscles fit and prevents old age. In the winter or colder weather, you will want to use warm oil such as sesame oil and, in the summer, you can use an oil like coconut. To get the full grounding effect you will want to start with your head and work your way down your body. Massaging also gives you the opportunity to slow down.
HOW: Take some oil of your liking and rub your earlobes, above your eyebrows, inside of your nostrils, and work your way down to the rest of your body. Really take the time to slow down and take deep breaths while self-massaging.
INVITE SILENCE TO STRESS LESS AND ACHIEVE MORE
If you follow me on Instagram, then you may know that I did a twenty-hour meditation. Obviously, twenty hours may be challenging for a lot of people or simply not possible but there are variations that may be more fitting. Imagine no phones, no screens, no talking for a whole twenty-four hours to allow yourself to reground. So many of us talk all day long, constantly on the go, and live on our devices, which all leads to us feeling depleted at some point. Not speaking for a day or even a few hours might leave you feeling a little lost and not knowing what to do with your time. This would be an opportunity for you to do some reading, journaling, catching up on your favorite podcasts, there are so many possibilities.
TAKE ACTION TO STRESS LESS AND ACHIEVE MORE
We just went over five techniques that can help you get on the path to stressing less and achieving more. My invitation to you is, list these techniques in order from ‘yes I am going to implement this now’ to ‘I am not too sure about this one’. The idea is to implement small and doable shifts to help you start feeling better. This is your time to take responsibility and action to create a healthier you. As always, please feel free to send me an email if you have any questions about any of the techniques or even any symptoms that you may be feeling.