5 simple and effective ways to de-stress

You can be doing so many great things like: eating well, sleeping well, doing work you love, and surrounding yourself with like-minded souls. But, none of that matters if you are highly stressed.

When your body goes into “fight or flight” response, cortisol is released in the body.

This was perfect when we were cave men (or women) and we were about to get attacked by a sabre-toothed tiger.

But in today’s world, something as little as missing the bus can trigger this response in the body.

Then your hypothalamus (a tiny region at the base of your brain) sets off an alarm system in your body. This response, then prompts your adrenal glands (located above your kidneys) to release a surge of hormones including adrenaline and cortisol. This wreaks havoc on your body, altering your immune system’s response and suppressing your digestive system.

Stress is inevitable in today’s world. However, how we choose to deal with it when it comes up, really makes a huge difference to our overall health and happiness.

Here are five simple things you can do to decrease every-day stressors in your life:

1. Meditation

Meditation is a great tool to calm your monkey mind. The best part about it: it’s free! You can do it anytime anywhere—on the bus, on an aeroplane, or sitting on the loo on your lunch break at work. There are no limitations to meditation.

A few things to remember are: make sure your spine is straight and you aren’t lying down as you may tend to fall asleep. Your phone should be switched off. Remove any distractions. Then sit quietly and concentrate on your breath.

If my monkeys are extremely loud I start by focusing my energy on the tip of my nose. Sit for twenty minutes and slowly increase the time as your meditation practice improves. Remember: thoughts are part of meditation. When they pop into your mind just simply let them go and return your attention to your breath.

2. Yoga

Yoga encompasses the body and the breath so it’s not only a great form of exercise but it incorporates meditation to slow down and calm the body and the mind. You can start by doing a few simple yoga postures each morning or head to a yoga class a few times a week.

3. Having a good belly laugh

Whether it’s with your mates or over a hilarious movie, or a quiet chuckle to yourself, laughing releases feel-good endorphins. Don’t let a day go by without a big belly laugh. Children can be great for that.

4. Drinking herbal tea

If you’re feeling uber-stressed, coffee is NOT going to help. I repeat: Coffee will not make things better! Making a cup of warm herbal tea might, though. For me, the ritual of drinking tea is very calming. Either with friends or alone, there is something about tea that really makes me slow down. Taking yourself away from your computer and doing something nurturing for yourself will also give you a psychological boost.

5. Doing some earthing

Connecting to the Earth’s natural energy is imperative for vibrant health. So, kick off your shoes and get as much skin as possible on the grass or sand. Diving into the ocean is also incredibly cleansing and revitalising.

Give one or all of these a go next time you’re feeling overwhelmed. Remember it’s going to take time to embed these new habits but sick with it and your health and vitality might dramatically increase.

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