Reducing stress promotes health! Ever wanted to tear your hair out due to stress? I have, but it would not have solved anything. To me, stress is that feeling of not being able to live up to the pressure being put on you. Sometimes, I put pressure on myself and sometimes pressure comes from outside sources like work. This is an important topic because stress can cause negative issues.
What leads to stress?
Stress can be caused by many things. I have experienced stress from my job through short deadlines, large tasks assigned with minimal or improper training, or just plain working too much. Family and relationships can cause stress or be stressed by bringing work issues into home life, differences of opinions, or financial situations, to name a few. Time itself is a factor for me...with three little girls in the house, especially getting ready in the morning, being on time can be a challenge which causes pressure to build! It becomes even more important to reduce stress when it not only affects you, but those around you.
Stress has been detrimental in my journey as it led to high blood pressure during all three of my pregnancies, and inhibited weight loss during different times of my life. Stress has also been the biggest culprit to connecting poor food choices with negative emotions. When stress crept into the picture, my health would suffer. Imagine a spike in weight, more moodiness, or no energy. This led to a cycle of depressive and negative self-talk.
Instead, I have learned to give myself grace - because we are all human. I cannot be perfect and I cannot go back and change previous choices, but rather keep going and get better. There was a saying that has always stuck with me: "Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best." That, and a little bit of chocolate has always helped!
Best ways to reduce stress.
The best ways to reduce stress for me have been finding activities to relax my mind. Step one was to realize the pressure that caused stress to be present. Once I realized what was causing any extra emotional and mental drain, I could find ways to help reduce the stress. Some activities I find stress relieving are playing music or listening to music. I get lost in the sound and it speaks to my soul therefore letting my mind relax and uplifting my mood. As you can see above, I play bass in a rock band which is super exciting! Another relaxing activity for me is reading books. I love to read and my mind becomes captivated by the story. I can no longer remember what was causing anxiety!
Another idea is to find a comfortable place to relax. Doesn't it look relaxing in my brightly colored hammock?! My hammock is a great place and when I am there it sends a signal to my brain to relax and my body to release any tension. Some other ideas could be taking a bath or going for a swim, exercising or getting some extra steps, watching a fun movie, getting a massage, drawing a picture, or calling a friend.
The best way I have found to help keep stress at bay is to focus on health. When I keep my head in a positive direction, the outcome is generally positive. This means drinking water, getting plenty of fruits and vegetables, not forgetting about eating protein with every meal, limiting refined sugar and processed foods, not snacking all day, and moving my body. Have you found that when you focus on health, the outcome is positive? I would love to read any comments you may have. And, if you are liking this content, subscribe so you can find out all the latest info.