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how to reduce stress

( 3 MINUTE READ )
 

So last week we tackled the importance of sleep & strategies to improve it. If you missed it, click here!!

Today were talking about the other VERY important thing that’s often looked past among fitness journeys: S T R E S S.

Here’s the deal with stress…

It increases cortisol, which is actually a good thing SHORT TERM. Cortisol protects your body in many ways. However, chronic cortisol elevation leads to endless health issues such as:

  • high blood pressure
  • digestive problems
  • risk of heart disease & stroke
  • migraines
  • tension headaches
  • chronic fatigue
  • depression & anxiety
  • fat gain/storage

…the list goes on and on. Basically anything ‘bad’ you can think of in regards to health can be triggered by chronic stress, which is why it’s absolutely vital to get it under control if you want to live a long, healthy life.

The first step to reducing stress is to figure out your personal stressors. You can’t minimize stress if you don’t know exactly where it even comes from!

What I want you to do is make a list. So right now, while you’re reading this, grab a piece of paper and pen and start writing down everything that stresses you out day to day. Sometimes it’s easier to do this as the day goes on or at the end of the day so you have a more clear analysis of what triggers you to feel stressed. 

Once you have your list, make another column next to that list with potential solutions.

For example, maybe it’s getting the kids ready for school in the morning. You feel there’s not enough time & too many things to do. Perhaps a solution could be to pack lunches, get breakfast ready, lay clothes out & make sure everything is ready to go the night before! This way, the morning becomes a lot less hectic and stressful getting everyone and everything ready in the morning.

Maybe it’s your boss or coworkers that add stress and pressure to your day. The solution to this is being more clear with your communication and/or setting boundaries (easier said than done, I know). 

Of course some stress is unavoidable and it’s impossible to have 0 stressors in your life. However, there are a lot of things we stress over that are not necessary, a complete waste or energy OR something that we can fix if we just speak up. 

At the end of the day the only actions you can control are your own. You have a lot more power than you think in terms of your stress levels. One thing that’s also helped me a lot is writing down 3 things I am grateful for daily. This keeps you grounded in the GOOD and trains your mind to stay focused on what is positive. WHAT YOU FOCUS ON GROWS so be very intentional with the direction of your thoughts. 

Other stress management strategies:
Yoga (there are so many options online or in person!)
Meditation (try using an app like Calm or Headspace)
Good nutrition (nutrient dense, balanced meals)
Exercise (even just walking!)
Time management (google calendar is my favorite way to do this- schedule EVERYTHING)
Solid morning routine (how you set yourself up for your day is crucial!!)
Sleep / Nighttime routine (see last weeks newsletter)
THERAPY!!
Journaling
Remember that food & alcohol are temporary stress relievers ; )
Supplementation (below)

Supplements that will help with stress:
As I always like to preface this with…supplements are just that, to SUPPLEMENT your other efforts to becoming healthy. They are not magic pills. The foundations & efforts need to be there as well to see any sort of benefit. Nutrition, exercise & water intake are always #1!!

Adaptogens! Long story short, adaptogens protect the body from toxic effects of stress. They specifically support the adrenal glands, which manage your hormonal response to stress and help you cope with anxiety & fatigue!

Core 21 is a cortisol reducing supplement, many of it’s ingredients containing adaptogens that help you get restful sleep and decrease stress levels.

Adrenal Restore is another supplement filled with adaptogens that help reset your adrenal glands, which are responsible for regulating MANY hormones, cortisol being one of them.

Harmony is a female hormone balancing supplement, with adaptogens Maca, Ashwaganda & chasteberry that work together to ‘harmonize’ hormones & allow women to be free the crappy symptoms that come along with our monthly cycles, improve energy levels, enhance fertility & clear skin just to name a few!

And of course you can always supplement with any adaptogen on it’s own, just make sure you put some time into researching where/how it’s made and if it’s the proper form of the herb.

Before I wrap this up, my final tip is to BREATHE. This sounds so simple but it’s incredibly helpful. Taking long, deep breaths as often as you can can really help release tension and calm you down. So right now, I want you to take 30 seconds to take some big, long, deep breaths.

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