5 Ways to Stress Less
At QOL we understand how stressful life can be! Stress can have many negative effects on the body Starting at your head – stress can trigger and intensify tension headaches, increase depression, and make it hard to sleep which can lead to insomnia. Other ways that stress can affect your health are:
- Heartburn – stress increases the production of stomach acid, which could lead to heartburn of make it worse
- Rapid breathing – when you’re stressed, the muscles that help you breathe tense up, which can leave you short of breath
- Weakened immune system – long-term stress weakens your immune system’s defenses, leaving you more vulnerable to infections
- Risk of heart attack – over time, an increased heart rate and high blood pressure damages your arteries, which could lead to a heart attack
- High blood sugar – stress causes your liver to release extra sugar (glucose) into your bloodstream, which over time puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes
- Fertility problems – stress interferes with the reproductive system in both men and women, and may make it harder to conceive
- Low sex drive – stress – and the fatigue that often comes with it – can take a toll on your libido
As you can see it is important to keep stress levels at bay – if you allow stress to accumulate it will have detrimental effects on your health. We would like to offer you 5 tips to reducing stress in your life.
Meditation – A few minutes of meditation per day can help ease anxiety. Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neutral pathways, making you more resilient to stress. Meditation is simple and free! Start by sitting up straight – plant your feet on the floor. Close your eyes. Focus your attention on reciting (out loud or silently) a positive mantra such as “I feel at peace” or “I love myself.” Place one hand on your stomach and sync the mantra with your breaths. Push any distracting thoughts out of your head.
Try to laugh more – Laughing doesn’t just lighten you mentally – it also lowers cortisol (your body’s stress hormone) and boosts brain chemicals called endorphins – which help your mood. Some ways we suggest to get more laughs in are getting together with friends whose company you enjoy, turn on your favorite TV show, or buy tickets to go see a comedy show.
Crank up the tunes – research shows that listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. Create a playlist of songs that you can use as a go-to when you feel yourself getting stressed out. Some people will want to blow off steam by rocking out to upbeat tunes – but everyone has their own music preference so choose whichever genre makes you feel the best.
Get Moving – any form of exercise including yoga or walking can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain release feel-good chemicals and by giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress. You can go for a quick walk around the block, take the stairs up and down a few flights, or do some stretching exercises.
Spend time with your pet – just being around an animal decreases your blood pressure. If you do not have a pet – try volunteering at an animal shelter or take a trip to the pet store!
We hope you follow these tips for reducing stress – it will have great effects on your health and quality of life!
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