This post is in partnership with Hancock Regional Hospital as part of their empowering women and children site. All thoughts, experiences, and opinions are my own. Be sure to check out their site for additional resources and support.
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#TRUTH: Life can be stressful AF. Who isn't looking for some quick and easy ways to cut stress from life?!? Personally I needed April's reminder as “National Stress awareness month” because my stress levels had been steadily climbing the charts and reached a pique the other week. I had a tightness in my chest, felt like I was going to cry any given minute, and basically spent way too many hours staring at my computer avoiding work and panicking about the direction of my life. Please tell me I'm not alone?! ??♀️??
Anyway, I knew I was heading in a bad direction and needed to turn my life around and reduce stress ASAP.
So here are the 10 quick and easy ways I'm using to cut stress from my life ASAP!
Be sure to share some of yours in the comments below!
Run your fingers through your hair.
The scalp has so many nerve endings and I'm going to assume most of us forget about on a daily basis. While it can be comfortable to throw your hair up in a messy bun or pony tail and forgetting about your scalp all day, try mixing things up this month! Take a minute or two each hour to get in there and really massage. If you can, close your eyes, breath deeply, and notice how you feel afterwards. It's a great way to bring fresh energy into the cranium and is often an area we neglect!
Essential oils on your ear lobes!
The truth is, studies of aromatherapy’s health benefits have so far shown limited effects, but the smell of essential oils seem to have a positive impact on mood and emotions. When it comes to reducing stress, a positive mood is a great place to start. Like your scalp, your earlobes have tons of nerve endings and are often overlooked! When you combine the mood boosting power of essential oils with the connectedness of the earlobes magic can happen! Next time you feel exhausted, frustrated, or just “Blah” grab your favorite essential oil and rub a little drop on your ears. I personally love peppermint and lavender or a blend of cinnamon, lemon, vanilla and clove.
Ask for help.
Sometimes we can't do all the things by ourselves – as much as we'd like to. The truth is, people need people. We need community and support in order to reach our fullest potentials and reduce stress. In fact, strong social ties have been associated with a lower risk of dementia, as well as lower blood pressure and longer life expectancy. Asking for help is a healthy habit and a sign of strength.
Be of service.
On the flip side of asking for help, you'll want to give it freely! When we are of service it brings in connection and sense of self worth. It allows us to realize how small and silly some of our stressors are. Being of service can really put things in perspective and increase an attitude of gratitude for our own lives.
Give hugs, hold hands, kiss your loved ones, get massages. When we touch, oxytocin is released – just one reason it's been dubbed both the “cuddle hormone” and “love hormone.” Oxytocin is a feel-good chemical in the brain that's been known to strengthen positive traits like trust and generosity and reduce things like anxiety and depression.
Incorporate nature as much as possible.
If you can get outside every day do it! My friends at Hancock Regional Hospital agree, “getting out in nature just helps to add that extra boost of energy and renewal that we all need from time to time.” If you can't get outside every day consider ditching the fluorescent lights in your office and opt for natural light and crack a window! Another way of bringing nature is to spring for some house plants to re-oxygenate your space.
Meditation has been linked to everything from helping with anxiety and depression, to helping with IBS and insomnia, and even may help with overall heart healthiness! Above all else though, people rave about it for reducing their stress levels! There's a saying you'll here during savasana at the end of most yoga classes, “remember you can return to this feeling at any moment in your day.” And a regular meditation practice is exactly with moving that awareness to the forefront of the mind. That no matter how chaotic the external world is, you can bring in a sense of calm and groundedness.
Use color to your advantage.
Colorology (or chromotherapy) are growing in popularity, and as someone who has worked with a color expert, I can say that it's really beneficial! Basically colors have different energy frequencies and we can use them to reduce stress and bring in so many healing properties to our life. For example, when I worked with the color expert, she told me to stop wearing black, it was causing me to “hide” and in a way, stunting what I wanted to put out into the world.
Since working with her, most days I opt for a light pink or purple shirt, because she said they would bring in a gentle loving energy that I needed in my life. But there were a few days I got dressed and went about my day, only to realize by the afternoon I'd accomplished nothing and felt crabby and annoyed. When I looked down at my shirt, every time I was wearing black! I was already a believer before, but after that I really made a conscious effort to take note of the colors I surrounded myself with during the day. If you feel yourself constantly frustrated, annoyed, or blocked you may want to google the effects the colors your wearing or surrounding yourself with are having on your psyche!
Dance it out
Dance is a great way to kick the sitting habit (read 24 more options here)! In fact, my friend at Hancock Regional Hospital made this awesome video of 25 options to kick the sitting habit, and I personally think all of these are great stress reducers to integrate into your life too!
True story: but reading not only can help you live longer, but it can also help reduce stress levels! Read all about it here.
Are you going to try reducing stress in your life?
What I love about these options, is that they can all literally be done with either a simple switch or in 7 minute increments for big changes! Seriously, reading for 6 minutes, meditating for 7 minutes, taking a quick walk around the block to get some “nature” in can lead to big changes! And how easy is it to change the color of your shirt or a blanket or sheets to bring in a new energy?! Let me know your favorite quick & easy ways to cut stress from your life in the comments!
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This post was originally published on 4/9/18