Stress affects all of us, and indeed in small and healthy amounts stress can be beneficial, and even a pleasant feeling. However, too much stress can be overwhelming. If you cannot manage your stress it will overtake your daily life, leaving you feeling out of control and generally low. To avoid this happening, here are 12 easy ways for you to start managing your stress.
1. Breathe in, breathe out
You may have noticed that when you get stressed your body begins to tense up. This might appear at first in your shoulders, your fists, or your jaw. This tenseness also applies to your insides, meaning when your lungs get tighter you cannot take in as much oxygen as you need - which exacerbates the stress. Practicing rhythmic breathing will help distract your mind from your stressors while delivering oxygen to your body.
2. Massage it out
Stress results in tension in your body, which sometimes you won't even realise until it’s tended to. For example, if you carry tension in your back you can slowly but surely become hunched from bad posture. Massaging helps relax the muscles and relieve stress. You can step up your stress-free massage by using CBD massage oils, specially formulated for this purpose.
3. Work it out
For some people, a high intensity work out, or a sport like tennis or boxing is the best way to let the stress out. If this kind of physical exertion isn’t what you’re about, how about considering a calmer alternative - yoga. This pairs exercise between the mind and the body, using renowned breathing techniques.
4. Get outside
Wake up, commute, work, commute, home, sleep - and repeat. Our days can consist of spending the majority of our time inside, and for the most part this cannot be avoided. We can’t all quit our jobs to become wanderers! However, spending a little more time outside can be greatly beneficial - seeing as 50% of us suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. So try getting out into nature next weekend, or even just getting off the bus at an earlier stop to get some extra walking time.
5. Identify stressors
Knowing why you are stressed is one of the most important factors to managing and minimising it. Try to pinpoint why you’re feeling so low and burnt out, is it work, is it school? Perhaps there are problems within a friendship or relationship? Once you’ve figured it out, think about whether it might be time for change, and what can be done.
6. Learn to say no
Saying no is so much more powerful than most of us even realise. Your time and energy are limited and precious, so unfortunately it is unrealistic to say yes to everything - whether it is a work or social commitment. People pleasers in particular will struggle with this, but learning to say no is beneficial to everyone - and a far better solution then saying yes and constantly being too stretched and unable to deliver.
7. Talk to a professional
Don’t bottle up your feelings, this is one of the worst ways to try and deal with stress. Talking through your thoughts and feelings can be extremely therapeutic and help you make sense of what is happening in your life. Friends and loved ones are good to chat to, but don’t rely too much on them helping sort through your stuff; you don’t want to add stress to their lives, and trained professionals exist for a reason.
8. A new hobby
Mix things up a little but, break your routine and try something new. You have no idea how far a little bit of change can go - especially if you’ve been preoccupied with your job for as long as you can remember.
9. Try to get more sleep
High stress levels also means high cortisol levels. This can lead to a hormone imbalance, and a lack of essential hormones like serotonin and dopamine. Getting more shut eye can enhance and regulate the production of these hormones. Also, when we’re stressed we tend to be tired. CBD helps regulate the body’s chemical balance, which can promote a better quality of sleep.
The power of smell has an incredible impact on triggering our memories. This is due to the olfactory bulb in the brain which processes smell and signals an emotional reaction. Aromatherapy is a natural and easy way to manage your everyday stress.
11. Write it down
In the same way that speaking about things can help alleviate stress, writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you to process them. You might just need a small shift in perspective to help your worries from consuming you, and in this case starting a gratitude journal will show you all the small things to be thankful for - ultimately balancing or dwarfing your ‘big worries’.
12. Nature’s anti-stressant, CBD
Balance your body and your mind with the natural plant extract known as CBD (cannabidiol). Did you know that CBD works to manage homeostasis (the balance of chemicals in your body) which is why it’s a popular alternative for people who suffer with stress, sleep issues and anxiety. In keeping with the stress free theme, CBD is simple and straightforward to use - available in oils, capsules, raw hemp extract.
Going forward you are going to control your stress, and not the other way around. Everyone is different so not all of these tips will be perfectly suited to you or your lifestyle, but you can find this out by trying for yourself. Be careful not to rule anything out too soon! We wish you the best with your stress-free future.