My Uncomplicated Ways to Destress Your Life
by Alicia Dugar
Chronic stress is the world’s largest spreading epidemic. It’s a silent killer that can overwhelm the body’s systems including: musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous and reproductive. You can change your life now by avoiding stress in these 5 crucial areas. Continue reading this post to learn small, but powerful ways to restore your equilibrium back toward a calm state of mind. Refer back to this article as often as you need to effectively balance these key areas. The grass is greener where it is watered. The time is now to start investing in destressing. You deserve it!
Eliminate Negative Self-Talk
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Bulls**t!
Speaking words like “I’m not enough” and “I can’t” will stress you out of your potential for greatness. Words may be invisible, but like the wind, they can softly compliment or harshly tear through your life.
Instead of detracting from yourself, train your mind like you would to accomplish any new task. Positive affirmations rewire our brains similar to how exercise does our bodies. Say things like "I can!" and "I am the architect of my life!" For a list of other powerful affirmations you can try, check out this link.
Stop Running on Fumes
It doesn’t work for your car either!
Cheating yourself out of rest heightens the body’s perceived stress level. Unless you regularly recharge your own batteries, you will notice uneasiness, illness, and irritability.
Give yourself a break! Use your off days and down times to really rest, instead of packing commitments into your calendar. Plan to take a yoga retreat! This is a great way to practice channeling your energy in a positive way. The more you practice mindfulness, the more your body will return to a calm state even under duress.
Avoid Toxins in Your Diet
After all, you are what you eat.
Eating convenient or fast “food” while watching TV or scrolling through social media does not promote a healthy being. Also, studies show that multitasking while eating can lead to overeating and weight gain.
Look at what you’re eating… Yes, really! Look at its shape and color. Smell it. Think about its ingredients as you taste. Practice putting the utensils down in between bites, to mindfully follow the food from your mouth down—as far as you can feel it. I personally recommend checking out the Blood Type Diet—my favorite diet lifestyle plan because it accounts for the biological individuality of a person.
Remove Stuck Energy
Home is where the heart is, and the bed, and the kitchen.
Home base is where you go to feel safe from stressors of the world. This sacred space needs to stay free from negative and toxic energy. Have you ever tried to be productive at home when it needs to be cleaned? Yup, it’s hard as hell!
Learn exactly how clutter can create stress in your life and effective ways to declutter your sacred space by reading this article. Also try rearranging your space to feel at peace in your home or clearing out any negative vibes by smudging your space.
Think before Speaking
Because we can’t refund our words.
Being at odds with someone because of words that came out too soon is stressful. Often, we speak before considering our desired outcome.
Strong relationships help you deal with stress when it comes. So, keep your loved ones and co-creators close with effective communication to ensure a long, healthy and happier life. Take deep breaths throughout difficult conversations. Observe what is being said verbally and nonverbally. Speak honestly and gracefully. Learn tips for effective communication here.
Don't Mindlessly Drive
Wait, how did I get here?
You can forget to make important stops, and have to allot more time in your hectic schedule to accomplish things.
Instead of making calls, eating lunch, doing makeup and thinking about what you will do or have done...drive with awareness. Observe your surroundings near and far: vehicle colors, sizes and speeds; landscapes. Be in your body. Plant your feet firmly and evenly on the pedals and/or floorboard and sit with hips level, tailbone down. Use your senses to fully experience your journey, for example, sounds and smells.
Prevent Road Rage
Whose road is it anyway!?
Move! Get out of the way! People who have road rage put life-threatening stress on themselves and other drivers. Not sure if you have road rage, take the road rage quiz. Being unaware or reckless while operating 4,000+ pounds of machinery is dangerous to yourself and others. You risk getting a traffic ticket, being in auto collision, or worse.
Instead, drive the appropriate speed for road conditions; leave early if you need to. Take deep breaths, sit with both hips level, press your lower back into seat and engage your feet by spreading your toes. In other words, level your foundation to feel more stability in your entire body.
Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously
Why so serious?
Your workplace is where you spend quite a bit of time. If you allow that space and time to be filled with unnecessary stress and negative energy you're missing out.
In every area of your life, YOU are the creator of your reality. Whatever you do, be the best you can at it. Avoid participating in office drama. Take a walk outside without distractions— Yes, without social media, calls or texts. Where bright colors—hidden on your feet if you have a strict dress code. Take less working lunches. Adequately rest to perform at your best.
Alicia Dugar, RYT 200 teaches yoga internationally. Her yoga journey started with a Lupus diagnosis in 2009, immediately following a stressful freshman year at Rice University. Through yoga practice, Alicia learned to love herself into wellness.