Stress is a physiological and psychological reaction to any demanding situation. It has been found that music can lower cortisol levels in the body, reduce fatigue, and increase well-being. The Mayo Clinic released a study that found that people who played music for at least an hour daily have increased longevity rates as well as cognitive benefits. As these cognitive benefits improved, it was also found that the frequency of depression decreased in those studied.
There is nothing more exhausting than feeling the stress of trying to get everything done and not being able to. This can cause a person to feel both mentally and physically drained, which in turn will lead to procrastination. Below are six ways that you can reduce your stress levels.
Taking some time each day to just sit in silence and focus on your breathing can help reduce the amount of cortisol released in your body. When you practice mindful breathing, you are slowing down and being more present in the moment. Not only will your stress levels be reduced but it will also help with any anxiety you may feel. This is a great time to meditate.
2) Days Off / Recharge
Taking time off work will not only cut down on your stress levels but it can also help you to be more productive when you are working. When you take time off to go on vacation or just have some downtime for yourself without any obligations, it can help recharge your mental batteries so when you go back to work you are not more tired and stressed. Taking time off can cortisol levels in the body, reduce fatigue, and increase well-being. If you are experiencing significant stress but cannot take days off - take breaks during work.
Our bodies like to alternate between periods of activity and periods of rest. Working hard and working smart is vital to staying productive all day long. So if you take time out to do something fun or even just go for a walk during your workday, you will find yourself more alert and able to get more done at work without feeling overwhelmed by being there too long. Staying focused on the task at hand can be difficult but when you give your some mental breaks, your productivity will increase.
Yoga is a practice that was developed in ancient India. It is a physical, meditative, and spiritual discipline. Benefits of yoga include improved flexibility, balance, and concentration; better stress management skills; improved self-confidence; an increase in energy; more restful sleep patterns; relief from depression and anxiety.
A study done by John Hopkins University in 2014 found that the yoga group had significantly lower levels of salivary cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone released by your adrenal glands in stressful situations and it has been found to be very high in those with depression. The study also found that after four days of doing yoga, over half of the participants experienced a significant reduction in depressive symptoms.
Exercise helps your body feel better and lowers cortisol levels in the blood stream, which can cause headaches or high blood pressure if not reduced. It also releases endorphins that make you happy! Endorphins are a naturally occurring chemical in your body that make you feel good. This way, when you’re feeling stressed out, you can give yourself some time to exercise and let the endorphins kick in.
Exercise is also a great way to take your mind off things that might be causing stress and put it on the positive effects of doing something for yourself! Your body will thank you later with less aches and pains, increased self-confidence, and better health!
Studies have been conducted to show the effects of music on stress. One study found that individuals who listened to music while exercising had lower cortisol levels. They also had lower perceived effort and increased pleasure, leading to higher enjoyment. There was less muscle tension and feeling of fatigue, while feelings of well-being increased. Another study found that those who were exposed to music had improved cognitive function including better memory and verbal fluency. They also experienced less depression and anxiety causing a decrease in the use of pain medication.
The Mayo Clinic released a study that found that people who played music for at least an hour daily have increased longevity rates as well as cognitive benefits. As these cognitive benefits improved, it was also found that the frequency of depression decreased in those studied.
Music can also help reduce the busyness of your brain that often reduces productivity and increases overthinking and stress.
6) Maintaining a schedule
In order to reduce stress, it is important that you maintain a schedule.
Scheduling your day reduces stress and distractions because it gives you predictability and you feel more prepared to tackle certain tasks. There is also less unknowns which will reduce anxiety.
Balance out tasks into manageable components that are easier to complete. This helps you not to dwell on or feel overwhelmed by the tasks you didn't get done. In Bryan Tracey's Book: Eat The Frog he talks more ab out this. It not only reduces stress but also increases productivity.
8) Mindful Nutrition
Being mindful of what you eat can make a big difference in how your body feels and functions.
Start by putting down your phone during meals or at least try to limit screen time to half an hour daily. Your eating experience should be one where you are present. Pay attention to the taste, texture, aroma, and color of your food. This will give you a better idea of how foods affect your body on both a physical and energetic level. It is not good to sit there eating without even tasting it! The more mindful of what you eat, the better choices you will make leading to much healthier eating habits that help reduce stress over time.
Try making more yummy and healthy green juice smoothies!!! They are amazing for your health but it is very important to choose the correct ingredients so you don't stress your body and cause indigestion.
You can also relieve stress by addressing your micro-nutrition (mineral and vitamin deficiencies)
Some of the following vitamins and minerals are great for reducing stress:
-->Selenium (helps you regulate your cortisol levels)
-->Vitamin D (reduce inflammation)
-->Omega-3s (can help regulate mood and reduce stress)
Lasting Effects of Stress on Your Body
Living with stress has a long-lasting impact on your body and can lead to chronic conditions. Stress is the release of hormones in response to events that cause excitement, fear or tension. It can result in constricted blood vessels, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure and increased breathing rates.
With continued stress, the immune system becomes compromised which increases the risk of injury or infection.
Studies have shown that those who experience chronic ongoing stress are more prone to cardiovascular disease, intestinal diseases and depression.
This doesn't even include a complete list of "somatic" (physical) symptoms you can experience on an ongoing basis. Just the toll it takes on your immune system is horrendous meaning: more colds, flu's, viral illnesses, etc.
Lower your stress and you will find so much about your life improving.