Life is stressful. We all get stressed out. But don’t let it build up! Use these 5 ways to de-stress for a healthier body, soul and mind.
What’s on your mind right now? Is it sunshine and rainbows? Or is it that problem you had at your job, that issue going on with your family, the fact that you are up another pound since last week? It’s way too easy to get stressed out these days. Our society evens seems to encourage it, to wear your stress and business like a badge of honor! But the health ramifications aren’t pretty. So let’s all take a deep breath and talk about ways to deal with stress.
The effects of stress on the body
In case you didn’t know, stressing about your weight loss can actually prohibit your weight loss. Feelings of stress release the hormone cortisol, which puts your body into “fight or flight” mode. This means that your body wants to store fat in order to protect itself. Compounded with stress eating (which we’re all guilty of at some point), this causes major fat build up and storage. This fat is mainly stored in the belly area, covering up those fabulous abs of yours.
That’s not even close to covering the other effects of stress. Read more about The Sneaky Side Effects of Stress + Our Favorite Stress-Less Products.
So let’s all just chill out! With these 5 ways to de-stress, you’ll be well on your way to a more calm and healthy body and mind.
Write it all down
Whatever is stressing you out at the moment, write it down. Make a pros and cons list. Draw some angry doodles on that list. According to a study by Harvard Health, writing about your emotions can help to relieve feelings of stress and trauma. I’m don’t particularly enjoy journaling, but I love list-making. Whenever I’m feeling upset or overwhelmed, I make a to-do list or a list of things I’m grateful for. It totally helps!
Yes, I am giving you permission to punch something. I’m talking about kickboxing! I am a kickboxing instructor, so I am a bit biased. But, it’s actually proven! The SFIA found that boxing and kickboxing not only helped relieve feelings of stress, but also reporting feelings of empowerment and confidence in people who did it:
Sessions give kick boxers a growing feeling of power and control that is absent in their lives outside the gym. Even if they are losing control of other aspects of their lives, boxing allows participants personal autonomy and command over their own success.
You can even get the benefits of these workouts at home! Try this Boxing Conditioning Workout.
Adult coloring books are the new therapy, and they’ve become so popular because of their ability to help you relax and unwind. The first time I used one of these coloring books, I became so engrossed that I didn’t even notice that I had spent an hour and a half on this colorful creation! And think about – when you were coloring as a kid, were you stressed about anything? Nope.
Play with a puppy
Like you needed an excuse to play with puppies. Well, here’s even more reason to do so: pets help to relieve anxiety, result in fewer doctor visits, lower blood pressure, and more. Seriously! College campuses are now even having puppy rooms or dog days, where students can play with a puppy to relieve stress during finals. If you don’t have a dog of your own, visit a pet store and cuddle with a pug for a little while. I promise, you’ll feel a million times better afterwards.
Turn off notifications
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Turn off your phone notifications?! Unheard of! Before you start tweeting about how crazy that is, go ahead and try it. It’s proven that your smartphone stresses you out- the average person checks it at least 150 times a day! And those incessant notifications certainly don’t help. Turn them off for a day- if you think you can, turn your entire phone off! Living in the present (instead of the virtual) is much more beneficial.