Highly Effective Ways to Lower Stress Naturally

Stress is remarkably damaging to our mental and physical health. Even though we know how serious it is, most of us can’t seem to find an effective way to get rid of it (or at least reduce it). Here are six all-natural, healthy, and highly effective ways to reduce chronic stress in your life.

1. Exercise
You’ve probably heard this one before, but exercise is a marvelous stress reliever. Exercising releases endorphins, which are natural compounds in your body that reduce stress and pain. You don’t have to do strenuous or intense workouts to experience this benefit. Try to be physically active every day, whether it is a brisk walk in the sunshine, swimming, or weightlifting at the gym. You might be surprised at how good it makes you feel.

2. Natural Adaptogen Supplements
Adaptogen supplements are natural herbs that help your body adapt to stressors in your environment. A common adaptogen is Ashwagandha. Although the stress response might feel as though it’s limited to your mind, your entire body responds to stress. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, you might have difficulty focusing, and you start breathing rapidly. Adaptogens help calm the nervous system down and are completely natural.

3. Schedule in “Me-time”
Although life can get overwhelmingly busy, don’t forget about yourself. Scheduling in “me time” is equally as important as that business meeting or lunch with friends. Take time at least once a week (or as often as your schedule allows) to relax and do things that calm you down. Read a book, have a bath, meditate, or watch a funny movie, and don’t cancel on yourself!

4. Get Enough Good-quality Sleep
I can’t stress how important getting enough sleep is for your overall wellbeing. Getting enough quality sleep is proven to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress significantly. You probably know how irritated, frustrated, and upset you can get when you feel exhausted and haven’t slept enough. Make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

5. Eat Healthy, Whole Foods
The foods you eat can have a tremendous impact on your stress levels— both positive and negative. If you eat processed, sugary junk foods, you will notice that your feelings of stress will only get worse. A diet full of real, nutrient-dense, whole foods can counteract the damaging effects of stress on your body and can help you feel significantly better. Healthy fats (especially omega-3 fatty acids) found in salmon, avocado, nuts, and seeds can help regulate levels of cortisol, your stress hormone.

6. Calming Essential Oils
Essential oils are powerful and natural remedies for numerous health problems, from indigestion to stress. Lavender essential oil is well-known for its calming properties. You can put this oil in an aromatherapy diffuser or apply it topically to help you relieve stress and sleep better. Rose oil is also a powerful calming oil that can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. However, be careful as essential oils are very potent, and you don’t want to use too much.

Daylight Savings Time is coming up on Sunday, November 3rd.

You’ve likely already noticed the sun setting earlier, shrinking the daylight hours day by day.

One way you can ease your body into this seasonal change is to go to bed 30 minutes – 1 hour earlier than usual for the week or two leading up to November 3rd.

Try taking a magnesium supplement (like the Natural Calm drink) before bed to help relax your body throughout this change.  Strive for relaxing night-time routines to help your body learn its new routine.

Allow yourself to explore how rest and rejuvenation can nourish you this season.

 

 

 

What’s your average number of hours you sleep per night?

Everyone is diverse and has different needs, but it seems the average recommendation for a good nights sleep is between 7-9 hours.

Here’s how to get to a sleep schedule and stick to it:

  • Begin a sleep schedule if you don’t already have one.
  • Adopt a bedtime routine that helps to relax you.
  • Avoid caffeine or alcohol that may disrupt your sleep.
  • Ditch the electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

 

 

 

 

Do you prefer sleeping with white noise or silence?

Deep and restful sleep is so crucial for your wellbeing, and I love hearing all the unique tricks everyone uses to sleep well.  Some love still and silence, while others sleep better with a sound machine or a noisy fan.  What’s your preference?

Personally, I sleep best with silence.

Why You Might Have Brain Fog

and How to Clear it Up

Brain fog can be characterized by a lack of concentration, an inability to make decisions, frequent headaches, and nausea, to name a few. Is this something you struggle with regularly? A few common causes of brain fog could range from a nutrient deficiency, lack of proper sleep, ingesting an abundance of sugar, a thyroid condition, or even depression. Inactivity and chronic stress can also unleash brain fog, so there are a lot of factors at play when nailing down what’s causing your brain fog.

Luckily, you don’t have to keep your head in the clouds for too long. Here’s what you can do about it.

Try intermittent fasting
It’s well-known for helping you lose stubborn weight, but intermittent fasting can also improve your neurological well-being. You can ease into it by extending the timeframe between the last meal you eat in one day and the first meal you eat on the next day. A popular intermittent fasting method is 16:8, which means you’re fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window. For example, this would pan out by eating dinner at 7 pm and not eating again until 11 am the next day.

Avoid sedentary behavior
Through no fault of our own, many of our jobs require us to log long hours behind a desk. Increased activity levels are known for boosting your mental acuity, so even if your schedule truly is packed, there are still things you can do to get moving. Take a 10-minute walk around the office a few times a day to stretch your legs and get your blood moving, or spend your lunch break getting some activity in. You can even invest in a DeskCycle, and you can even get a workout in AT your desk. It’s a small under the desk bicycle that allows you to “ride” a bike while seated at your desk.

Sleep on it
I don’t need to tell you your body needs enough sleep to function properly. Rest is one of the most crucial aspects of your overall health, so get that sleep you need by going to bed a little earlier every night until you’re getting more Zzz’s. If you have trouble sleeping soundly, investigate some natural ways to get a proper nights sleep, and see what works best for you.

Get into meditation
It can be hard to shut off the noise in your head, which is why many people feel like giving up when they first try meditation. Instead, download some healing frequencies that help you tune into your mind. There are also some fantastic apps you can download on your phone, such as Headspace and Calm, which can help you become a meditation pro.

Make the food you eat count
Food really is the way to balance your health. You need to make sure you are getting enough of the food your brain needs to work optimally. Eat omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and whole foods loaded with vitamins and minerals for your best brain health. Try adding some MCT oil into your morning coffee or taking it a step further for some “bulletproof” coffee (google it, it sounds strange, but it wakes up your brain in a snap!)

When most people focus on their health, they often put more emphasis on their physical aspects. But well-rounded health comes from balancing both physical and mental. Give some of these tips a shot and see what helps lift the brain fog for you.

How much sleep do you usually get on a regular night?

It’s remarkable how many people struggle with getting quality sleep.  Whether it’s having troubles falling asleep, not getting tired until late, poor sleep quality once you do get to sleep, or waking up frequently throughout the night.  Which of these do you struggle with?

Drop the emoji below that you relate with:

🛌   I sleep great – no problems here!

💤   I struggle falling asleep

😴   I wake up a lot at night

How Eating When Stressed-Out Can Actually Cause Weight Gain

Wouldn’t it be easier if we craved a large veggie-filled salad when we’re stressed? Unfortunately, it seems to be the opposite — we tend to look for comfort in food when we’re stressed out or anxious. Not only do our choices seem to change when we’re stressed, but our body actually processes food differently when we’re under stress.

This is called the fight or flight mode. Your hormones are naturally programmed to release chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol when you feel stressed. Elevated amounts of these hormones regularly give us feelings of hunger, putting us on an endless cycle of reaching for comfort foods and eating more than we need.

Another side effect is a slower metabolism. Those stress hormones being released regularly slows down the metabolism. Because stress messes with our brain’s wiring for rewards and our cortisol levels trick us into wanting more fat and sugar, we automatically head toward those comfort foods during times of stress.

And finally, one of the most significant factors for making poor eating choices when you’re stressed out is lack of sleep. Lack of sleep affects the chemicals that control your appetite, which can begin another seemingly endless cycle of the hamster wheel. Make sleep a priority. Aim for 7-8 hours a night, even if you have to rearrange the schedule you’re accustomed to.

But now that you know where your stress is taking you, you can do something about it. First of all — name your stressors. What are the top things that cause you to stress? Comment below.

It’s important to fit exercise into your schedule, even if all you have time for is a brisk 10-minute walk. When you do sit down for a meal, practice mindfulness instead of zoning out in front of your phone or the television.

Stress is something that we can’t eradicate completely, but we cause a lot of the stress we undergo. For example, we feel stressed because we’re unorganized, unprepared, and our home is in disarray. These are all very common reasons for being under stress, and they’re so fixable! Make a plan to tackle the things that are causing you stress, and start chipping away at them.

You’ll be amazed at how much your digestion improves, your sleep quality improves, and you’ll feel lighter.

What’s one thing you know you need to do to improve your health?

The thing is, we don’t need to be told what to do to improve our health.  We know the basics — drink enough water, eat whole foods, exercise, get enough sleep, have healthy relationships, etc.

Putting one foot in front of the other is the absolute most important thing we can do to begin reforming our health.  What’s the one thing you know you need to start working on?

Hopping into bed without turning your mind down a few notches will leave you tossing and turning through a restless night of poor sleep.  Your brain works hard enough during the day, help it to turn off at night adequately.

If you generally look over at the clock and realize it’s past your bedtime, try setting a timer this week to remind you to slowly make your way to your bed calmly and intentionally.

Are you a bedtime reader or phone scroller?

Have you tried a weighted blanket?

These weighted blankets have been around for quite a bit, but have gained mainstream traction in the last year or so.  You can now even buy one on your next Target run on the blanket aisle.

These blankets help ground you, ease anxiety and help you sleep deeply.  You can get them in all sorts of different weight ranges — and you should choose your blanket weight based on your body weight.  Aim for between 5-10% of your body weight when choosing the right blanket weight.

So, have you tried one yet?! What was your experience?