Dorothy may have had lions and tigers and bears to contend with in Oz… but today's women have to cope with a lot too. Family, and traffic and deadlines, oh my! Sometimes our lives can seem like a never-ending journey into the land of stress. Want to relax? Make yourself a cup of herbal tea, take deep cleansing breaths and read on girlfriend!
A practice of meditation, yoga, chi gong or tai chi can bring balance to your life. These practices slow your heart rate, activate your vagus nerve and help to relax your tight muscles. In addition, such activities can offset the negative effects of your body's overly activated stress response (hello cortisol) if practiced regularly. What's more, body-mind-spirit work can help you to control excessive worry.
The hardest part for most busy babes is making the time. If you can't squeeze a regular tai chi, chi gong or yoga class into your schedule, start by meditating for five minutes in the morning and five minutes as you're lying in bed at night before sleep.
One of the best ways to immediately reduce stress is to schedule your entire day. Most email servers offer an online calendar option. I highly recommend Google Calendar, which is the one I use. It sends my daily schedule and appointment/task reminders to my smartphone ensuring that I take care of everything and never miss an appointment. I schedule in everything from my workout hour to my "me-time" every day.
Refined carbs such as white rice, starchy vegetables, bread and baked goods increase your cortisol levels (a stress hormone). Bumping up your intake of omega-3 fatty acids (found in cold water fish, flaxseed, fortified foods and supplements) helps to keep the stress hormone, cortisol, in check. In addition, vitamin B5 helps to nourish your adrenal glands, so get your recommended five milligrams daily; eat eggs, whole grain cereals and broccoli, or take a quality B-complex supplement.
Physically active people feel less stressed, anxious and depressed. Exercise can increase your levels of norepinephrine (a chemical that helps the brain deal with stress more efficiently). Alice Domar, Ph.D., founder of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health in Waltham, Massachusetts, says, "Ideally, we should spend 30 minutes exercising five times a week, but every bit of activity helps." Make a playlist filled with your favorite songs, put in your ear buds and go for a brisk walk outside in nature or if the weather isn't cooperating, dance!
To-do lists never disappear. Once you scratch one task off of your to-do list, a new one inevitably gets written on the bottom. It's a fact of life! Finding small pockets of rest and relaxation time entails thinking twice before taking on new tasks or new obligations. "No" is a complete sentence. When put on the spot to do or go somewhere, make it a rule not to give an answer right away. Instead say, I will check my calendar and get back to you. This will give you the time and healthy space necessary to weigh all of your options and decide if you really want to add this task to your list.
Lisa Marie Rosati is an Amazon International Best Selling Author, International Health, Wellness & Lifestyle Goddess and Health Expert for www.sharecare.com. Lisa teaches women around the globe how to ROCK their Goddess, get their sexy back, attain optimal holistic health, ignite their mojo and create a kick-ass life through their Divine Feminine Gifts at her website, www.LisaMarieRosati.com.
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