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In a busy modern world, it’s common to experience stress at some point or another. And whether it’s a daily or weekly occurrence for you, experts are in no doubt that it harms our mental and physical wellbeing. Most of us soon know when our lives have become a little too stressful; we experience headaches, mood swings and find it difficult to sleep. But did you know that the impact of stress goes much further and it can also slow down our digestion, increase blood pressure and even change how well we breathe.
The list goes on and so it’s safe to say that reducing daily stress is something that we could all benefit from. But, where should we start? Well, seeing as we’ll always run into stressful situations it makes sense to me that if we can learn to manage ourselves and how we respond to daily stress, then we can learn to stay calm no matter what our day brings.
With that in mind, here are a few simple tips to help you reduce daily stress; try choosing one to get started with and as that one becomes easier, then pick another - with regular use you’ll soon notice the difference.
CHANGE YOUR WORDS
When stress hits, our inner self critic suddenly gets very loud and often sparks a spiral of negative thoughts that are so easy to get caught up in. When you hear the negativity begin, imagine turning down the volume on those thoughts - make them as quiet as possible. Then, balance them out with kindness. Remind yourself that what you’re feeling is temporary; it will change because everything in life does. Create a positive phrase or affirmation that you can repeat silently to yourself when stress appears; try “I am safe and what I am feeling is temporary”.
Meditation is proven to help reverse the effect of our fight or flight response to stress. If it’s not a practice that you currently use then I encourage you to give it a try; even a few minutes can make a world of difference. Even if you can only find a quiet moment to take three deep breaths or mindfully watch the clouds pass by through your office window then please do. It’s these small moments that teach us to enjoy a slower pace of life and appreciate the little things. To enhance your meditation practice try one of our natural Soy Wax Meditation Candles.
Much of the stress that we feel is a result of something outside of us and often it’s something that we can’t change. The solution? Let it go. The alternative will only create additional stress and harm to your wellbeing. So rather than ruminating for hours (or days) over something that cannot be changed, turn your attention to something positive in your life and you’ll soon feel the stress fall away.
Again, this is proven to help reduce stress and it doesn’t have to complicated. Take a walk at lunch time, wander out with the dog after a long day at work or grab your mat and enjoy a new yoga class. Exercise costs nothing, is simple and every minute helps your mind body and spirit manage daily stress.
ANCHOR INTO THE PRESENT
After experiencing a stressful event, our minds have a habit of replaying every detail and then we begin running all of the ‘what if’s’ through our mind. To keep stress under control you have to shut this down as soon as possible because your mind doesn’t know the difference between experiencing the actual event and the replay. This means that every time you replay it in your mind, it’s like experiencing it all over again and your stress response gets triggered. Instead, anchor yourself into the present by focusing on your breath, listening to the sounds around you or repeating your favourite mantra or affirmation.
These are all small steps that you can take to reduce your daily stress levels but if you feel that stress has progressed to the point where you need more help then please seek out a medical health practioner or alternative therapist.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.