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Most of us experience something within our day that can cause our stress levels to rise and once they’re elevated it can often take hours for them to return to a healthy level. Because stress impacts us in ways that we don’t often think about; it causes headaches, makes it difficult to sleep and then there’s the mood swings which I’m sure many of us are familiar with! But, they’re just the things that you notice. Did you know that stress can also change the way you breathe, increase your blood pressure and even slow down your digestion!
That’s just the tip of the iceberg too with many more long term effects that could be added to the list. So, how do we tackle the impact that daily stress has on our lives? I think that the answer is to arm ourselves with a few safeguards; practices that help us to change how we feel in stressful situations. The best thing is that you don’t need much to get you started. Try one or two of the following ideas - they’re all things that work for me - and see how you get on.
I don’t know about you but stress feeds my inner critic like nothing else. And in an attempt to tackle both at the same time, I use positive affirmations. What I love the most about these is that you can use them anywhere because simply saying them in your head is enough to have an impact on how you’re feeling.
Surround yourself with essential oils that naturally boost your senses. Try sweet orange essential oil to help calm your mind and raise a smile. patchouli essential oil to help focus your mind when you’re busy and rosemary to increase clarity and concentration.
For an aromatherapy boost throughout your day, take a look at our pulse point oils; they’re easy to use on the move and deliver a dose of natural therapeutic essential oils whenever you need them.
I’m guessing that you’re probably harder to yourself than you ever would be on anyone else? Try a little self compassion and allow yourself the grace and compassion that you would give someone else. If you’re not used to showing yourself that level of kindness then it can feel strange at first but it gets easier with time...here are a few more tips for cultivating kindness
Stress levels usually increase when life gets busy; and in turn self care takes a back seat. But, it’s the time when you need it most. It reminds me of one of zen proverbs “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you're too busy; then you should sit for an hour”
You don’t have to take it literally but you get the point. When we think we’re too busy, that’s when we need to take more care of ourselves. Real self care isn’t something that we do every once in a while, it’s found in those small daily actions that we take; choosing to eat healthy, taking time to be present, nourishing our souls with meditation or prayer...the list goes on. But, its found in those small conscious moments that are so easily overlooked and yet make a world of difference.
Practising yoga has taught me more than I can put into words and I know that my days wouldn’t be the same without it. I start every day on my mat, most days I enjoy a full class but others days I just enjoy my favourite poses. Either way I finish feeling grounded and clear about my intentions for the day ahead. Whether it’s something that you’ve tried before or would love to get started I encourage you to create the time you need. Try starting small like I did with a few simple poses every day and then build up to a short beginners class - I’m sure you’ll love it.
Giving yourself permission to focus on one task at a time can change your whole day. And, even though you might love your multi-tasking methods, I promise that once you’ve experienced the joy of uninterrupted focus; taking one task at a time, you’ll be ready to burn that multi-tasking badge of honour!
Distractions can be like bad habits though and so don’t worry if your mind tries to challenge you and pull at your focus. Mine still does it but you soon learn to turn down the volume and keep your attention in one place. Trust me, this is worth your time and you’ll reap so many rewards by mindfully focusing on one task at a time.
It’s important that you start where you can and not let reducing stress be another ‘should do’ on your list. Write a positive affirmation and keep it in your purse where you can see it, pause for a few mindful minutes on your lunch break to enjoy the world around you or simply be a whole lot kinder to yourself today. It’s all so simple to do. So, what action can you take today to reduce your daily stress and increase your sense of wellbeing?
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic 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.