Tips to Tame Your Stress and Feel Like Yourself Again
I hope you are doing well and taking care of yourself as summer is slowly coming to a close!
I have been feeling the pull personally to be gentler with myself, and much more mindful about de-stressing each and every day in order to keep healthy and strong physically and emotionally. I figured that since I was feeling this pull, maybe some of you are as well. So this month I want to hone in on stress and why it is so important to manage it in a healthy and consistent way.
According to a study that analyzed cortisol’s effects on overall health, keeping your cortisol levels in check is crucial if you want to live and long and healthy life. Cortisol is your body’s main stress hormone. Think of it as nature’s built-in alarm system.
Cortisol plays an important role in many things that your body does:
- Manages how your body uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
- Keeps inflammation down
- Regulates your blood pressure
- Increases your blood sugar
- Controls your sleep/wake cycle
- Boosts energy so you can handle stress and restores balance afterward
If you are under constant stress, and have a hard time keeping cortisol levels in check, it can wreak havoc on your body leading to a shortened lifespan and:
- Anxiety and depression
- Heart disease
- Problems with digestion
- Trouble sleeping
- Memory and concentration problems
- Weight gain
In short spurts, cortisol can boost your immunity by limiting inflammation. However, if you have consistently high levels of cortisol, your body can get used to having too much cortisol in your blood, which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system.
Your science-backed cortisol reduction plan for the week
Monday: Submerge your face in a bowl of ice water when you wake up.
Tuesday: Go on a 60-minute walk in nature.
Wednesday: Practice 4 rounds of Box Breathing
Thursday: Look side-to-side for 30 seconds upon waking (bilateral eye movement)
Friday: Meditate for 20-30 minutes
Use these simple practices consistently each week and feel what this small bit of time and attention can do for your overall wellbeing.