Stress has taken on a whole new meaning these days.
If you were stressed before, you may be experiencing an exponential growth in your anxiety levels. This is not good.
We actually experience two kinds of stress. The good kind happens when you are excited as a result of meeting your first grandchild or buying a home. The bad kind happens when you’re triggered and your body goes into ‘fight or flight.’ Unfortunately, the human body doesn’t know the difference. Your body can’t tell if your stress is from joy (good), or terror (bad), both of which are perfectly normal and OK. Issues arise when stress persists and doesn’t go away, such as we may be experiencing now.
Stress that doesn’t go away is chronic and disrupts our body’s natural balance. If not addressed, this can lead to less than optimal health and increased susceptibility to illness. Not a good thing in normal times, and especially bad given our current situation. In an ideal world, our bodies easily transition from ‘fight or flight’ to relaxation. The human body intuitively knows how to do this. With chronic stress, the body stays in ‘fight or flight’ and keeps releasing stress hormones because it doesn’t know when to stop. Over time, you build up resistance to these hormones and, eventually, your reserves will become depleted and your body will shut down.
As you can imagine, finding ways to relax and reduce anxiety is crucial!
Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Number 1 is exercise! It releases endorphins, which boost energy and mental health. Exercising also makes you feel happier. I know when I exercise in the morning, it sets my energy in a positive way for the entire day.
- Practicing yoga can decrease stress and enable you to cope better with anxiety. Over time, Yoga reduces inflammation and improves both sleep and overall quality of life.
- Reducing stress is one of the main reasons people begin meditating. Other benefits include enhanced self-awareness, improved emotional health, and greater inner-peace.
- Take a break from social media and television.
- Stop watching the news for a while.
- Read a book.
- Write a book.
- Start a journal of your quarantine life. This is a great activity for kids as well! We are experiencing an unprecedented event in current history. People will want to look back at the daily activities of this time, how we were feeling, what we were thinking, and how we all managed through it.
- Plan your schedule so you have routine.
- Unclutter your home.
- Prioritize tasks so you focus on one thing at a time
What’s also helpful is to identify what causes you to feel stressed.
This is different for everyone. Take some time to reflect and identify your sources of stress. Try keeping a journal for a week or two, specifically focused on when you feel anxious and what is happening around that. This practice may open up some things you never would have considered otherwise. Once you become aware of what triggers your stress, you can take appropriate steps to minimize it.
Sending you positive vibes, good health, and much love.