Simple Ways to De-Stress

looking out over water  

Easy Ways to Handle Stress At Home

While you're juggling everyday responsibilities, life can get a bit hectic. Between work, home life responsibilities, staying healthy, and everything else, you can feel stress taking over. But caring for yourself doesn't have to be an added stress. Incorporating the tips below could have you feeling centered again. Table of Contents

stressed woman at computer desk Consequences of Stress on the Body

Stress, or rather bad stress, is the body's reaction to something it interprets as harmful. This can be something real or perceived as a threat. The body attempts to protect itself from this "harm" and because of this triggers its stress response. During a stress response, your
    • Heart rate increases
    • Breathing quickens
    • Muscles tighten
    • Blood pressure rises
And while stress, in small doses, is natural and can sometimes be helpful, prolonged stress responses can be harmful to your body. If stress goes ignored or unchecked, you may end up having problems including
    • High blood pressure
    • Heart disease
    • Obesity
    • Diabetes
Other effects of long terms stress can include -
    • Headaches
    • Overeating
    • Increased Depression
    • Insomnia
    • Risk of Heart Attack
    • Low Sex Drive
To lower the risks of developing these issues, use these easy techniques to better handle your response to stress.

How Can I Handle Stress Better?

breathing to reduce stress

Breathing Exercises

Controlled breathing exercises can bring oxygen into the body stimulating the brain and parasympathetic nervous system increasing a sense of calm and reduce an accelerated heart rate. You can practice some breathing exercises like "relaxing breath" while standing in line at a store or even in a meeting for work. 

While more focused breathing exercises, including the abdominal breathing technique, also known as Diaphragmatic Breathing, are best done in private in your own office, in your car, or at home where you can relax and even close your eyes while laying down. The easiest form of abdominal breathing technique is breathing in through your nose and out of your mouth.

But if you want to do more of a focused Diaphragmatic Breathing follow these steps.

  1. Sit in a comfortable position or lie flat on the floor, your bed, or another comfortable, flat surface.
  2. Relax your shoulders.
  3. Put a hand on your chest and a hand on your stomach.
  4. Breathe in through your nose for about two seconds. You should experience the air moving through your nostrils into your abdomen, making your stomach expand. During this type of breathing, make sure your stomach is moving outward while your chest remains relatively still.
  5. Purse your lips (as if you’re about to drink through a straw), press gently on your stomach, and exhale slowly for about two seconds.
  6. Repeat these steps several times for the best results.
If you want to incorporate breathing exercises with meditation we have a short guided meditation using the ARK crystals.

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Get physical to decrease stress

Get Physical

Hitting the road, treadmill, dancefloor, or spin class can do wonders for your stress levels. Physical exercise works with your body's stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, lowering them to a more manageable level.  Exercise also raises endorphins elevating your mood in the process. If you can make it happen, take the workout outdoors. Some studies have shown that the simple act of being outside can help reduce stress levels better than exercising indoors. And, as an added bonus, being in natural light can help to elevate serotonin levels, the feel-good hormone.

 

Hydrate to decrease stress

Drink Quality Water and Hydrate

We have heard that it is very important to get our 8 glasses of water each and every day. Water helps with clearer skin, better digestion, removing toxins, but did you know that being properly hydrated can also help to reduce stress?

Dehydration can lead to a variety of issues including increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

“Cortisol is one of those stress hormones. Staying in a good hydrated status can keep your stress levels down. When you don’t give your body the fluids it needs, you’re putting stress on it, and it’s going to respond to that” - Amanda Carlson, RD, director of performance nutrition at Athletes’ Performance
By keeping hydrated you can help to keep this stress hormone in check and be better prepared to face everyday problems. Drink ARK crystal Activated Water Using the ARK crystal to activate, or structure, your drinking water has been shown to have positive health benefits in a third party pilot study. Some benefits of drinking ARK structured water -
    • Improved Flexibility
    • Improved Balance
    • Improve Strength
    • Increased Endurance
    • Increased Processing Speed
    • Increased Psychomotor Speed
    • Improved Psychoemotional State (capacity of the brain/body to handle stress)

You can make your own water activation station to influence your water as you sleep. It can take as few as 20 minutes to impact water with an ARK crystal so you can drink ARK crystal activated water throughout the day.

 

Eat well to decrease stress

Eat Well

You intend to eat well, but the hustle and bustle of daily living can cause your eating schedule to get off track. The truth is, you're never to busy for good nutrition. While we tend to make poor food choices when stressed, healthier food choices can help to reduce stress. A balanced diet can counter the side effects of long term stress by stabilizing moods and improving the immune system.

Foods to eat to combat stress -

    • Warm Tea, especially chamomile
    • Dark Chocolate
    • Bananas
    • Fatty Fish
    • Milk
    • Nuts
    • Oranges
    • Avocados
    • Leafy Greens
Rest to decrease stress

Get Your Rest

Lack of sleep can compound the effects of stress on the body, leading to a higher risk of heart disease and depression. Making sure you get restful sleep consistently can reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, allow more REM sleep, which can help with memory, mood regular, and possibly reduce stress. But how can you be more rested and get better sleep? Ways to get better sleep -
  • Avoid caffeine in the afternoon
  • Don't exercise too late in the day
  • Have a nightly routine before going to bed
  • Use calming scents, like lavender essential oils or plants, in your bedroom
  • Give yourself a lymphatic massage

Staying hydrated, and getting enough water throughout the day don't just help fight stress but they can also lead to a better night's sleep and fight fatigue. Sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion, or irritability are all possible symptoms of dehydration. Even mild dehydration can also impact your ability to get a good night’s sleep making fatigue, sleepiness, and confusion throughout the day even worse.

 

Other Stress-Reducing Options

Other options to help you feel more rested can be to take time for yourself throughout the day. It can be a walk outside, listening to music, or even reading a favorite book. You can also schedule a massage or energy work if you need a little extra help.

If you decide to get a massage, or give yourself a massage at home, ask your therapist if you can add essential oils including lavender, orange, and bergamot to help relax and center you during the service. Hopefully, these easy to implement stress reducers find a way into your everyday life.

Reducing your stress levels on a regular basis can be better for your heart, decrease depression, regulate your mood, and improve your sleep.

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