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Six ways to help you manage stress

It’s important to find ways to help you manage stress, especially during these current times. Stress is a major contributor to disease, hence the word dis-ease. When you are stressed it can be very difficult to function. Anxiety and panic attacks will always cause havoc with your digestive system and that’s thanks to the gut-brain axis. This is the communication link between your gut and your brain. To give you an example, when you are hungry your gut signals to your brain that you need to eat and as a result you may feel hunger pains and sounds, knowing that you need to eat something. The communication link between your gut and your brain works on the same basis, but the other way when you are stressed. Thoughts have a direct relationship with your brain and your gut, so if you are stressed and overthinking something, then naturally your digestive system will become stressed, and its function will slow down. This can make eating challenging, because your body is not able to digest food properly.

To make a start, we have listed six ways to help you reduce your stress.

 

  1. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is a powerful technique that helps you to become present in the now. The now means that you are simply performing tasks for this time only. Have you ever just tried to eat without thinking? Have you ever tried to clean the house without thinking, instead

you concentrate on the activity using all your senses. This might sound a little unusual, so if you’ve not heard of mindfulness before, then I highly recommend buying a book about mindfulness. There are plenty on Amazon, even with some activities that can help you become more mindful.
Practicing mindfulness will help you to slow down. Most people have accidents because they are racing around, but if you slow down, then you are at less risk of accidents and also of noticing more in your life.

2.        Practice deep breathing. Most people breathe wrong. Yes, I did say that, I repeat – most people breathe wrong. This might sound strange especially when the average person breathes 20,000 breaths in a day. It’s a natural action that we barely ever think about, but over time we can develop poor habits when related to breathing. Practicing breathing could be a game changer in how you manage your stress levels. Most people breathe through the tops of their lungs. This can be critical if you have experienced some sort of trauma and you are struggling to breathe. It’s because you are not filling your lungs with oxygen enough and therefore starting to hyperventilate. To change the way you breathe, practice when you are sitting down. Practice breathing in through your nose and pushing out your lungs. Breathe from the lower part of your lungs, also known as the diaphragm. Imagine that as you are breathing in, your lungs are like giant balloons filling with air. See your lungs expanding out. Hold your breath for a second or too and then blow out the air from your lungs allowing them to collapse and pull back in. Again, think of a balloon releasing its air. This breathing exercise is excellent when you have experienced a trauma. For example, if you have just had an argument with someone, room yourself from the room or space where the other person is and go and practice your deep breathing.
Instantly, you will feel better. Physiologically this helps to reduce your heart rate and increases oxygen into your body, allowing you to calm down.

3.         Making sure that you have plenty of exercise is a great way to reduce your stress. Either take it out in the gym or go for a good stiff walk to get rid of any excess energy or bad mood. It’s amazing how much you feel better when you just get out and do something. Getting out into a green space is an excellent way to calm down. The colour green is renowned for having a positive calming effect on your mood, so heading to the park, forest or woods regularly will ensure that you have good balance.

4.      Eat a good variety of natural foods, especially vegetables. Try to eat at least 10 different types of vegetables and fruits daily. Be organised, get your shopping delivered or write a list before you go of all the foods you are going to buy. Do some research before you go shopping of the meals you’d like to cook and eat. This can really help you to buy what you need, especially the foods that are good for you, and reduce the amount you buy of the harmful carbs and sugary foods. Stay away from fizzy drinks and sweet foods, because these are go to foods when you are feeling down, so remove them from your house and you won’t be tempted. If you find that hard, because of children in the house, then maybe you need to consider what they are eating too.

5.      Drink a glass of red wine daily. Yes I said it! It’s okay to drink red wine daily, as long as it’s only a glass. A glass of red wine has been proven to help reduce stress, as well as improve your immune system and help your heart health too. Thanks to the antioxidants in red wine and also the fermented grapes, you can give your gut health a boost as well as your mood. Balance is the key!

6.       Take time for meditation and prayer. Your spiritual health is vital to your overall health and wellbeing. So many people believe that the world is eternal and your life is only short. Actually it’s the opposite your life is eternal and the world will soon pass us by, so taking care of your spiritual health is important. Meditation and prayer can help to bring you closer to God, but you need to make sure you are praying to God. Many people believe that praying to the Universe or to angelic beings is prayer, but it is God who made all things, so all prayers must be directed to God. Praying and meditating is particularly useful when you are unwell. If you pray properly to God, then He will hear you and answer your prayers when He chooses. But, if you don’t pray, then He doesn’t know you are here. Take time for this, because we are all souls living in human vessels, and our time on earth is only very short, so make sure you are praying for the right things.

Our final thought is turn off the news and stop reading the news. Be very careful about what you allow into your life because these things are not possible. Of course, it’s important to stay abreast of current events, but do not consume yourself in them. Let go of all worldly things and do not let them control you, because you cannot take on the world’s problems. You must work on your own spiritual, emotional, and physical health. As always, if you have

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