How to Reduce Stress [5 Lifestyle Tips for managing emotions naturally]
We all of our issues, however big or small, with mental health. And I’m so happy that we English are gradually moving away from the ‘stiff upper lip’ mentality and becoming more comfortable with sharing our feelings. I started therapy when I was 9 and have worked with a therapist on/off for various reasons ever since then. I know the value of therapy, but I also know the importance of lifestyle.My lifestyle is my lifeline, and without it I truly struggle. (And, yes I’m very aware that my ‘problems’ are first-world problems, but it doesn’t make them, or yours, any less real). I feel so lucky that I’ve learned tools and rituals that help me to stay relatively positive, balanced, and content. No matter what is going on around us, feeling anchored and supported by ourselves is, I believe, the greatest gift we can give ourselves. We have to look after ourselves, there’s no one else to do it for us.
MY 5 TOOLS TO FEEL LESS STRESSED
1 Meditation Meditation takes us out of our heads and helps connect us to the present. Most of the time when we’re feeling low, anxious, or fearful it’s because we are replaying an old drama, or making something- up about the future. As I often say to my clients, “We can’t change the past, and we don’t know what the future will bring, so the best use of our energy is to be present.” I practice 10-20 minutes of meditation every morning, and I can’t recommend more highly that you do the same. This video dives into my 3 fave meditation apps.
2 Essential oilsMy favourite oils to use when I’m feeling low are:
- Adaptiv, the calming blend
- Peace, the reassuring blend
- Balance, the grounding blend
- Cheer, the uplifting blend
- Wild Orange + Frankincense, the best diffuser combo (I have it on now). 4 drops of wild orange, which is so uplifting, and 2 drops of frankincense which is a grounding oil.
Aroma has a powerful influence over mood, and through the olfactory system, smell is directly linked to the brain.If you’d like to try a sample of all or any of the oils, just let me know here.
3 Healthy Food + Balanced blood sugar Whilst it’s easy to reach for sugar, caffeine, or alcohol (and sometimes I do) I know that it’s not a long-term solution. I try to find healthier versions of whatever it is I might be craving. My blog has lots of recipes like this vegan snickers bar, simple raw chocolate recipe, or comforting vegan mac n cheese. Without a doubt, what we eat is a MAJOR factor in our physical and emotional health. Have you ever seen a kid eat a rainbow coloured ice lolly, go from ‘calm’ to crazy within 5 mins? Yep. Consistently choosing whole foods, as close to the source as possible, as unadulterated as possible, is going to be a great support.
4 Mindset I’m so careful of what I allow to influence my mind because I’m so sensitive to it.
A scary movie can alter my sleep for days, seeing something sad can play on my mind for ages, hearing about things that ultimately I can do nothing about distracts me from the present and affects how I show up for others. I consciously choose uplifting music, motivating podcasts, and inspiring books. My fave book recommendation at the moment is The High Five Habit by Mel Robbins. Get it NOW!
I recommend you NEVER start your day with the news or your phone.
5 Exercise. Daily. In any way, you feel like. For me it’s sometimes a walk in nature, occasionally it’s a heart-thumping cardio routine, or a weighted workout, often it’s yoga. Exercise is proven to reduce stress and tension, calm the body and mind, increase happiness, and release positive mood hormones. Squeezing our muscles releases proteins that help to reduce depression and increase feelings of satisfaction. One of the reasons that I believe yoga is so powerful is that it combines the benefits of exercise, with the qualities of breath work and meditation. Yoga means union. Union of mind, body, and soul which brings us to be present, in our heart, not our head, and connected to who we truly are.
Yoga is often misunderstood. People either think you need to be really flexible to do it (No, it’ll just help you to become more flexible), or that it’s all about lying on the floor and isn’t a form of exercise (definitely not, you can get a good sweat on in yoga!) or that you have to spend an hour doing it to see any benefits (No, you can feel better from as little as 15 minutes of yoga). You’ll see for yourself if you join my 5 day yoga challenge, how just 15 minutes of yoga a day can increase your flexibility, help your mindset, create positive energy, and help you to feel in charge of your day. Starts 1st November at 6.30 AM!
I hope you find these tools and rituals helpful. If you are feeling stressed or anxious, please know you are not alone. Self-acceptance is the secret to life – especially when it comes to your mental health – take care and love yourself 💗