With the holidays behind us and the New Year ahead, now is the perfect time to learn new techniques to keep stress at bay and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Since it is impossible to avoid stress completely, the following tips will help you cope with your stress and welcome in a peaceful 2019.
1 Breathe Deeply
- Develop an awareness of your breath.
- Are you holding your breath? Is your breath shallow? Where is the breath traveling within your body?
- Inflate the belly slowly as if expanding a balloon inside of it.
- Slow down your exhalation as you deflate this “balloon.” This is the key to becoming more relaxed and calming your nervous system.
2 Start Your Day with an Intention
- State what you want to achieve or accomplish when you wake up each morning. You may do this silently or say it out loud!
- Replace any negative, worrisome thoughts with this positive statement.
- For example, “I am calm, relaxed, and my life is in balance.” Remember, whatever we think becomes our reality so state what you want in a positive way.
3 Visualize a Positive Outcome
- Like an athlete visualizes his golf shot or free throw before approaching the ball, picture a positive outcome of what you want to happen when faced with a challenge.
- Imagine yourself overcoming the obstacle and paint a picture in your mind of how it will look and feel in your life when it manifests.
4 Embrace an Attitude of Gratitude
- Research shows that expressing our gratitude each day has a positive effect on our health and well-being.
- Take a moment to think about what you are grateful for in your life as each day begins.
- Experience the healing, de-stressing benefits of gratitude as you practice this technique. Families can benefit by individually expressing gratitude at shared meals together.
5 Lavender Up
- Research has shown that scents can dramatically alter our mood, and lavender is known to be one of the most calming and soothing scents.
- Lavender comes in all forms- soap, bubble bath, candles, etc. I highly recommend purchasing a quality grade of pure lavender essential oil.
- Inhale the scent as you open the bottle.
- Place a few drops on your wrist and/or neck. You can also place lavender on the bottoms of your feet to aid with sleep.
6 Get Movin’!
- Walk, dance, swim, run, bike, do yoga… just get moving.
- Exercise has been proven to increase endorphins and people who exercise benefit greatly from a more positive mood and lower rate of depression.
7 Laugh a Little… or A LOT!
- Read a funny book or watch your favorite sitcom or comedy. Not only is laughing enjoyable, but it also has aerobic benefits.
- When we laugh, we release stress-relieving hormones and balance our immune system.
8 Collect a Good Tribe
- Surround yourself with people who make you feel good.
- Distance yourself from individuals who drain your energy and feel obligatory in nature.
~These tips and techniques will equip you with a healthy arsenal of tools to use when you are faced with stressors. The breath, in particular, is one of the most immediate ways to calm yourself down in the face of immediate stress. Learning to breathe deeply will help you cope with stress and facilitate better health and well-being in your life. Take a deep breath and say hello to a healthy 2019!
Here’s to a Happy and Healthy New Year!