This is a freelance contribution by Jane Sandalwood. It’s a nice little encapsulation of the kinds of things we talk about more in depth here on Love Life Practice.
Stress is a trigger for so many issues – especially in terms of the toll it takes on living your best life, while trying to practice patience, and peace. Did you ever realize that stress also takes a huge physical toll on your body? Research by Healthline shows that stress can lead to many physical health issues, like headaches, a pounding heart, rapid breathing and tense muscles, which can all contribute to a pathway that leads you astray from your best life practices.
Getting a handle on stress is the only way to break through the barriers in your life that are keeping you from being the best version of yourself. When you are trying to break your bad habits and forge a new pathway to personal development, it’s crucial to find new routines that benefit your physical well-being. Focusing on this area of your life will lead to great improvements and ultimately help you to feel more in control. Here are 3 ways you can physically reduce stress in your life:
Stress causes your breathing to become much faster, stemming from the “fight or flight” reflex we all feel when under pressure. But when you breathe rapidly and your heart pounds extremely quickly, your body does not have enough time to convert the oxygen that you are inhaling into the carbon dioxide you should be exhaling. Thus, you need to calm yourself down by taking a deep breath, holding it in and exhaling slowly. Breathing properly and in a more natural, sensible manner will do great things for your body—and your sanity.
A second way to get physical and reduce your stress levels is to exercise. On average, a healthy adult should exercise 30 minutes per day, and this can include a range of activities, like yoga, walking, dancing, cycling or strength training. It is a well-known fact that physical activity and being active is essential to an individual’s mental, physical and emotional health. This is because exercising produces certain chemical changes in the brain that stimulate a release of endorphins—or feel-good hormones.
If you want to develop a new habit or routine that complements your physical wellness, you should set yourself challenges that are both measurable and achievable. Setting goals and attaining them will boost your self-esteem in the long term, which is constructive for the way you see yourself physically. Try to create challenges that inspire you to get a handle on your physicality and reduce stress levels at the same time. One example is to do 15 minutes of deep breathing and yoga each night before bed for one week. If you meet this goal, you can create a new ritual for next week.
By understanding the ways that you can rid yourself of stress, you can embrace your physical well-being in a manner that feeds into your total health and personal development.