The Best Anti Stress Tips For Women

diet & lifestyle May 20, 2019

Need some anti stress tips pronto? I get it.

There’s work (that you probably don’t like), difficult relationships, kids that need attention, study, that bloody exercise routine you're meant to be following and so many bills that the fridge magnet isn’t strong enough to hold them all up. *sigh*

We all experience stress for different reasons.

But your body and my body react to stress in the same way – by producing cortisol and sending us into ‘fight or flight’ mode.

High Cortisol and the inability to relieve stress leads to serious health problems

Our hormones become imbalanced, our immunity is weakened, our menstrual cycles become irregular, we somehow react to every food under the sun and we can’t sleep at night but feel tired all day...

Can you relate?

Well kudos to you sister! You’re here because you’re actively seeking ways to relieve stress and that’s a big step.

I’m not being patronising, I’m being serious.

Most women's eyeballs glaze over when they’re advised to lower their stress. ‘Ok sure, thanks, I’ll just add “find time to meditate” to my To Do list, because you know, it's not already long enough 🙄...

Oh, don’t get me wrong, meditation is a GREAT option (and we’ll chat about it down below), but this post goes far beyond meditation.

In this article

I'm going to show you how to relieve stress "in-the-moment", how to prevent it from occurring in the first place and of course, how to reduce its effects on you.

As a Trained SD Practitioner, I have a very good understanding of the effects that stress has on the body and how to mitigate this.

Ready? Lets dig in! 

In-the-moment stress relief

When you’re in the midst of something nerve-wracking and you literally feel your body going into a state of stress, here’s what to do:

Instant anti-stress technique #1

Conscious breathing.

Slow, deep breaths x 3.

In your head, say the words ‘iiinnnn’ as you draw the air into your lungs and ‘ooouut’ as you exhale all the negativity from your body. If your still tense, do it again.  

This process tells your body that it's safe so the 'fight or flight response' is switched off and you can calm down. It also distracts your mind from the problem so you can address it from a new emotional state.

Instant anti stress technique #2

Catch your thoughts and reframe them.

Really think about this. What is causing you stress? It’s not your job, it’s not your bills and its certainly not those jeans you don’t fit into. It’s your thoughts about those things.

- What pessimistic thoughts are you playing on repeat? You need to reframe them.

“This is never ending” becomes “this will pass” or “things always work out”

“There’s nothing I can do” becomes “what's the first step I need to take?”

“This is a really big deal” becomes “will I still care about this in a week or a year?”

Reframing allows you to take your power back and gives you a chance to put things into perspective.

Now that you have these 2 in the moment techniques, let’s look at a long term approach so we can minimise the stress your exposed to in the first place.

Relieving stress by reducing your exposure to it

A little bit of tough love is called for here. Don’t be offended…

You need to take control of your day and your life. You are responsible for the choices you are making. Below are a few examples of area’s you may need to reassess.

  • Learn to say no and stop over-committing.
  • Avoid people who make you feel stressed (you know, that person who makes you feel crappy or drained every time you see them)
  • Stop watching the news if it makes you worry about the world
  • Don’t argue about pointless things
  • Prioritise and set boundaries by cutting your daily to-do list down to 3 goals and then start with the most important thing first.
  • If you honestly hate your job, get a new one. Staying there is a decision you are making. Can’t afford to leave because it pays so well? You can decide to cut your expenses.

Anti stress by streamlining your life!

Have you heard of decision fatigue?

It's where your brain gets a little more tired with each decision you make during the day. So by 7 pm, the quality of your decisions have seriously deteriorated.

It's why you know what to wear when you wake up but can’t decide which dress to wear out for dinner. And why you decide on an Italian restaurant when you know eating gluten makes you bloated and cranky.

This is where streamlining comes in! Fewer decisions means you'll make better choices!

  • Automate your bill payments, & your online groceries.
  • Buy a robot vacuum instead of buying another new handbag.
  • Cook double batches of everything. Cook once eat twice!
  • Find out your sleep chronotype so you know when you’ll be most productive and then schedule everything!
  • Turn off notifications and batch your work (ie check emails once a day, not every time it beeps at you)
  • Learn about the 80/20 rule and see where you can apply it
  • Never use the snooze button, its wasting your valuable time. Either get up or set the alarm later and utilise that sleep.
  • Learn about the Inner Seasons of your menstrual cycle and batch the tasks you're naturally inclined to do during each phase.
  • Set yourself a sleep reminder and eliminate the decisions of ‘should I watch one more episode’? (By the way, the answer is no you shouldn’t, you should go to bed 😉)

Relieve stress by reducing the effect it has on you

Some stress is unavoidable. Life happens right?!

When something goes wrong, or you’ve overcommitted and you can feel the tension building, try this:

  1. Increase your sense of control. This means letting go of what you know you can’t control (stop dwelling) and focus on the things you can influence. Do not underestimate the power of doing this!
  2. Stop with the perfectionism already. Surely you see how much stress it's causing? Let yourself be perfectly imperfect. 

 

Support your body so it can handle stress better

Stress is both emotional and physiological.

This means it has negative effects on your mind and body.

The ideas so far have been about supporting your mind. Now let's look at supporting your body (which will then support your mind)

Exercise for stress relief

Exercising causes a release of endorphins aka ‘feel good hormones’ which leaves you on a post workout high.

Another benefit is improved sleep patterns which means you're more likely to wake up refreshed, energised & ready to face what life throws at you.

Anti stress diet

It's really important you stop eating sugar.

As your body digests a sugary snack, it causes your blood sugars to rise sharply, which causes a big surge in insulin. Soon after, you’ll get a sugar comedown and be left feeling sensitive, irritable and unable to handle even small stressors.

When you eat sugar, it robs your body of the same nutrients needed to deal with stress.

Foods to add in - Plenty of leafy greens, organic turkey, fermented foods, wild caught oily fish (like salmon and sardines), blueberries and dark chocolate.

These foods are high in folate, typtophan, healthy probiotics, omega 3 fats and antioxidants. All nutrients that improve mood, enhance sleep and allow you to better handle stress.

Anti stress supplements

Living a high-stress life very quickly depletes your body of vitamins and minerals.

Some key anti-stress supplements that can be very beneficial for stress include magnesium, a good quality B complex and an adaptogenic herb called Ashwaganda.

Anti stress tools and techniques

Meditation

I know I joked about this and how you have no spare time to meditate but you do. Stop lying to yourself :)

Find 5 minutes. Sit, close your eyes and breath. Don’t worry where your mind goes just gently bring your concentration back to your breath when it wanders (which it will).

Your mind thinks involuntarily, just like your heart beats involuntarily. Thoughts are not the enemy and it doesn't' mean you are 'meditating wrong'.

The meditation technique I use and absolutely LOVE is called Ziva. Learn more here.

Music & laughter

Play songs that make you feel good while you’re getting ready for work or cooking dinner.

And don't be afraid to dance! Moving your body freely to the rhythms of music is a powerful way to relieve stress - one of my all time favourites!

If you want to listen to something relaxing, try this free 24/7 stream of calming piano music.

Another amazing and simple anti stress technique is laughter. Read funny books, watch comedy and make jokes with your friends more often.

It's impossible to laugh and be stressed at the same time!

Maybe you'll enjoy this short video as much as I did.

 

Simple everyday anti stress tips

If you're simply looking for a way to unwind after a tough day, try one of the following:

  • Treat yourself to a relaxation massage (you're worth it)
  • Enjoy a hot bath with Epsom salts and lavender essential oil
  • Have sex or enjoy some sexy time alone (stress release!)
  • Go for a walk in nature, bare foot if you can!
  • Take a nap (keep it under 20min)

And that concludes my anti-stress toolkit!

 

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