If you feel like your life is a constant treadmill of problems, you’re not alone. Pressures at work, at home, and everywhere in between can push the modern woman’s stress levels into overdrive. To make matters even worse, stress can affect your health and body in many ways. Whether your daily trigger is money issues or your children bickering, a natural chemical called cortisol is released into your system whenever your inner pressure gauge begins to move into the red zone.
Increased cortisol levels are one of the main reasons that many women experience weight gain or can’t seem to lose those extra pounds. This often creates an endless cycle as our weight causes stress, and in turn our stress levels cause us to gain weight. Before you get frustrated and ready to give up, try these stress-reducing tips.
Hit the Road and Get Moving
While we all mean to start an exercise program tomorrow, it seems to be an easy thing to put off when your schedule is full. However, taking time to exercise makes everything else easier. In addition to increasing your energy levels, exercise stimulates your body to produce endorphins, which are natural, feel-good hormones that automatically reduces stress and improves your mood. Spend about 30 minutes exercising at least a few times a week, and you’ll feel like you can tackle the world. Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a gym; a brisk walk is just as good.
Improve Your Diet
Many women automatically turn to comfort food when they’re stressed and short on time. Too many carbs and sugary foods can really slow you down. While you might get a boost of energy right away, you know that you’ll pay for it with the inevitable carb crash. This kind of diet can fuel an endless cycle of cravings in many women. For improved stress levels, skip the processed food and eat more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean protein.
All Natural Stress Relief Supplements for Optimal Nutrition
If you’re having a hard time getting into the groove with a new diet and exercise program, natural supplements are available to help increase energy and reduce stress. One of these, Confianza®, is an all natural mixture of herbs that will even help improve your memory. Confianza’s active ingredients is a variety of adaptogens that work with the body’s own adrenal glands to restore balance, reduce your current stress levels, and increase your resistance to new stressors. Because the adaptogens are created naturally by the herbs included in the Confianza formula, you won’t have to worry about adding any harmful chemicals to your body’s delicate system.
Have a Little Peace and Quiet
There’s a reason that all those cute little Buddha statues look so serene and peaceful. Meditation has been used for centuries to reduce stress and develop inner peace. If you aren’t sure how to meditate, that’s okay. Just find a quiet place where you can take about 10 minutes or so each day to relax, think about nothing, and recharge a little. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Many of us can’t even find time to go to the bathroom by ourselves.
Learn How to Say No
Some women feel so guilty about saying no that they agree to do almost anything that anyone asks. This can leave you feeling overwhelmed and under-appreciated. While it’s fine to do a favor for someone when you really want to, don’t feel bad when you simply can’t fit it in. Knowing your physical and emotional limitations is crucial to keeping stress levels low.
Share Your Problems
The old saying that “a problem shared is a problem halved” couldn’t be truer. Statistics even show that people with a good support system feel less stress and depression than those who hold everything inside. If you’re having a really bad day, call up your sister, your mom, or your best friend for a good cry or a well-deserved rant. Either one will help. If you don’t have a shoulder to lean on, don’t hesitate to seek out a counselor.
Having unrealistic goals or expectations is a sure way to add stress to your life. If you are always disappointed because you expect too much from yourself, from others, or from a specific situation, it’s time to cut everyone a break. You’ll be a happier person, and so will everyone else. By not expecting everything to be perfect all the time, your stress levels will quickly drop.
Take Time for Yourself
Most of us are so busy taking care of our families that we forget to take time for ourselves. Whether you enjoy bubble baths or kickboxing, it’s important to do something for yourself every now and then. In addition to eliminating stress, it will bring joy back into your life. Instead of taking time away from your family, you’ll actually have more of yourself to give.
Let Go and Forgive
Holding grudges and judging others can be major sources of stress. If you can find it in yourself to accept people as they are and forgive those who have wronged you in the past, it can relieve some of your stress. Of course, forgiving doesn’t have to mean that you forget or allow someone to constantly take advantage of your good nature. It simply means that you’ve resolved your inner issues. After all, forgiveness can be more for you than for the other person.
Gain Some Perspective
Most of us are guilty of letting our problems take on a life of their own. While life and death situations should be given the attention that they deserve, many other problems really aren’t that important when you look at the big picture. When you’re reaching panic mode, take a deep breath and put things into perspective. In most cases, everything will work itself out.
Of course, you don’t have to do everything on this list. If you did, you might find yourself in an ironic situation where you’re adding to your stress levels instead of reducing them. Choose one or two items to start. As your stress levels drop, you can always try another stress-buster. Before you know it, your excess weight will seem to melt away as your cortisol levels drop to normal levels.