Do you consider yourself a low-key person or are you someone who is prone to anxiety and stress?
I wish I could say that finding my Zen came naturally, but it is something I still have to work on. To be honest, the last few years have been particularly stressful, and I’ve had to work extra-hard to manage it.
Along the way I’ve learned a few things, and though I would share them with you.
Top 10 Ways to Manage Stress
Since I am prone to anxiety, I need a little extra help when it comes to remembering to stay mindful.
I can’t tell you how much the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker is helping me. It is like my “trainer” for conscious living. It is a convenient tracker that can be clipped on the bra or waistband.
The tracker’s companion app integrates with my calendar, location, and photos. This helps to give me context to where, what and why I am experiencing periods of tension, calm or focus.
The platform learns to anticipate stressful events before they are likely to happen and gives me actionable insights on how to experience more calm.
The Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker determines your natural breathing patterns and alerts you when you become tense for a few minutes. The gentle encouragement to step back and take a few deep breaths or even to meditate is often all it takes to get back on track and move into a more focused or calm state.
Spire offers a series of boosts that can be found in the app. They help you find states of calm, focus or stress reduction. There are also other mindfulness exercises from partners like Thich Nhat Hanh and Deepak Chopra that are great ways to manage stress.
You can learn more about the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker here.
Affirmations are a great way to free yourself from negativity that causes stress. Find ones that resonate with where you are in life and repeat them daily. I like to print them up on 3 x 5 cards, so I can see them every day.
- I am worthy and deserving.
- Money comes easily and frequently.
- I am enough.
- I am courageous; I am brave
- I forgive myself.
- I trust myself.
- I allow myself to receive.
- I am getting healthier every day.
- I add value every day.
According to Diana Winston, director of mindfulness education at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center and author of Fully Present, meditating regularly can help prevent the knee-jerk panic when you’re faced with a stressful situation. “Start with five minutes (of meditation), which is long enough to have an effect but short enough that you can squeeze it in.”
If you are getting started with meditation, guided meditations can be helpful. There are many free ones online, and I love that my Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker offers them in its app.
Sleep is a key factor in stress. If at all possible, try to get in bed by 10 pm. This is typically when your cortisol levels are at their lowest levels.
The Spire tracker’s boosts can also be helpful with sleep. One that I’ve used with great success is the sleep boost from Deepak Chopra. I don’t have trouble falling asleep, but if I wake up after 2 am for any reason, chances are I’m not going back to sleep. On several occasions, I’ve used this boost and have been able to get back to sleep. Since a lack of sleep can lead to stress the next day, this is a game changer for me.
Check out this post: 23 Natural Ways to Sleep Better
5. Essential Oils
Your sense of smell is directly connected to your emotions, making essential oils a great way to manage your mood and stress levels.
One of my favorite blends of essential oils for stress is:
10 drops each of Frankincense, Bergamot, Sandalwood and Roman Chamomile. Dilute 2 tablespoons of carrier oil and apply to the base of skull, wrists and spine.
Read more here: Essential Oils for Stress
Yoga is an excellent way to release stress and redirect tense energy. Even when your life is chaotic, it is a great way to stay calm and grounded.
For best results, I recommend creating a peaceful place that is free of excess clutter to practice yoga. Although it can be a challenge at first, staying present is key.
7. Eat to Soothe Stress
Did you know that certain foods can help you combat stress? According to Eating Well Magazine, nuts, red peppers, salmon, spinach, oatmeal, dark chocolate and tea, all have components that help the body deal with stress. (I talk about foods that reduce stress in the bottom of this post.)
Exercise is a great way to help you cope with stress more effectively. Ideally, we should all aim to get at least 30 minutes of activity in five times a week. My Spire Fitness Tracker is helping me with this. In addition to helping be more mindful, it measures calories, activity, and steps.
Now that Skye is a little older, I don’t have to follow her every step. I was shocked to realize how little I was moving during the day, and now I refer to my Spire wearable tracker to make sure that I’m getting enough movement throughout the day.
Appreciating what you have in life can help to buffer stress.
I recommend keeping a gratitude journal. I know that it has helped me tremendously, and research also supports this. Studies indicate that those who keep a gratitude journal are 25 percent happier than those who don’t.
There are numerous supplements that can help with stress, particularly when our adrenal glands are taxed. Magnesium is a great nutrient that helps us to manage stress and anxiety. I take Spirulina daily as well as a magnesium supplement.
Adaptogens, such as Ashwagandha and Rhodiola, are believed to help our bodies cope with physical and emotional stress.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.