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It wasn’t that long ago that stress seemed to be controlling my life. Impacting me in a way that was very debilitating. For me, the symptoms that were the absolute worst were fatigue, nausea, and anxiety about any number of things. To make matters worse, I kept getting into a negative spiral of thoughts in my head. In turn, these thoughts would send me into this stress loop, making the nausea worse, the fatigue worse, and then the anxiety would ramp right back up and continue the process. I would have breaks here and there, but something needed to change! I did not want to live my life feeling sick most days, with restless nights, and no energy left to be there for my family. So, below are the ones that have impacted me the most and I want to share them with you!
Here are my top 7 strategies to deal with stress. These strategies have been proven time and time again in research studies to not only reduce stress, but also make you a happier/healthier person! They will have a profound impact on your health when implemented on a consistent basis, so let’s get into it.
Number 1: Be more active, exercise, Go Outside!
Walking just 20 minutes a day has been linked to a wide variety of health benefits. It can help you maintain a healthy weight, burn fat, improve on cardiovascular health, decrease risk of stroke and other disease, and so much more!
Walking isn’t the only way to be active, but it is a great place to start and you don’t have to do it for an hour to be effective. 20 minutes a day will grant you some amazing health benefits on the way to reducing stress levels. The important thing is to find something that you love to do! Keep the time limit manageable when you first start out, so you can create a habit. Then build off of that momentum and keep going!
Number 2: Eat Well
This one can often be a challenge, but it is incredibly important. It is easy in today’s world to get into bad habits when everyone is so busy all the time. But nutrition has a huge impact on not only your physical well being, but it can profoundly affect your mental well being also.
The biggest keys to remember are that highly-processed foods and eating too much sugar are two things that are most likely to increase your stress levels. As best you can, start eating more whole foods, making manageable changes that you can sustain for a healthier lifestyle!
Number 3: Reduce your screen time
With the increase in cell phone use, streaming services, and every kind of social media imaginable at our fingertips; it’s no wonder our stress has gone through the roof in recent years. News is mostly negative, we get constant notifications from a myriad of sources to bombard us, and the unnecessary way social media presents this need for comparison has terrible effects on our psychological state.
So, put the phone down! Too much screen time is also linked to poor sleep, especially when it is within an hour before bed.
Number 4: Practice Mindfulness
This is one that took me a long time to adopt, but turned out to be one of the most helpful to me personally. There are a number of ways to do this, but the idea is to be intentional about what you are focusing on. Here are two things that really helped me:
Meditate – there are a number of great apps for guided meditation. I started with headspace, and continue to use it to this day. Find one you like, they often have free trials, and start!
Start journaling – even if it is just your thoughts at the end of the day or in the morning. Keeping a gratitude journal is also a great place to start.
There are a number of ways to begin practicing mindfulness. Explore different options and find what works for you.
Number 5: Cultivate relationships
Spending time with friends and family can be an excellent way to help deal with stress. Maybe not family around the Holidays, but still! You need to find someone that you can talk to about the things that are going on in your life. A friend or family member, but really a mentor. Someone you are not afraid to talk to and confide in. This is not only a great way to reduce stress, but in life it is incredibly valuable to build meaningful relationships. It will definitely help you through the tough times.
Number 6: Stop Overthinking!
Most of what we worry about doesn’t even make it to reality, so when you start to overthink it is important to have strategies that help you calm your mind. We worry about projects at work, school, whether people like us, or don’t like us, if my instagram/fb post/or tiktok was seen by enough people, the garage door being shut, if the oven is off, about what we wear, etc.etc.etc…
Here are my ways, plus a few others, that you can use to stop overthinking:
Whatever you do, it is important to have an activity that can help to calm down an overactive mind. Hopefully that list of ten activities can at least get you started until finding your own!
Number 7: Chiropractic Care!
Chiropractic adjustments can have an incredible impact on stress by reducing pain and restoring the body’s proper function. The adjustment will work to improve on the biomechanics of the affected joint complex, which often leads to decreased stress and tension in the adjacent muscle. This is why Chiropractic care is so effective at treating tension headaches!
Pain is also incredibly stressful! When you are able to get out of pain and get back to normal activities, whether that be for work or the things you love to do, it enables you to let go of all the stress associated with that pain.
Chiropractic adjusting also releases your body’s natural endorphins, which are hormones that help with the regulation of various physiological processes within the body.
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