There are so many things that we can do to naturally reduce stress in our lives. How we eat can play a part in stress, but there are a lot of other factors as well.
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Do you have a lot of stress in your life? I know I do. It comes at us from all directions. Family, work, home, friends, etc. There have been days in the past few months where I was bone tired. That tiredness wasn’t physical, it was mental and a whole lot of it was stress.
We care about so many people and so many things. We have a lot of things going on in our life and are torn in so many directions.
Sometimes all this busyness and just all the stuff in our brain causes stress, and it takes a toll on our overall health including our gut health.
The good news is that there are several things we can do to help us deal with stress in our life.
Ways to Naturally Reduce Stress
Physical Activity and/or Exercise
One way to reduce stress in your life is to exercise. Physical activity is great for reducing stress. Try it for just 15 minutes every day and you will begin to feel some healthy benefits within just a few days.
Here are some great options for introducing physical activity into your life:
It doesn’t have to take up a lot of your day. You just need to make sure you are getting some walking in during the day.
Try one or more of these 15-minute walking ideas:
– Walk around the block (or a country ½ mile) with your family after dinner
– Take a 15-minute walk after lunch each day. Can you walk around your business complex or go somewhere nearby?
– Use a walking dvd early in the morning
Hiking generally involves a little more exertion that walking, but it’s a great activity to do once or twice a month
Try one of these 30-minute hiking ideas:
– If you are blessed to live near some hiking trails like those that can be found around the Blue Ridge Parkway, identify a few different ones and give a different one a try each month.
– Many localities have greenways or parks that include a hiking trail. Try one. If you don’t like that trail, search out another one.
Note: Oftentimes traveling to a trail takes longer than the actual 30-minute hike, so be sure to relax while hiking and just enjoy the nature around you. It will help relieve some of your stress and make it worth your time and effort.
I couldn’t not mention working out. I’m a huge fan, although I have neglected this activity for a portion of the last five years.
Here are some workout options from 15 minutes to 1 hour. If you’re not an exerciser already, be sure to start with a short exercise program. If you find that you love it and you can make the time for something lengthier down the road, then go for it. But, don’t start out with too much time commitment at the beginning – that would likely make you stop before you’ve even gotten started.
- 10 minute workout – I’m such a big fan of these 10 minute workouts. They have a huge variety – cardio, pilates, yoga, high-intensity, etc.
- More intense workouts like these…. When you are ready give them a try.
- Join a gym and commit to going at least 3 x a week. Pick a cardio machine such as an elliptical machine or a treadmill and just walk on it for about 15 minutes.
If you want to commit more time to the gym, sign up for one of their classes (be sure to attend it! Signing up doesn’t count as a workout. 😊. Most gyms have a wide variety of classes so you’re sure to find one that you will like.
These are another great tool for helping to improve gut health. Essential oils and supplements with essential oils in them are excellent for helping restore and maintain your gut health.
I have found that there are many essential oils that can help aid us when we are feeling stressed out. I share some of my story with essential oils and how I’ve used them here.
Lean on the Lord
As a believer in Christ, I have found that trusting in the Lord is one of the best things I can do to reduce my stress load. We can give Him our burdens, knowing that we can trust Him to help us through stressful times. As humans, it is hard for us not to worry and not try to carry all of the stress burden ourselves. How wonderful to know that we can lean on our Savior to help us deal with anxious times. This mustard seed faith post is an encouraging one for asking the Lord to help through a stressful time.
Remove Stressors from your life
What are some of the main causes of stress in your life? Some are simply out of our control. We may not be able to remove the cause of some stresses from our life. But, there are some that we do have control over. We could make changes in some areas of our life that would truly help to remove some of our stress.
Let’s look at a couple of those stressors that you should get rid of:
Clutter often causes stress in our lives. Sometimes having too much stuff makes it difficult to clean our homes, or it makes it difficult to find what we are looking for, or it simply gives us too many choices…. Perhaps you could come up with some more ways that clutter causes you stress.
We can work diligently to not add more stuff to our collection, or we could do some major decluttering. If you’d like some help with decluttering, Tracy Lynn has a couple of absolutely great decluttering programs that I highly recommend. First, she has this Declutter and Simplify Bootcamp program that you are sure to love. If all you want is a planner to help you in your declutter journey, this Declutter in Minutes Planner could be very helpful to you. Be sure to check these out!
Just say “No”
It’s okay to say “No” – Many of us have added too many commitments to our daily life. Please recognize that it is perfectly okay to say “no” when someone asks you to take on another task/commitment. Contrary to what some say, we simply cannot do it all. Learn what number or size of commitments work well with your life and say “no” to commitments beyond that.
Get More Sleep
Sleep is so very important to our well-being and our gut health. There are times that it is difficult to get a good night’s sleep. I have written about getting a Good Night’s Sleep before because it is something I have often struggled with. .
Here are 3 ways to get a good night’s sleep:
- Create a bedtime routine. You may be surprised to learn that going to bed at the same time each night, and following the same routine before going to bed, will truly help you fall asleep easier.
- Practice slow breathing. Slow down and take only 5 breaths each minute. Breathe in for 6 seconds and then breathe out for 6 seconds.
- Diffuse Essential Oils. Lavender has a wonderful relaxing scent. It is a great oil to diffuse at night to encourage a good night’s sleep. You can read more about my experience with essential oils here.
Check out this Get a Good Night’s Sleep Naturally post for additional ideas to help you get more sleep.
Reducing stress from your life is not likely to happen overnight, but it is an important step to take to improve our overall health and wellness. Why don’t you take that first step today.