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How to Successfully Manage Stress

According to The American Institute of Stress: About 33 percent of people report feeling extreme stress, 77 percent of people experience stress that affects their physical health, and 73 percent of people have stress that impacts their mental health. Do you fall into any of these categories?

If yes, no PROBLEM! The first step to finding the best stress management is to pinpoint what triggers your stress, and then recognizing what you routinely practice to cope with the stress. Food, alcohol, video games, tv, shopping, and smoking are all common coping practices.

My goal is to show you there are many ways to cope with stress before jumping into overeating or choosing "bad" options. According to the American Psychological Association, "Twenty-seven percent of adults say they eat to manage stress and 34 percent of those who report overeating or eating unhealthy foods because of stress say this behavior is a habit."

How do you break this habit? By simply relaxing you can physically change how you mentally handle stress. One way to measure the stress levels in your body is by figuring out your heart rate variability. Heart Rate Variability is defined as how much your heartbeat speeds up and slows down as you breathe. The more stressed you are the less variability there is in your heartbeat, which causes people to feel they are "stuck" in a high-stress state. This could lead to panic attacks, depression, weight gain, etc.

1. Practice your breathing technique to help increase your heart rate variability.

Try slowing down your breathing in a highly stressful situation to about 10-15 seconds per breath. This is scientifically proven to increase your HRV.

2. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has been around for thousands and thousands of years, and there is immense research on the benefits of aromatherapy. The best essential oils to help lower blood pressure, and reduce anxiety, are lavender, bergamot, chamomile, and geranium. Use a diffuser for an easy way to incorporate these oils into your daily regime.

3. Massages

Massages can run between $50 - $150 on average. If you are running on a budget, present a give-and-get method to your significant other! Give a 10-15 minute massage and get a 10-15 minute massage. This helps increase immunity, reduce pain, anxiety, depression, and stress.

4. Sex

A study conducted by scientists at Arizona State University conducted research on middle-aged women and they recorded there sexual activity, physical affection, stressful events, and mood every morning for eight months. During this study, they concluded that physical affection or sexual behavior with a partner on one day significantly lowered negative mood, stress, and a higher positive mood on the next day!

5. Change your Perspective

Change your perspective on the stressful situation. How can you use it to your benefit? See it as an opportunity to exercise patience, tolerance, or mental strength.

Stress all comes down to what triggers you, and how you adapt. If you find yourself struggling to manage your stress on your own seek professional help!


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