5 Ways To Reduce Stress and Sleep Better
It’s National Relaxation Day and here at Organica, we know how important keeping your stress levels low is, for both your health and your sleep. Stress, or the production of the 'stress hormone' cortisol shuts down your normal reproductive, digestive and immune functions as your body doesn't need them temporarily when it feels it's in danger. But if the stress becomes long term, you're then susceptible to illnesses, infections and hormonal problems. This is how stress can ultimately have detrimental effects on your health and why it's so important to keep it under control!
So because it's National Relaxation Day, we thought we'd share with you 5 ways to reduce your stress levels so you can not only sleep better, but stay healthy too.
How to Combat Stress
It’s hard to avoid life’s day-to-day stresses, but you can learn to manage it so that it has less of an effect on your health. The key is to learn your own strategies that work for you, so it doesn't take over your life.
Focus on Your Breath
Taking slow, deep breaths is an easy way to trick your body into feeling calm. By slowing down your breathing, it sends a message to your brain that you’re safe and it prevents the survival instincts taking over i.e. your fight or flight mode. Simply taking the time to focus on the movement on your chest, and breathing in and out 5 seconds at a time with automatically make you feel calmer in both your body and your mind. It helps to do this before you try to fall asleep, too.
Talk It Out
It’s sometimes so hard to see your own position in perspective, and things can very quickly become too much. So talking to someone will often give you that new perspective you need, whether it’s a professional therapist, a friend or a family member, talking it through will help.
Write it Down
Journaling is a great way to organize your head and bring back order and calm into your life. Even just listing the worries and the stresses you have on a piece of paper can help you fall asleep quicker and wake up feeling refreshed. One study found that university students who journaled for around 15 minutes every night for a week experienced less stress, slept for longer and the quality of their sleep improved.
Consider trying probiotics, which are living microorganisms found in fermented foods which are very good for your gut. They can ease inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, balancing the hormones which travel all around the body, including serotonin. This can ultimately help reduce your stress levels, as a happy gut means a happy mind.
And Finally... Cut Yourself Some Slack
If you’re too tough on yourself, you enter into a negative cycle where you feel stressed because you’re not dealing with it well, only making the situation worse. Don't be too hard on yourself, and make sure you’re not giving yourself more stress by putting pressure on the situation you're in.
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