National Stress Awareness Day: 5 Ways to De-stress & Find Inner Peace

National Stress Awareness Day: 5 Ways to De-stress & Find Inner Peace

Posted by Laura Colucci on

All of us experience stress to some degree. Whether it involves stressing out over deadlines, relationship stress, financial stress, or generally feeling overwhelmed, the first thing to know is that you’re definitely not alone. Here are 5 ways to de-stress and find inner stillness in your day to day life.

Why Are We Stressed?

When we put the body under positive physical stress by exercising, we get stronger and more resilient. In the same way, positive mental stress like achieving a goal, problem solving and taking on challenges is good for us. It helps us grow and develop our potential. So, stress in itself isn’t a bad thing. We need the stress response; that fight or flight reaction that allowed us to escape from predators or fight off enemies thousands of years ago. It allowed us to survive and evolve to become who we are today. The thing is, the stress response isn’t usually triggered for its original purpose any more, and instead we feel stress multiple times a day; missing a train, receiving a difficult phone call, checking emails, scanning social media etc.

When the stress response is constantly triggered by these everyday things, we start to get stuck in a state of low-level constant stress and anxiety, which is the way many of us feel every day. This constant stress circulates throughout the body, causing adrenal fatigue or ‘burnout’, high blood pressure, cravings, sleep issues, low mood levels, hormone imbalances and chronic illness, as well as a plethora of other health issues. No wonder tools like yoga and meditation, silent retreats and digital detoxes have become something incredibly valuable and necessary – they all help reduce stress levels and lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), helping to remind us what it’s like to feel relaxed and well.

Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers

Much of the reason we feel stressed and anxious is because we tend to ‘hold on’ to thoughts, worries and problems, instead of letting them go. It’s a very human trait to hold on to a grudge or agonise over an upcoming event – no other animal seems to do this, and no other animals seem to suffer with the type of stress and anxiety we do. To read more about that, dive into Robert M. Sapolsky‘s book Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.

Thankfully, just as each day may bring about its own challenges, there are tools and techniques we can use each and every day to cultivate a sense of calm, balance and the ability to observe and act in situations, rather than react to them. These techniques are thousands of years old, developed from the traditions of yoga, Ayurveda and traditional Chinese Medicine. They don’t cost a thing, and you can practise them anytime you need. People have needed these techniques for as long as they have existed, so when you’re practising them, know that you’re tapping into an ancient lineage, and you’re never alone in feeling stressed.

The Techniques

Technique 1: Conscious Breathing

As simple as it sounds, conscious breathing really is just breathing and being conscious and aware of it. The way we breathe literally sends messages to the brain and body, telling us how we should be feeling in that moment. A short, shallow breath indicates there’s something to be stressed about. A slow and long breath lets the whole nervous system know there’s nothing to fear.

Practice: Sit or stand with your eyes closed if possible. Place your hands on your lower stomach. As you inhale, imagine pulling the breath slowly down to the base of the stomach, and as you exhale, feel the stomach relax. Repeat six times.

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Spritz Wellness as put together a few additional tips to de-stress your life and allow you to RELAX this winter season. Try to be active everyday, clear your desk of distractions and focus on one thing at a time, do something calming (painting, drawing, reading, yoga), try to develop one healthy habit a month (eat more greens, learn a new recipe), do things that make you laugh.

Finally, incorporate aromatherapy into your day to help calm the mind and body.  Try the Relax Atmosphere Mist made of Lavender, Chamomile, Ravensara and Bergamot. Four calming relaxing essential oils to help you de stress when life becomes a bit much. 

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