Stress can hit at any moment, but April brings a little added stress with the looming cloud of taxes along with any curve balls life decides to throw. High stress levels can takes its toll on your health and keeping your stress down helps fight many ailments, including cancer.
Stress can give us a boost in productivity and motivate us to get things done, but long-term stress could open a door for breast cancer by increasing blood flow to tumors, feeding hormones that encourage tumor growth, and keeping your body in a constant state of inflammation.
When stress affects the brain and its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. We’ve got seven ways to keep your stress levels low and get you feeling so good that you will be alert and ready to take on anything your day throws at you!
1. GET THOSE ZZZZZZZZ in
Adults and teens need 7-9 hours of sleep a night to feel rested for the next day. Getting the right amount of sleep can decrease your stress, help maintain your weight, and increase your ability to pay attention and remember new information.
2. Bust A Move
30 minutes of daily exercise can help keep cancer away. Physical activity results in endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers, and also improves your ability to sleep, decreases levels of tension and increases self-esteem.
3. Turn Up The Tunes
Fill your day with the music you love. Music is a known stress reliever and will fill your brain with feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine. Research also shows that music can be particularly beneficial to those in the middle of high stress situations.
4. Hang Out With Your BFF
Hanging out with close friends isn’t just the best thing ever, but it also lowers blood pressure, decreases depression and has been found to decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Have you heard of a better excuse for a brunch date with your bestie?
5. USE YOUR IMAGINAITION TO VISUALIZE
A quick visualization can get you back to center and help you relax. Find a place to make yourself comfortable and visualize a peaceful scene, a future vacation or even yourself accomplishing your goals for the day. Guided imagery has been known to help trigger relaxation.
6. SCHEDULE A DIGITAL DETOX
Constant and uninterrupted computer use has been linked to stress, depression and lost sleep in women. Late night computer use has also been linked to stress in men and women. Taking frequent small breaks during the day can help that stress and going offline at least an hour before bed will increase chances of a swift sleep.
7. JUST BREATHE
Taking a few deep breaths can help reduce tension, relieve stress and mimic your body’s state of relaxation, thanks to the extra boost of oxygen. If you’re feeling stressed and are experiencing shallow breathing, find a place where you can be alone and take some slow, deep breathes to calm down.
You’ve got this.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Monica Schrock is a passionate non-toxic lifer and writes about her experiences on her blog, Low Impact Betty. After blogging for years on the topic, she started her own non-toxic, vegan and cruelty-free skin care company, Bare Bones Body Care. You will most likely catch her drinking coffee, playing basketball, reading Tank Girl or laughing uncontrollably.