Stress can be very harmful to the body. Chronic stress increases your cortisol levels, which over time, can lead to several physical health issues including insulin sensitivity or resistance, elevated blood pressure, muscle soreness, weakened bone tissue, or an increased inflammatory response.
It is so important to find ways that work for you to relieve stress and keep your body healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually. My favorite ways are:
Meditation, especially daily meditation, works well to relieve stress. I typically wake up at around 5:00 a.m. and choose to start my day with meditation and some form of spiritual reading for about 15 minutes. I am currently re-reading a section from A Course in Miracles, and follow this with a combination of gratitude exercises, prayer, and mantra meditation. I find that this is a great way to start my day and leaves me feeling excited and ready to take on the rest of the day. The current mantra I am practicing is “I am love.”
Yoga and Exercise
Yoga is a great way to relieve stress. It naturally promotes relaxation – the exact opposite of stress. It targets relaxing your body, mind, and breathing, which are areas of ourselves that are largely impacted by stress.
I now do yoga regularly (almost every morning) after my daily meditation practices. This is something I’ve recently added to my morning routine, and I love how it makes me feel! It helps me start my day on a positive, relaxed note and puts me in a mindset that can handle any stress that comes my way throughout the day.
Doing some form of exercise every day is also part of my routine. I typically exercise for 60-90 minutes every day after my morning meditation and spiritual practices. Physical activity increases your endorphins, which are your brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitters, which can help to combat stress. For me, this means hiking, biking, going on walks, disc golf, or my personal favorite, playing pickleball with friends. It’s so much fun to play – I am hooked!
Quality Time with Others
The physical and spiritual things are essential, but my absolute favorite outlet for stress relief is hanging out with friends and family. There’s nothing better than spending quality time together, having fun, and sharing laughs. It always elevates my mood and helps take my mind off of whatever weight I am carrying that day from stress.
Whether you decide to adopt one of the stress relief techniques I use or create your own, I hope you find one that works for you!