April is Stress Awareness Month. Everyone gets stressed. It is basically an inevitable part of life. But we can choose to learn skills to manage and control our stress so that it doesn’t impact our lives in negative ways.
Here are three easy tips to help reduce your stress this month:
- Exercise! Getting up and moving is a great stress reliever. Not only does it loosen up tense muscles but it releases endorphins which can protect the body from the harmful effects of the stress response. Try enjoying the spring weather by taking a brisk walk/jog or run around a local park or maybe try some gentle stretching and yoga to loosen up.
- Sleep! Being well rested is important to maintaining a healthy stress level. Rest helps to rejuvenate the body and replenishes our resources so we can handle stress with ease. Being tired makes it more difficult to focus and control our moods which could exacerbate the stress response.
- Breath! When you feel like you are getting stressed, take a moment (close your eyes if that feels comfortable for you) and pay attention to your breath for about 5-6 breaths. You can place one hand over your belly button and the other over your chest and focus on how it feels to breath as the belly and chest rise and fall with each inhale and exhale. Conscious breathing has been proven to lower the stress response by decreasing heart rate and relaxing the body and mind.