8 stress-free living tips

I look back at this and smile because it was life and I decided to live it. [unknown]

Stress is not fun.

However, to some degree we’ve each experienced feelings of stress: our heart starts racing and our breath comes faster, our body begins to sweat and our muscles become tense and negative chemicals, such as adrenalin, start pumping all over our body.

Some effects of stress we don’t necessarily feel which include: dilation of blood vessels, pupils enlarge and slowing down of the metabolism.

Long Term Effects of Stress

The long term effects of stress include being at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (especially linked to people who tend to be excessively competitive, impatient, hostile, and move and talk quickly). High blood pressure or hypertension, skin problems such as acne and eczema, susceptibility to infections like allergies and autoimmune disease (arthritis and MS), diabetes and infertility as well as muscular pain such as backache.

“Stress also is thought to aggravate underlying painful conditions such as herniated discs, fibromyalgia and repetitive strain injury (RSI). Furthermore, most migraine sufferers say that stress contributes to their headaches, which can last for days” (Carlson N. R. Physiology of behavior).

5 days to D-Day

My yoga studio has taken the leap to moving into a new-to-us, larger (4x larger!) space. In 5 days I get the keys and begin the renovation process. I have walls to demo, walls to build, walls to paint, floors to order and install, signs to order and hang, newspaper articles to write, and an office and reception area and bathroom to furnish before we can open.

My sister is getting married in September so I’ll be in LA for 8 days in September to celebrate her last week of being single. And I’ll be MIA for 8 days during my second week of teacher training with Scott Anderson, of Alignment Yoga in Blue Mounds, WI.

Which means, I have 27 days to accomplish a lot of work. In other words…

I could possibly be very “stressed out” soon.

Louise L Hay (click for her affirmation of the day) considers stress to be a cop-out:

“Stress is a fearful reaction to life’s constant changes. It is an excuse we often use for not taking responsibility for our own feelings. If we can put the blame out “there,” on someone or something, then we can just play the innocent victim. But being the victim doesn’t make us feel good, and it doesn’t change the situation.

“Often we are stressing ourselves because we have our priorities mixed up. So many of us feel that money is the most important thing in our lives. But this is not true.”

What is the most important thing in our lives?

Our breath, our body, our health and wellbeing. Without our health, how can we succeed in any area of life? Our breath is the common denominator to every other piece of our life. And if we are disconnected from our breath and our wellness, it needs to be our primary focus.

To avoid gaining or losing weight, having a nervous meltdown, heart palpations of any kind, and chugging caffeine through stressful periods of life, we need to support our body to withstand the pressure. You want — I want — a healthy relationship with our adrenals glands!

8 Tips to Stress-Free Living

1) Food + Support

Sometimes we just need to ask someone to take care of us.

This past week I completed our frozen food grocery shopping for the next two months. I’ve begun talking to my husband about my concerns that I will be very preoccupied with work and that I’ll need prompts to slow down and take time to have fun with him. I’ve asked him if he will take care of me a bit more, helping to make sure I am eating. Usually when I get so busy I end up skipping meals and drinking too much caffeine. This is a baaaad combination.

2) Supplements

Food can be our greatest support, however sometimes we don’t get everything we need from food and supplements exist for a reason. Here are a few supplements I’ll plan to consistently take to make sure I’m getting the nutrients needed to support my body:

Herbal Adrenal Support Formula: benefits stress, fatigue, allergies and hay fever, insect bites and inflammation
Now Foods Calcium & Magnesium: regulates blood pressure and helps with healthy muscle function, calcium = muscle contraction and magnesium = muscle relaxation
Urban Moonshine Organic Joy Tonic: “to mindfully let go of tension, making room for love and gratitude.”
Vitamin B-12 Energy Booster Spray: to boost energy without chugging caffeine

3) Essential oils

Lavender oil: as a room spray, on my skin and in my hair.
Stress-awayapplied to my wrists and temples.
Deep relief roll onapplied generously to temples.
Joy: everywhere on my body, because it’s that good.
Vetiver: to ground myself when I am lost in the clouds and feeling disconnected.
Peace & Calming: makes me feel very peaceful… and calm.
More ways to use oils.

4) Tea

Yogi Kava Stress Relief Tea
Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief Tea

5) Yoga poses

Grounding poses such as quiet sitting, mountain pose, the warrior poses and headstand.

Pre-yoga poses, like psoas wake up (to pump blood into my psoas) and dead bug series.

Also heart opener poses to keep a loving, generous way of being: bridge pose, dancer pose and camel pose.

Abdominal postures will help balance my self-esteem and my feelings of being capable to handle anything that comes my way: boat pose, dead bug series, yoga sit up.

6) Yoga breathing

Quiet sitting each morning and evening for an extended period of time with a focus on the exhalation. Every time we exhale, we take our body into rest-and-restore, which means stress-relief!

And I’ll set my phone to a timer so that on the hour each hour (except while I’m teaching!) I’ll be reminded to take 3 deep exhalations.

7) Atmosphere

I use salt lamps both at home and at the studio to balance the positive/negative ions in my environment. Negative ions are felt with you’re walking on the beach, walking through woods or breathing in the air near a waterfall. The atmosphere is much different from an office, a home or a highway or city street. Himalayan Salt Lamps add negative ions into the air, making spaces relaxing and balanced. (We sell Himalayan Salt Lamps at the studio as well.)

8) Affirmations for a stress-free life

I let go of all fear and doubt and life becomes simple and easy for me.

I create a stress-free world for myself.

I relax all my neck muscles and I let go of any tension in my shoulders.

I slowly breath in and out and I find myself relaxing more and more with each breath.

I am a capable person and I can handle anything that comes my way.

I am centered and focused.

I feel more secure each day.

I am safe when I express my feelings

I can be serene in any situation.

I am comfortable with my finances; I am always able to pay my bills on time.

I trust myself to deal with any problems that arise during the day.

I realize that stress is only fear; I now release all fears.

I am in the process of making positive changes in all areas of my life.

Resources:

Physical Effects of Long Term Stress

Louise L Hay, “I Can Do It: How to use affirmations to change your life”