Stress has reached epidemic proportions—it’s all around us, from the pressure we place on ourselves to get more out of each day to external pressures to be our best. Our efforts to more demands than ever before results in our self-care routine getting pushed by the wayside.
This process causes bad food choices and poor sleep habits, which lead to even more stress. The result is an epidemic of stress and increased risk for chronic diseases from unhealthy lifestyle choices. Everything from Type 2 diabetes to cardiovascular disease, and cancer can be the result of chronic stress.
Chronic distress disrupts nearly every system in your body, from your immune system to your digestive and reproductive systems. Stress also speeds up the aging process and can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
The good news is, there’s so much we can do to stop it!!
Meditation or activities like yoga and tai chi connect breathing with movement. These types of meditations have documented scientific evidence to reduce physical and psychological distress. A less commonly cited way to reduce stress is simply participating in things that make us feel happy and fulfilled.
- Going on an evening walk with your spouse or partner
- Playing or spending quality time with your children or grandchildren
- Trying out a new healthy recipe
- Starting a new hobby such as painting or bird watching
Check out this video on how to focus on your breathing to combat stress
Breathing with intention can be done from anywhere at any time. Simply take several slow deep inhalations and exhalations, and you’ll immediately achieve a sense of calm.
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