Tips to Tune Down Stress

It’s true that not all stress is bad. Many types of change come with a moment of increased stress that pushes us to accomplish more than we did before. For instance, an upcoming wedding, moving into a new home, or growing your Gano Excel team can bring new responsibilities as well as new deadlines to finish certain tasks. Your body can enter a state of stress in order to meet these requirements, just as humans have been doing for centuries. Negative stress comes when too many changes happen at once, or the stress is prolonged into a longer-term pattern. Not only can built up stress make you more irritable but have a negative effect on other aspects of your health, such as immune system weakness, muscle aches and poor circulation.

It’s important when stressors around you are constantly at an increased level to take care of yourself by trying to reduce the amount of time your body stays in stress-mode. During a challenging season like the current COVID-19 crisis, it is easy to fixate on stressful worries at the cost of your overall health and wellbeing. We’ve done some digging and found 12 tips that help to put your mind at ease for at least a portion of your day. Practicing one or more of these tips every day can help to give your body the break it needs in order to manage stress better.

Clean and Tidy Up Spaces
Clutter in your home can be adding to feelings of anxiety or stress. Psychologists say that humans tend to link clutter with negative emotions like worry or irritability, whereas clean spaces bring about positive emotions such as happiness and calm. It may be a sense of “unfinished business” that leaves you feeling overwhelmed just by looking at your surroundings. Putting things in order gives you a sense of control that allows your mind to put away those feelings of stress. Taking just 15 minutes each day to tidy key areas can free your mind to think about other responsibilities. Making the bed is a great way to start the day as it puts your mind in a productive mindset.

Focus Your Screen Time
It is important to focus the time you spend on devices to positive and productive actions such as growing your Gano Excel business. Although working from home may mean an increase of overall screen time, it shouldn’t lead to increased stress. Make sure to plan ahead and turn off devices an hour before bed, and pay attention to diet and exercise. Limit time watching or reading content that tends to increase stress, such as the news. Research into video games also shows that the hobby can induce physiological effects of stress, which may inhibit your ability to relax. Control how you spend your time on devices throughout the day and “unplug” from unnecessary sources of stress when possible.

Exercise
Putting your body to work can relieve mental stress. It rebalances hormones in your body, lowering stress hormones and releasing endorphins that improve your mood. It also improves your quality of sleep and exercising regularly can increase confidence which are both great for your mental wellbeing. You can exercise through dancing, regular workouts or yoga classes right from your living room. Exercise can also be hidden in a regimen of regular housework or yard work.

Plan Your Caffeine
Scheduling your coffee intake and balancing this with other healthy GanoCafé products can help your body cope with stress. People have different thresholds for how much caffeine they can tolerate. Too much caffeine may be adding to feelings of anxiety or stress because of how the caffeine is affecting your body. Although coffee has numerous health benefits, it may be important for your mental wellbeing to plan for your daily cups of coffee during the day, and switch to a caffeine free product such as GanoCafé Schokolade or Rooibos Tea later in the evening.

Ask for Help
Reach out to family and friends when you feel overwhelmed. You may just need someone to talk to. Spending time connecting with others is great for your brain. One study found that for women, spending time with friends and children released oxytocin in the brain, a natural stress reliever. Schedule a few phone dates so you can get the social connection you need. You may also need some practical help with essential needs. Friends, family, church or community members may be able to help relieve some of these tasks.

Create Artwork
Putting your creative muscles to work can give your brain a different kind of workout that helps to reduce anxiety levels. Painting, drawing and crafting require that you – at least for the time-being – put your attention on something else. Not the artistic type? Adult coloring books with complex geometric patterns have also shown to reduce stress. Simply follow the pattern and color however you’d like.

Eat a Balanced Diet and Drink Plenty of Water
The type of fuel you give your body can make a significant difference in keeping hormones balanced. Drinking water is a great way to stabilize hormones that may be out of balance. Drinking herbal tea like GanoCafé Rooibos Tea has been shown to reduce stress. Foods rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber can all help the body reduce stress as well. These include berries, dark chocolate, fish, avocados, nuts, greens and whole grains. Ganoderma lucidum is an excellent nutrient-rich supplement that contains 150 antioxidants for healthy body balance.

Be Realistic About To-Do Lists
Now is a great time to get in the habit of making a to-do list and organize it by priority. Be realistic about what you have time to do, especially if you have more responsibilities at home than normal. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work down your list starting with the most important items. Dedicate time to accomplishing your to-do list each day because procrastination can easily lead to increased levels of stress. Taking control of these responsibilities can improve sleep and support healthy circulation.

Keep a Diary and Focus on Gratitude
Writing things down may be a way to ease your mind. However, it is important that you do not only focus on the negative when writing as this may increase a negative mindset. After you record what is challenging for you, think about some positive things. First, focus on gratitude. Gratitude is known to relieve stress and anxiety. Meditate or pray over each item on your gratitude list as this will help you change your mindset.

Laugh
Laughter is great for your body. It has both short-term and long-term benefits! Laughter starts working immediately by relieving your body’s stress response and relaxing tension in your muscles. When laughter is a regular part of your day, it can also improve your immune system and overall well-being. You may not be in the mood to laugh at first, but it can help to watch a comedy on TV or make a call to someone who knows how to make you laugh.

Cuddle Up with Your Partner
It may come as no surprise that physical intimacy is great at relieving stress. Studies show that cuddling, kissing, hugging and sex are all effective at balancing hormones in the brain. Studies also suggest that physical closeness may also have a psychological effect that promotes the body’s immune response. Spending more time at home with your partner may be creating a stressful environment – not a relaxing one! Start with an attitude of empathy and cooperation. Communicate about what is making you stressed and listen to one another. Then, commit to spending physical time together. You may not start out feeling “in the mood,” but connecting with your partner in this way can relieve stress, boost your immune system, improve your mood and strengthen your relationship!

Get Time Alone to Relax
You may need to say “no” more often if stress is causing you to feel unwell. Although productivity and social connection are important for relieving stress, remember to leave time for your mind to rest. It is important to set realistic limits on work and social engagements. Give yourself time every day to recharge and relax. During this time, create a quiet and peaceful atmosphere. You can use aromatherapy with essential oils or candles and spend time in a book or listening to calm music. Did you know slow-paced instrumental music has shown to help lower blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones? Practicing deep breathing is another great stress-reliever. Keep it simple in order to encourage yourself to do it every day!

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