Take Time for You!
Updated: Apr 21, 2022
Is stress kicking your butt? These 3 simple lifestyle shifts will reduce your day-to-day stress levels!
Let's begin with a good night's rest. Getting proper sleep is really underrated. It's not only key for your mind and body to heal and recharge, sleep is when the grey matter in your brain is formed. Sleep studies have shown that insomnia patients had lower cortical amounts, affecting areas like the hippocampus, which involves memory formation. This means it's harder to think when you're sleep-deprived, creating unnecessary stress. Getting into a routine of turning off all tv’s, computer screens & devices before bed to unwind, and aiming for the same bedtime each night, will help you get a more restful night's sleep.
Next up is exercise. We all know of the physical benefits from exercise, like staying in shape and helping fight off disease, but lesser-known are the mental benefits of exercise. It is vital to engage in at least 5 minutes of aerobic exercise per day, which in turn improves concentration, alertness and stabilizes your mood. The brain's release of endorphins, our body's own natural painkiller, after doing as little as taking in just a few steady deep breaths, demonstrates the influence exercise has on the mind.
Another great practice is Mindfulness Meditation, which turns out to be more than a feeling. Scientific studies using MR images have shown that not only does it reduce mental stress and create a feeling of relaxation, by bringing your attention to the present moment and focusing on your breathing, it can also thicken the cerebral cortex in several areas of the brain, positively affecting the gray matter in areas related to stress and improving cognitive function.
These simple yet proven methods to reduce stress work on a cellular level, to help protect you from overwhelming stress and improve cognitive functionality. Especially during these trying times, we should do all we can to manage stress.
I personally can attest that these lifestyle shifts work. I’d like to know your thoughts or experiences if you put this or something similar into practice!