Nobody likes to encounter stress, and yet we do so on a daily basis. It also feels as if this stress is increased even further when you become a mother, or even when pregnant.
Of course, you cannot just go ahead and ignore it. The cortisol you are producing is not the best thing for your body or mind. The problem is that people often know they need to reduce their stress levels and yet they have no idea how to do so.
In order to be of some assistance, these tips from experts in the field may very well make a difference when it comes to ways to relieve stress.
How to Reduce Stress
Here is something that is vitally important to remember - reducing stress is not rocket science. All you need to do is to follow some simple rules and guidance to begin to see a significant difference in your stress levels. However, it does work better when you are able to tackle the issue before you feel those levels rising too high. At that point, it does require some real work on you part to even bring those stress levels down to something resembling normal.
Identify Your Stress.
Before thinking about tackling stress levels, you need to be able to identify what you are stressing about. There are a number of times where your stress and anxiety is rooted in something perfectly logical, and when you identify it this means you can tackle the issue head-on. Knowing how to handle stress simply means you must know what you are trying to deal with.
If there is a problem, then solving it will then, in turn, solve your stress problem.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol.
As both caffeine and alcohol are stimulants, then it makes sense to avoid them when it comes to dealing with stress. The last thing you want to be doing is adding fuel to an already raging inferno, and that is exactly what would be going on if you started drinking copious amounts of coffee to deal with the stress that you are feeling.
Physical Exercise Helps.
Physical exercise does help reduce stress, and we aren’t talking about running great distances or hitting the gym hard. Instead, a gentle stroll outside will work wonders. Merely getting your body moving produces serotonin in your brain which is the ‘happy’ chemical. Producing more of it means you find it easier to cope with stress and it will not have such a negative impact on you.
The Art of Mindfulness.
When we feel stressed, our mind is going to be largely focusing on the thing that is causing the stress in the first place. One easy way to counteract this is to use mindfulness.
This is something that has been around for centuries, and yet it has only really gained some fame relatively recently in the west. The key here is that you take in every single thing around you as you become lost in the moment. If you are in your garden, then pay close attention and thinking intently about each petal on a flower or the smell from them, the colour of the grass, the noises, anything you want.
The aim is to give your mind something else to focus on that is far more pleasant and easier to deal with. By switching your mind away from the thing that is causing you stress and anxiety, you will find it easier to just allow your body and mind to relax a bit.
Meditation is along similar lines to mindfulness, but there’s a whole host of medical research that indicates that meditation has a profound impact on our body and mind. By meditating, you are slowing things down and actively encouraging calmer, slower thoughts to enter your mind. You are basically trying to switch the crazy and busy thoughts that accompany stress and replace them with something that is the polar opposite.
Practice Better Sleep Hygiene.
If we feel constantly tired and exhausted, then trying to deal with stress becomes even harder than it would have otherwise been. You need to practice better sleep hygiene to get on top of it, and do this even to prevent a stress problem from developing in the first place.
Try to go to bed at the same time. Use relaxation techniques such as aromatherapy oils, stay away from bright screens for an hour before going to bed, even have a relaxing bath. Learn what makes you relaxed and then work it into your sleep routine and you will see the benefit.
Yoga or Tai-Chi.
The beauty of yoga or tai-chi is that it is safe to do even if you are currently pregnant. In fact, it is highly recommended that you go ahead and take part in some gentle yoga as this can help you in a number of ways through this period of your life.
Both yoga and tai-chi reduce the production of cortisol. You can go deeper into the Chinese and Indian beliefs behind these two practices if you want, but research has shown over and over again that they both have a very positive impact on your mental well-being. If your mental well-being is in balance, then stress is going to be unable to affect you to the same extent.
You may be sitting there thinking that you have heard most of these tips before, but then that’s because they are known to be highly effective in dealing with stress. People keep mentioning the same things because they produce results, and if that’s the case for so many people then why would you go ahead and challenge that? If they work for others, then they can easily work for you as well.
There are a multitude of other things you can do to help including talking to someone, having a massage, walking a dog, anything that can preoccupy your mind and to stop you from thinking about whatever it is that is stressing you out. Find something that resonates with you and brings you a sense of peace and that will be the key to defeating these horrible thoughts and feelings that are currently plaguing you. Knowing how to handle stress is something that we should all be capable of doing.