3 No-Fail Ways To De-Stress
We’re all looking for a way to de-stress. With relationships, career woes, finances, and daily life, stress is simply a part of life for all of us. Stress relief, however, often seems out of our reach.
When we experience stress, our body releases the hormones adrenaline (which increases energy, blood pressure, and heart rate) and also cortisol, a complex alarm system that increases the release of sugar into the bloodstream, which of course can lead to weight gain.
So now it’s time for the good news. There are a few simple steps we can all take to de-stress and decompress:
1) Simplify Your Stress Away.
When it comes to de-stressing, we can’t underestimate the power of clearing the clutter. That might mean literal clutter: You don’t have to be a feng shui expert to know that cleaning up your physical space (at home and at work) doesn’t just look neater – it affects the way you feel, and makes it easier to take on new tasks.
And you can de-stress by cleaning up metaphorical clutter, too – whether that means simplifying your schedule by saying “no” to some things, or eliminating toxic relationships from your life. We all have the ability to start de-stressing now – we simply have to make room.
2) Have a BLT.
Next time you need a quick de-stresser, try my Breathing Listening Technique. Close your eyes (unless you’re driving – which of course is a whole other source of stress). And take a long, deep inhale on a count of 6. As you do that, listen to the sounds around you, and try and label them: An air conditioner. A dog barking. A car honking. And slowly exhale. Repeat this cycle a few times, and you’ll be amazed at the results.
3) Get Moving.
When we exercise, our brains are bathed in dopamine and serotonin, chemicals that improve mood and actually help us de-stress and relax. I’ve always found that cardio lifts my spirits, resistance training boosts my mood and sense of well-being, and yoga, of course (the ultimate de-stresser) makes me calm and centered.
For ultimate relaxation, try this 3-minute standing yoga sequence from my Yoga Sculpt DVD:
Soothe both your body and mind while losing weight with yoga and pilates!