At this time of year in particular, many of us are packing our day until it’s completely full! Family time, parties, work, it’s all happening!  It’s hustle and bustle from the time we wake till we hit the pillow. While some are able to cope with the high demands of work and life, others can be left feeling tired, overwhelmed and “stressed out”.
Did you know? Stress is a natural response in our body and can have either a positive or negative impact on our wellbeing. Many of us are now being affected by stress on a daily basis. In the short term, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but over time chronic stress puts our health and wellbeing at risk.

Here are seven practices you can embrace each day to reduce stress in your life:

1. Practice Gratitude

Practicing Gratitude allows you to shift your attention from what isn’t working in your life to what is. Be grateful for your health, a delicious meal, or the sun shining. Create a sense of gratitude in your heart and experience how your energy shifts. At the end of each day find three things you are grateful for and write them down. Take a moment to reflect on them. Observe how feeling gratitude can fill your heart and create a sense of contentment.

2. Meditation

Meditation is key to a healthy mind. Spend time allowing your mind and body to switch off from your stressful, busy day. Take time for yourself each day to do a meditation. By giving yourself just 10 minutes will help reduce stress and improve your overall health and well-being. Meditation will help to ease your worries and bring you into the present moment.
3. Practice Yoga

The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ which means to unite. It is about the connection of mind, body, breath and movement. Yoga is a combination of asana (postures) and breathing techniques that help you get into a state of relaxation and mediation. Modern research has proven yoga to reduce the stress hormone- cortisol. Having a regular yoga practice helps to reduce stress by making us aware of the ways in which we store, create and perpetuate stress and tension in our physical bodies.

4. Shift Your Perspective.

Life is full of ebbs and flows and some experiences can be harder than others. Having an awareness is key to shifting and changing your perspective. The moment you become aware the change has already begun. Begin by identifying the positive in each experience.

5. Sleep

In Chinese Medicine the best sleep is before 10pm. Sleep a minimum of at least 8 hours. Sleep helps restore your body back to its natural state of wellness, balance your hormones, and most importantly regulates your circadian rhythm. Hit the pillow early. Adequate sleep helps reduce stress and rejuvenates your mind, body and spirit.

6. Breathe

The breath plays an important role and has a powerful influence over our physiological and psychological well-being. Breathing is something we don’t pay a great deal of attention too. In fact, its is an unconscious response we do naturally. Different types of breathing patterns have distinct physiological effects. When we connect to conscious breath, it triggers the physiological response of rest and digest. Everything in the body begins to slow down; our heart rate, our mind, our breathing becomes deeper and consciously we begin to connect into our body. Suddenly, we notice we are in a more relaxed state.

7. Go for a Walk

Walking or any physical exercise helps to reduce stress. When we exercise our body releases potent brain chemicals called endorphins that relieve pain and initiate the relaxation response. Feeding your body with the release of endorphins creates a sense of calm and well-being. Stroll towards relaxation!

We hope this helps bring you a little more stress free time over the silly season!