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Dear Stress, Let’s Break Up: 10 Tips To Help You De-Stress

Dear Stress, Let’s Break Up: 10 Tips To Help You De-Stress

The mind and the body feed one another continuously, so if you are challenged by stress, this can certainly affect your overall wellness. Long-term stress can bring about significant changes in your body, and even bursts of short-term stress can temporarily decrease your overall health.

Getting rid of all the stress completely from your life may be challenging, but in this fast-paced world, it is vital to develop coping skills that can help you avoid the serious health impacts that can arise from unmanaged stress. If your stress levels are overwhelming and debilitating, be brave enough to seek support from stress-management groups and practitioners.

Life is far too short and way too precious to share it with stress. Your wellness is priceless. You deserve to feel calm and at peace every single day.

These 10 tips are not only easy to incorporate into your day, they can help to relieve your stress and bring balance back into your body, mind, and spirit. There is no time like the present to break up with stress.

1. Learn the power of deep breathing

Breathing is something we all do, and yet it is something we rarely pay attention to. Focussing on breathing is one of the most powerful ways to calm and connect the mind, body, and spirit. When we focus on the breath, we can learn to control our stress levels, calm ourselves, and regain clarity of mind.

If you can only remember one piece of information when you are drowning in stress, remember this: Take 3 deep breaths.

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Such a simple yet powerful way to help reduce those feelings of anxiety and panic that often accompany stress.

2. Don’t underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep

Chronic stress can really interfere with sleep. Sleep directly affects almost every area of our health, so a restless night tossing and turning can increase our stress levels dramatically.

Pay attention to your sleep environment. Create a restful atmosphere that supports a peaceful sleep. From sprinkling a little lavender oil on your pillow to ensuring there are no televisions, computers, or electrical devices in the room, create a comfortable setting that encourages rest.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and big meals in the evening. Stay away from computers and late night TV and instead, wind down with some relaxing music, some beautiful herbal tea, and empty your mind of any stressful thoughts.

3. Try calming foods

When we are overly stressed, many of us reach for stimulants like coffee, alcohol, and unhealthy food for comfort. Particularly during times of stress, we should be reaching for calming foods — not comfort foods.

The best way to increase your energy levels is to consume delicious healthy food. Whether it is because of the specific nutrients or the steady reliable source of energy that healthy food gives you, eating nutrient-rich foods that promote wellbeing will support your body during stress.

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Pay attention to your diet. The food you eat can change your life in more ways than you can ever imagine.

4. A scent can evoke peace

The part of the brain that processes odours is very close to the part that houses emotions as well as memories. When you inhale a scent that you love, like perfume or the scent from a flower, you naturally breathe more deeply, which can help you to relax.

Just by inhaling essential oils, we can minimize our stress, anxiety, or any other emotional trauma instantly.

These scents are particularly helpful for easing stress:

  • Lavender – reduces mental stress
  • Jasmine – uplifting and relaxing
  • Rose – nourishes the heart and evokes feelings of reassurance
  • Peppermint – reduces fatigue

5. Meditation, yoga, and prayer

It is possible to reduce your stress levels and improve your mind health by incorporating 20 minutes of either prayer, yoga, or meditation into your day. Relaxation and spiritual support is vital for managing stress. Although it may seem strange, one of the best things we can do during times of high stress is actually not much at all. By that I mean, be still, be quiet, and be observant.

6. Manage your energy

Throughout every minute of every day, you are presented with opportunities that will either deplete or replenish your energy.

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Negative relationships, negative environments, gossip, negative thinking. These are all things that will drain your energy.

Healthy relationships, productive environments, positive thinking and participating in activities that will lift you up are all things that will increase your energy.

Learn to say no, to set clear boundaries and make positive choices in all areas of your life to help alleviate stress. Keeping your energetic body healthy is a surefire way to replenish a weary soul.

7. Use positive statements

We all know that there is great power in the spoken word, so when you are faced with stress, acknowledge the benefits of positive affirmations.

I choose to feel calm.
I am clearing my mind of stressful thoughts.
I am releasing stress from every cell in my body.

Positive affirmations can change your body’s energy. They can raise your vibration and release stress.

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8. Shake it off

Exercise increases endorphins, the brain’s feel-good transmitters. It improves your mood, energizes you, helps you to relax and sleep better, and when your body feels good, so does your mind.

9. Laughter is the best medicine

Laughing is a fantastic way to release more of those feel-good endorphins throughout your body. Get together with your favourite friends and share some laughs. Watch a hilarious feel-good movie. When you are going through a stressful time, laughter can instantly release some of that negative energy.

10. Make time for simple pleasures

Often, when we are overwhelmed with stress, the simplest of acts can improve our outlook as well as our mood. When you are drowning in stress, make the time for simple pleasures. It is amazing how healing a walk along the beach can be. Witnessing a sunset or sunrise can put life back into perspective. Getting back to nature and walking through a beautiful park or forest can ground us. It is often the simplest of acts that holds the most profound solutions to all life’s stresses.

Unmanaged stress can impact your health, your family, and reduce the quality of your life. When you invest in your wellness, mind, body, and spirit, you show your family and your loved ones an example of positive self-esteem. How well you manage your stress determines the quality of your life.

Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eflon/ via flic.kr

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Jo Ettles

Jo Ettles is a published self help author, international writer, speaker and extremely gifted intuitive life coach.

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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