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  • Lauren

Stress Relief: 5 Simple Way To Reduce Stress

How Stress Impacts Your Health

Open up any health book and I guarantee you’ll find a chapter on stress relief. It’s apart of every holistic / functional medicine treatment plan, and it’s the hardest. Stress is a funny thing, because everyone has different stressors. What stresses me out, may not stress you out, and that’s why it can be difficult to deal with stress. Did you know stress actually worsens almost all medical conditions? People with autoimmune diseases usually experience a flare up in their symptoms during high stress periods.

There was a period in my life where I was so stressed and literally unable to deal with it and all I wanted to do was escape it. I was dealing with a handful of health issues, had a lot on my plate at work, and I was desperate to escape it. Regardless of your current health state, reducing stress is good for everybody.

While there are a handful of different causes of autoimmune diseases, stress is a big one. Take care of yourself by practicing some of these stress-relieving strategies. You don’t have to go full self-care guru over night. Start with one stress relief strategy a day, like maybe journaling every night.

Stress Relief Tips

1. Yoga: I know it may sound extreme, but yoga really changed my life. It’s funny because everyone always told me to do yoga to calm down, and I was never into it. I could barely touch my toes & the thought of just sitting there in silence freaked me out. I forced myself to sign up for a membership at a local studio because I knew if I paid for it, I would go. I walked into my first yoga class because I knew it would be good for me, and suddenly after few classes I found myself going because I was obsessed with the way it made me feel. Yoga truly helped me mentally and physically.

2. Meditation: When I say the thought of yoga freaked me out, the thought of meditation freaked me out even more. I pictured meditation as something Buddhist people do while in the middle of a safari. I downloaded the app called Headspace & started meditating when I needed it. I like Headspace because it’s guided mediation. I currently use the unplug app, and I love it because you can pick from a handful of different type of meditations. I listen to guided meditation every night before bed & it helps me fall asleep.

3. Journaling: Channel your inner child & start journaling your thoughts like you used to in your 5th grade diary. Journaling has many mental health benefits and can help clear your head. You can journal what’s stressing you out, what’s making you happy, or just your basic thoughts. One book I read recommended journaling everything on your mind, and then throwing ou the piece of paper. At first I didn’t get it, but it makes sense if you’re writing down a bunch of negative thoughts, why re-read them? Let them all out, throw out the paper and hopefully move on. In one of the books I was reading, there was a journal exercise where you write down everything stressing you out. I did this and realized every single thing on my list was fear based. This helped me become aware of how much I was worrying about things that I couldn’t change, and it helped me become more mindful of it.

4. Epsom Salt Baths: Epsom salt baths are great for stress relief, relaxing, getting magnesium, softening skin and detoxing. All you need is a bag of Epsom salt & a bath. I try and take 3 Epsom salt baths a week in the winter. If you don’t feel like taking a full bath, you can just soak your feet in the Epsom salt to get some of the benefits.

5. Essential Oils: Lavender and peppermint are my favorite. You can rub a few drops on your wrist, diffuse the oils, or you can put them in a roller ball or spray bottle to keep in your purse.

I know there seems to be a big emphasis on self-care right now. When you scroll in your Instagram feed, you’re bound to see at least one blogger with a charcoal facemask, a cup of tea, and a quote about how self-care is important. Now, I’m not saying a face mask can solve all your problems, but if doing that for yourself for 15 minutes once a week helps you unwind, then by all means at it to my list of tips & face mask on!


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