It’s easy to think that stress is a natural part of life. Whether it’s stressing about deadlines, budgeting, or the state of the world, it’s easy to get caught up in it all. Stress management is something we all have to learn. In the age of wellness and self-care, learning to cope with stress is a vital first step.
It’s often the smallest of acts that help you to manage stress. At Mumanu, we believe that showing ourselves love and kindness is the best stress reliever. We’d like to share with you the easy ways to track and manage your stress levels in everyday life.
What stress does to the body
When you feel stressed, your hormones cause your body to be on high alert, diverting your resources (blood, oxygen, fuel) to your major organs and muscles. The long term effects of stress on the body go deeper than this. Almost every inch of your body reacts negatively to stress. Here are just a few of them:
The list of health risks associated with stress goes even deeper. It’s associated with fertility problems, muscle tension, type II diabetes, and an increased risk of a heart attack. Understanding these risks will make you want to take proactive steps to track and manage your stress levels.
How to track stress
The first step to stress management is learning how to track your stress levels. Tracking your stress lets you identify what your triggers are. One of the easiest ways is to keep a journal, noting down when you start feeling the symptoms of stress.
Your phone or smartwatch can help with this. Most devices are fitted with health trackers that will notify you when your heart rate rises. Like everything, there are apps to track your stress. Apps like ‘Headspace’ and ‘My Mood Tracker’ exist to make it easier to recognise the symptoms of stress and how to manage your moods.
You can track your stress the good old fashion way with pen and paper. Before bedtime, write down in a diary all the triggers you noticed during the day. Soon you’ll notice the patterns. It’s good to let those thoughts out so you don’t have to hold them in, preventing you from sleeping.
Take a few breaths and then in another journal, write down everything you’re grateful for that day (even if they’re little things like coffee, birds singing etc). This is a good way to train your brain to see good things too. It might also help you to sleep better by thinking of those things you’re grateful for before bed.
How to manage your stress levels
The best way to manage your stress levels is by being proactive. Most things we would consider essential for a wellness routine will also lower your stress.
Take time out of your day to do something for yourself. It might be using our organic lavender balm at bedtime to help you de-stress or dancing to your favourite song. Mindfulness – and being in touch with your emotions – is key to managing your stress levels.
Exercise can be a great outlet for stress, as well as other hobbies like painting or singing. One of the best outlets is to talk about your problems, whether it’s with a therapist or your friend.
You don’t need to change your entire routine to manage your stress. It’s often little things, like eating healthier and getting 8 hours of sleep, that have the greatest impact.
Taking five minutes out of your day to focus on your breath is a very easy and free way to bring your stress levels down. Headspace is a great app for beginners to get into mediation. It’s much easier than you think.
Stress doesn’t have to be a part of everyday life – not with the right stress management.