Stress -- oh, that B?! Who invited you to the party? Stress is an epidemic that a majority of Americans are struggling with today. Whether it stems from money, politics, family, work environment, or the culmination of all of it -- life in general can be stressful. But it’s how we go with the ebb and flow of it that determines the state of our physical and psychological health. Yup- your reaction to stress directly affects that pretty brain of yours, as well as your waistline.
Our mission at The Conscious Craft to help create a less stressed out world for the busy woman who doesn’t have time to take care of herself. Striking a cord? As women, we tend to take care of everyone else before we take care of ourselves. But let’s change that! We are two badass health coaches that have collaborated to help you find your zen through nutrition, self-care techniques, meditation, breathwork, mindset, and exercise.
We believe the process of destressing shouldn’t be another task on the to-do list, but rather a built in routine that excites you and you look forward to each day! “F yes! Move along stress,” says your brain every time you do something to take care of yourself. Learning to slice and dice or karate chop that jerk (stress), if you will.
That all sounds lovely, but let’s get real. Stressful events in your life will constantly pop up and can really negatively affect your life. But stick with us and learn tools and practices that will make major positive impacts on how you react to the daily stresses of life.
We now have research that shows that these practices not only decrease stress mentally, but we are seeing the positive changes physically as well (remember that waistline we mentioned?).
According to American Psychological Association, American Institute of Stress, 77% of Americans cited regularly experiencing physical symptoms caused by stress, with the most being fatigue, headache, and upset stomachs and 73% of Americans regularly experiencing psychological symptoms caused by stress with most feeling irritability or anger.
So it’s safe to say, we are feelin’ it! How many of us are actually hitting the gym or going for a bike ride when we’re feeling that way vs. reaching for comfort food or a glass of wine?
We now know that 90% of all chronic diseases are related to stress. Physically, we evolved with a system known as the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) or “fight or flight” that could combat a highly stressful situation, such as being chased by a saber tooth tiger, easily and effectively.
Fortunately, today we are not as concerned with being chased down by tigers, however our body is physically reacting the same way when we receive that text message, or email from our boss, or when the in-laws want to make you scream (you can admit it. We’ve all been there!).
What is happening internally is actually a series of chemical reactions, like cortisol and adrenaline, that are shooting up through our systems. Over time, this can lead of chronic inflammation. Thankfully, we have a system that works closely with our SNS, which is our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) aka “I’m chillin’, we got this” mode.
When our PNS is active, we can digest our food, repair the body, keep our immune system in check and heck, even make a baby if we want (something much more difficult to do during times of stress- bow chicka wow wow).
Fortunately, we have several ways we can combat stress. We want to be taking at the very least one minute a day of relaxation and there are multiple ways to do this:
- Meditation - Meditation gives you rest that is 5 times deeper than sleep, can reduce stress hormones like cortisol, and bring peace of mind
- Exercise - boost endorphins (which in turn reduce stress hormones)
- Breathing techniques - deep breathing, particularly exhaling longer than inhaling activates our parasympathetic nervous system, bringing us into a state of calm
- Talking it out - stress in generally stemming from an issue and getting it out in the open rather than bottling it up can relieve some stress and could help us have a new perspective
- Earthing or grounding - walking barefoot outside on the grass, sand or even concrete has been shown to lower our free radical damage, stress, inflammation and pain
Join us in our first episode of The Conscious Craft podcast where we dive a bit deeper into these stress reduction topics. Please share with friends if you find value in this and stay tuned as we have more to come! Follow us on Instagram @theconsciouscraft and on Facebook for daily health and wellness tips!