Ok, I hate to be the bearer of bad news… but if you’re living, you’re stressed – even if you don’t think you are; it is the natural physical and mental reaction to so many situations. Although good in the short term because it helps when needing to get through tough situations, stress is incredibly detrimental to our health. It is something that is so frequently ignored and most likely will affect your life in ways that you wouldn’t expect… your immune system crashes, your desire for sex decreases and it’ll wreak havoc on your digestive system (and increase chances of developing type 2 diabetes).
It is imperative that you address things that are causing you stress, here are a handful of things I do to keep myself serene:
SIX STEPS TO SERENITY
SLEEP – I won’t be the first person to highlight the importance of sleep, and for good reason… Because it literally is one of the most essential things we can do for our bodies. Think about it, we spend on average about 25 years asleep in our lives! Good quality sleep goes way beyond just boosting your mood and eliminating those dark circles below the eyes. It’s now more than ever linked to better health, clearer thinking, stronger immunity and can reduce stress levels. The number of hours sleep varies for the individual, I personally find I function best on 8 hours – if you’re needing more, listen to your body and allow yourself some more sleep! If you’re currently struggling with your sleep then here are a few things that might help
o Keep your room cool, this is because whilst we’re sleeping our core temperature drops a bit and so cooling off before bed will help you fall asleep quicker
o Make sure that you’ve had some proper time to digest your food before you sleep (the digestion process takes about 2-3 hours)
o Try the Bodyism Serenity supplement, it’s amazing for combatting those stress hormones!
EAT NOURISHING FOODS – Food is such an important one when you’re wanting to de-stress, I think if you can get to grips with this then you’re on to a winner. I usually crave sugar when I’m stressed and this is for one simple reason: when we’re stressed our bodies release cortisol, and when we eat sugar then initial hit releases serotonin which calms the cortisol down. However, this is just the initial phase, your body will then crash and leave you feeling even worse. As well as a balanced healthy diet, you need to make sure that you’re eating foods that boost your serotonin and dopamine levels, such as: turmeric, bananas, oatmeal, eggs, green tea, dark chocolate, nuts and beetroot. In a stress-scenario now, I make a conscious effort to turn to dark chocolate and nuts. Bodyism’s new fat burning chocolate is also a great shout!
EXERCISE – When doing the right exercise for your body this directly links to better health and an increased sense of wellbeing. It’ll release stress-busting endorphins and leave you feeling great. The only thing you need to watch out for is that you’re doing the correct exercise for your because if you’re putting too much stress on your body then this can increase your cortisol levels, which in turn will mean you’ll carry weight in places you don’t want to, and this is not so serene!
SMILE– Do more of this, and if you struggle then even fake it, plant a ‘secret smile’ on your face. You can do this by turning up the edges of your mouth slightly. I remember the first time I was told to do this, was in a yoga class whilst holding a pose that quite clearly my face was showing that I didn’t enjoy!! And it’s such a good technique, smile secretly, even when it hurts! Laughter also helps too… You know when you’ve properly laughed because your tummy aches, that is the laughter I mean… but this can’t be faked, just appreciate it massively when you do experience it.
TRUST yourself – This is mainly about your gut instinct; the gift of the gut and I can’t tell you how powerful it is! One of the opposites of feeling serene, is being stressed and forgive me for sounding cliché but our bodies always know what is right for us. When you’re stressing and trying to figure something out, take a moment to tune into your physical body and listen to what it is telling you. Do you feel comfortable or uncomfortable? Are you tense or relaxed? Take a few slow, deep breaths, centre yourself and start making decisions from your gut, you’ll begin to feel a lot more in tune with who you are and the decisions you make will in turn be the right ones for you.
Also, if you don’t already… Then please start taking a probiotic, this is imperative for gut health and will also help with any unwanted bloating!
SAY ‘NO’ – For all those people pleasers and over achievers this is for you, and it’s got to be one of the most important factors to finding serenity. Although it might come as a surprise because ‘No’ is usually associated with negative things, by using it more it’ll actually enhance your self-confidence, energy, authenticity and mood. There is a limit as to how much we can do in a day; your time is incredibly valuable and in order to get the most out of your days it is important that you choose carefully the meetings/coffees/events that you’re attending. You don’t want your body to be forcing you to say No. For ‘No’ to be an act of serenity, it has to be a conscious decision from a place of self-care. Start practicing this today! And notice within a couple of weeks how revolutionary it is.