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Meditation for Stress & Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are common experiences that can take a toll on your daily life. Almost twenty percent of society claims they have stress and anxiety issues that are debilitating or somehow affect their ability to enjoy their lives.

Due to this, many people seek solutions to this problem. During their search, they usually stumble upon meditation and many meditation apps. Maybe that’s why you’re here. No one is trying to discourage you away from meditation.

There is no doubt that meditation helps. Studies have repeatedly shown that meditation helps most people who give it a genuine try with their stress and anxiety. But, while meditation is an effective way to cope with stress and anxiety, it is crucial to understand that it is not a "quick fix."

How Meditation Works to Combat Stress and Anxiety

Meditation works by helping you focus on the “here and now.” Doing that helps you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings. This process can take time and regular practice to see results.

Studies show that most people experience positive results after about eight weeks of daily meditation. However, it is vital to keep in mind that everyone is different and will experience different results.

Some people may find they need to meditate for more extended periods before they begin to see any effects, while others may notice changes after only a few minutes. Again, the important thing is to be patient and consistent with your practice, as results will vary from person to person.

There are many ways to use meditation for stress and anxiety, but one of the best ways is to focus on your breath. Taking deep, slow breaths can help to calm your mind and body, and it can also help to clear out any negative thoughts or emotions that may be causing your stress and anxiety.

You can also try focusing on a mantra or a certain word or phrase you repeat to yourself during meditation. This can help to keep your mind from wandering and can help you to focus on the present moment.

Other Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

After your meditation session, there are other things that you can do to reduce stress and anxiety. For example, you can exercise, spend time in nature, get enough sleep, and eat a healthy diet. These things can help improve your overall health and wellbeing, which can, in turn, help reduce stress and anxiety. So if you're struggling with stress and anxiety, try incorporating some of these things into your daily routine with a regular meditation practice.

Meditation Is a Powerful Tool

Meditation is not a magic cure-all that will instantly eliminate stress and anxiety. Meditation is, however, a powerful tool to help you manage stress and anxiety in your lives. With the addition of concrete steps, meditation will promote relaxation, increase self-awareness, and boost your mood. With consistency, you can learn how to better deal with stress and anxiety and eventually find more peace and calm in your life.

Benefits to Adopting Proper Stress Management Techniques

Stress wreaks havoc on many areas of your life, including your health, relationships, and career. It clouds your judgment, making it difficult to make proper decisions and effectively communicate with those around you.

In addition, many studies have shown stress to increase the risk of developing obesity, heart disease, depression, and even diabetes. This means that proper stress management techniques are essential to prevent these health risks. Not only that, but stress management can also improve or benefit your life in many other ways.

The following are four benefits to adopting proper stress management techniques.

More Effective Sleep

Stress is a common culprit that steals many hours of sleep each night. Anxious thoughts and increased cortisol levels can affect your blood pressure, cause inflammation and disrupt your breathing patterns – resulting in poor sleep as your mind stays aware and alters throughout the night. In other words, if you want better sleep, find effective ways to reduce your stress before you get some rest.

Increased Happiness and Sense of Purpose

Inflammation and increased cortisol levels caused by stress can also lead to symptoms of depression or affect your overall mental health altogether. However, proper stress management techniques can help you stay grounded and focus on the things you love the most. Daily meditation, journaling, or spending time outside with sunlight are three great stress management ideas that can help you connect with yourself better.

Enhanced Focus and Productivity

Decreased cortisol and inflammation, as well as proper air and blood flow, are vital to your brain and mental health. Your judgment is clouded when your brain lacks good oxygen and necessary resources, making it harder to make the right choices. Proper stress management techniques like breathing exercises or meditation can mitigate these risks.

Weight Loss or Maintenance

Another great benefit to stress management is weight loss and maintenance. Research shows that increased cortisol levels can decrease willpower and make it harder to shift excess weight. Unfortunately, this means you are more likely to make unhealthy choices when anxious or stressed out to get some instant relief.

Improved sleep, increased happiness and productivity, and enhanced health are essential benefits of proper stress management techniques. If you don’t limit or control the excess stress, you can decrease your life expectancy and satisfaction. In addition, stress prevents you from achieving your goals and experiencing happiness. With proper stress management techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation, and exercise, you can be sure this doesn’t happen.

Avoid These Four Things to Better Manage Your Stress

Avoid These Four Things to Better Manage Your Stress

Harboring stress or doing activities that allow stress to foster instead of dissipating only leads you to make poor decisions that prevent you from achieving your life goals. While you can’t eliminate all stress, you can and should avoid things to manage it better.

You’ll want to live with mindfulness and take action to control and prevent as much stress as possible. Your mental and physical health relies on your ability to manage stress in order to live a more fulfilling and happier life.

Here are four things to avoid to manage your stress better:

Tobacco and Alcohol

Many of the properties found in tobacco and alcohol make the symptoms of stress or anxiety worse. Alcohol and many other drugs send messages to your brain to increase your cortisol levels, causing a hormonal imbalance and further growing the negative response your brain has and perceives due to stress.

Alcohol prevents you from achieving a normal balance in hormones and causes a “yo-yo effect,” which can cause even more damage as your brain constantly tries to repair.

Too Many Sugary Foods or Drinks

Sugar affects your brain in a similar way to drugs and alcohol, while also increasing inflammation. Due to this numbing effect, your body will crave more sweets while stressed too, as stress interferes with the response. However, instant relief isn’t worth the damage inflammation can create throughout your body.

Being Sedentary

Inactivity only intensifies stress, and you prevent your brain from getting the necessary hormones it needs. Exercising releases endorphins that help make you feel good in a healthy way, without any damage your body.

Negativity and Toxic Positivity

Both of these things serve only to make stress worse and keep you down. They are two useless habits that keep you in a downward spiral while also affecting those around you.

While easier said than done, these activities should be avoided or limited from your life if you want to live with less stress. The more stress you harbor, the more likely you are to miss living the life that truly makes you feel happy and fulfilled.

Thankfully, while difficult, stress can be managed as long as you have the proper tools and resources. So find ways to stick to a healthy diet, get moving as must as possible, and avoid negativity to get started on the right path.

How Minimalism Can Control Stress

How Minimalism Can Control Stress

According to the American Institute of Stress, did you know that nearly 48% Of Americans have trouble sleeping due to stress? The lack of sleep prevents them from achieving their goals and live their life to the fullest.

One of the most straightforward, most cost-effective, and safest ways to reduce stress is through minimalism. Minimalism is often misunderstood. It's simply a way to live as stress-free as possible. It doesn't really mean you do without needed items. It just means you only have what you need.

Research supports that too much clutter in one's life can increase stress and anxiety and getting rid of it is one of the best medicines and things you can do to be successful.

Saves You Money and Other Resources

Probably one of the most evident and instant rewards to minimalism is how much you will be saving in the long run. Money and time used to purchase these items could be better used to improve or gain more experiences that foster happiness.

Improves Your Decision-Making Skills

Fewer worries over financial decisions or limited funds allow you to make healthier decisions in life because you no longer are using your energy where it's not needed. The extra money and resources provide a sense of calmness and keep you stress-free.

Provides Clarity and Focus

When you decide to get rid of things, you regain control and provide clarity, focus, and direction to your life. The act forces you to take a moment to evaluate it and recognize the emotions or value it brings to your life - allowing you to remember what you value in life and want to achieve.

It is easy to get distracted as life is fast and busy. There are so many different people coming in and out of your life that your true priorities or values can get overshadowed and diminished. Minimalism brings you back to reality and gives you a moment to recenters your attention to where it matters.

Releases Tension and Provides Power

As you declutter or priorities the things or people in your life, you gain more power and control - enabling you to physically release tension that you hold in your shoulders and release endorphins that make you feel happy. Eliminating clutter allows you the space to build the self-confidence and inspiration you need to be happy and stress-free.

Don't let stress get in your way of achieving what you want from life. Remember, minimalism isn't about living with nothing and won't be the same for everyone. It's about actively keeping things in your life that make you happy and rejecting the things that don't.

Meditation Is a Tool You Can Use to Manage Chronic Stress


Meditation Is a Tool You Can Use to Manage Chronic Stress

There are strategies and resources that you can turn to in order to manage chronic stress. One of these strategies is meditation. When you engage in this practice, it helps you relax both mentally and physically.

You find relief from the thoughts that might be contributing to the stress because it pulls your attention away from the causes and changes the direction of your thoughts. That’s the foundation of most meditation practices.

You learn to stop allowing your thoughts to stay on stressful things and instead, you focus elsewhere, such as on empowering or positive things. Meditation is a way to be in the moment and learn self-awareness.

You’ll learn how to concentrate as you learn how to cope. When you’re under stress, it leads to rising levels of cortisol. You can end up suffering from additional symptoms related to stress, such as inflammation.

The negative side effects linked to this inflammation can lead to things such as insomnia, mood swings and cognitive issues. By practicing meditation, you can reduce stress and the inflammation side effect.

Meditation helps you manage chronic stress because it also helps to alleviate anxiety. Anxiety is a common side effect of stress. By using meditation, you learn how to react to the stress factors that can induce anxiety.

Regular practice of meditation can result in a mood boost as well as a more positive outlook concerning a stressful situation. It can also give you clarity, so you gain perspective on how to deal with your stressors.

By alleviating anxiety, meditation can lead to a positive boost to battle your other stress related emotional symptoms, too. Many people who experience anxiety associated with stress also struggle with depression.

When you practice meditation, it relieves depression. Living with chronic stress causes many people to turn to unhealthy habits to attempt to find relief. Meditation can help you overcome bad habits or behaviors, such as drinking or smoking, which only makes stress worse.

When you meditate, it can give you insight into why you’re feeling stressed. By locating the root of your stress, you’ll be able to cut it out of your life. You’ll notice when you start meditating that some of the symptoms associated with stress get better.

For example, if you’ve had trouble sleeping because of your stress, meditation can help restore that area of your life. It works because insomnia is often caused by emotions and thoughts associated with stressors.

Meditation gives you the skills to be able to get those thoughts under control so you stop the flow of negative thinking when you’re trying to fall asleep. Once you learn how to engage in meditation, you’ll experience many health benefits, such as a reduction in blood pressure and fewer muscle aches. 

Don't miss this (Limited Time Only) Free Masterclass by Emily Fletcher, who is one of the world’s leading experts in meditation!

Starting Your Day Off Fighting Stress Can Turn Everything Around for You

Starting your day off on the right foot can help you battle stress throughout the day. When you begin your day in a relaxing way, it can help set the tone for the hours that follow.

But if you jump right into things that stress you, you can expect that stress to continue because you’ll get caught up in a cycle of stress. You’ll brace yourself against stressful things and develop that tension throughout your body.

But if you focus on beginning your day the right way, you can turn everything around and stop the stress before it takes hold. When you get up in the mornings, don’t immediately jump into doing things.

You need to give yourself time to wake up. You also want to create a mood for your day. The best way to do this is to start with something that either relaxes you or makes you feel like the day is going to be exciting and positive.

To do this, you can begin your day with music. Music has long been advised by medical professionals as a way to destress. Music can work in a variety of ways. It can soothe emotions.

It can also make you feel relaxed or create an environment of positivity, such as causing you to feel happy and uplifted. Give your body a good soak first thing in the morning. Taking a warm shower can help you relax your muscles.

It can also be a great place to think about the positives that you’re looking forward to for the day. This can be something as simple as drinking your favorite smoothie or enjoying some time to read during your lunch break.

Fight off stress by making sure you don’t begin your day on an empty stomach. Your body needs fuel in order to function well. If you start out your day by skipping breakfast, that can make stress worse because you won’t have the energy to deal with stressors.

Suffering nutritionally can also compound any ill effects caused to the body by stress. If you’re really not a breakfast eater, even just grabbing a piece of fruit can help gear you up to face the day and handle stress.

Begin with good thoughts. There’s a lot to be said for the power of positive thinking. Where your thoughts go, so goes your body, too. If you start by thinking about negative, stressful things, your body will immediately take cues from that.

Start by writing down three thoughts that you’re thankful for. Or, you can list three things you’re looking forward to for the day. You can also jot down three small things that make you happy - such as a cozy, rainy day or listening to your favorite podcast on the way to work.

Get moving first thing in the morning. If you can exercise when you get up, this can help set the stage for fighting off stress. This might be something as quick as taking a stroll around your neighborhood. Establishing healthy and happy morning routines can set the pace for better days and help you eliminate stress in the process.

Eliminate Stress Naturally

Eliminate Stress Naturally

Stress is uncomfortable and can ruin anyone's day, week, or even year. It can be the one thing preventing you from being entirely successful and achieve your goals. It may feel awful and hard to avoid, but there are ways to eliminate it.

Go on A Walk or Hike

Get out in nature, soak in the sunlight, and break free from reality and other people. This is the best way to absorb vitamin D that is essential to living a healthy life. Maintaining adequate vitamin D levels is vital for a robust immune system, healthy bones, and a stable mood.

Use Aromatherapy

Light a candle, burn incense, or warm essential oils throughout your day. Aromatherapy is a known stress reliever as it activates feel-good chemicals in your brain. Allowing you to let go for a moment and relax.

Hug or Cuddle It Out

Find a consenting partner to share a hug or cuddle with. Just like aromatherapy, cuddling activates certain hormones that make you happy. Ultimately releasing any pressure, you may feel in the moment.

Get Crafty

Paint, sculpt or draw a picture. Let your imagination run wild and free. Let go of any expectations and create art. If it makes you happy, then you are doing it right. Who cares how the result looks, if you are having fun creating it?

Practice Positive Self-Talk

Stop talking to yourself with a negative tone. You are only doing yourself a disservice by keeping yourself down and demotivated. Any moment you can turn your negative thoughts into positive ones.

The more you tell yourself something, the more likely you will become it, so make sure it's always beneficial. Sure, you will always have moments of self-doubt but don't allow yourself to dwell on it.

Be Alone

While you may think you are a social being, separating yourself from others can be an easy way to destress. Often the people around you can be putting pressure and high expectations without being consciously aware of it. They can also easily affect your mood and desire to continue or finish a task.

Laugh A Lot

Nothing can be better than laughter. View it as a good dose of happiness. It inspires you to seek more and is highly contagious. Even if at first you don't believe it, you will eventually find yourself laughing at yourself. Laughter relaxes your body, releases endorphins, and reduces your cortisol levels being the perfect solution to releasing stress.

The next time life feels stressful, don't allow yourself to feel pity or self-doubt. Give yourself permission to take a break and follow one of these seven ways to eliminate stress naturally. You don't need to allow the stress to get in the way of your success and happiness, but you do need to learn to deal with it since it will always exist.

5 Effective Ways To Deal With Pressures In Life

stress management

5 Effective Ways To Deal With Pressures In Life

Do you ever feel like you're carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Or, at the very least the weight of the people around you? Nothing weighs you down like pressure and too much of it is likely to leave you feeling frustrated, angry, and sad. In extreme cases, you may find yourself bubbling over and knocked out by overwhelm and burnout.

It isn't just work deadlines that get you, it can also be financial obligations and the burden of daily life. Money, in particular, is a rising cause of anxiety and stress for Americans. Combined with the stress of excessive working hours, a lack of control and support, and it's no wonder so many people are feeling under pressure.

We all react differently to pressure, some people swear it makes them perform better while others recognize the damage it can do to their performance. It is much easier to remain focused on a task when you're calm. So, let's look t five effective ways to deal with pressures in life.

1. It's The Process, Not The Outcome
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is detach from the outcome and remain focused on the work that you are doing. It is much easier to live your potential if you remove the obstacles you face mentally. If you focus on the process, rather than the outcome, it will reduce the likelihood of performance anxiety.

2. Organize
How do you organize your day? How do you manage your thoughts? You can't store it all in your head. The best way to deal with thoughts and responsibilities is to have an external organization system. It might be that you write out a daily to-do list, it could be that you prefer a digital calendar. Whatever it is – it removes the pressure of memorizing everything you have to do and worrying about forgetting something. Your list is your bible and will serve as a reminder for everything you need to do or deal with. You will notice a serious dip in the pressure you carry.

3. Deal With Negative Thoughts
If you struggle with negative thoughts this will only add to the pressure you feel. One of the ways you can manage these thoughts is through re-framing them. When you are faced with a negative thought, start by putting things into perspective. As frantic worry starts to overtake you, stop and remind yourself that no matter what it is you're faced with that you can handle it. It's not the end of the world, work through it by deciding your next steps – first, I'm going to do x and then I'll do y, and do this until you have successfully reframed your thoughts and empowered yourself.

4. Know Your Limits
Your brain can only keep it all together for so long. So, if you're dealing with tens of thousands of thoughts daily (you are), as well as a list of things to do, and a glut of problems, your brain can only maintain for so long. Understand that your brain has limitations and start going easy on yourself. Be realistic. Do not expect to carry all of the solutions all of the time. You literally can't.

5. Breathe Through It
When you are faced with a crisis, too much pressure or you feel overwhelmed, press pause and breathe through it. Count to ten as you inhale deeply and exhale and allow yourself a moment to clear your brain of worries. Let your mind have enough time to recalibrate so you relieve some of that pressure and allow yourself to think more clearly to deal with the problem at hand.

10 Ways to Reduce Everyday Stress

10 Ways to Reduce Everyday Stress

Stress is responsible for many problems in people's lives. Stress causes worsened health problems, poor-quality work, and unsatisfying relationships. Managing and reducing stress is essential to everyday life if you want to be happy and fulfilled.

Identify Stress Starters

Take the time to see if there are obvious things that are causing stress and figure out how to solve it. If it is work-related, can these tasks be delegated to others, or can you find a better position? Or maybe as you identify stressors, you realize that your stress is increased after you had your coffee for the day.

Eat A Well-Rounded Diet

The old saying, ‘you are what you eat’ will always be true. Most of the time, if you don’t feel good, it can be traced to a poor diet. Unnatural food and unnatural or overly processed food and sugar are known to make stress worse.

Exercise Daily

Exercise reduces stress because anytime you exercise, you activate hormones that make you feel good. Conversely, the hormone cortisol is responsible for stress and is significantly reduced during exercise, so you both reduce hormones that make you feel stressed and boost hormones that make you feel good through exercise.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleeping poorly means an increase in cortisol in your blood, which leads to stress. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night to function optimally. Likewise, don’t oversleep. Adults typically don’t need more than 9 hours a night of sleep.

Drink Enough Water

Dehydration can also increase cortisol levels, so make sure you get enough water per your weight. The standard message of drinking eight glasses of water a day applies but double-check with your healthcare professional to find out how much you need based on your weight, health, diet, and other factors unique to you.

Get A Blood Test

Stress can easily be caused due to underlying medical conditions or your vitamin levels being off. Get a comprehensive blood test to see where you may be having issues. Low vitamin D, B12, and iron are responsible for symptoms of stress.

Laugh Often

Get those feel-good chemicals activated by laughing. Laughing reduces muscle tension, increases oxygen intake, and reduces your heart rate and blood pressure— all reducing your stress.

Meditate Daily

Meditation uses mindfulness techniques to achieve a mental and emotionally stable state of being. This is why it is such a great technique to reduce stress, as this is the primary goal. Even five minutes daily after you wake up can make a big difference.

Practice Breathwork

Breathwork encompasses easy breathing exercises that can be done right away when stress feels overwhelming. It is as simple as holding your breath for a few minutes or following a phone application that has you tailor your breathing to the imagine. These exercises work by having your focus on other things while also bringing in a sense of relaxation due to increasing blood oxygen levels from regulated breathing patterns.

Listen to Music and Get Moving

Music and moving around are great medicine for many problems, not just stress. Moving and music can make people feel happy and energized. The more you produce feel-good hormones, the more your cortisol levels will decrease too. So, turn up that music and cut a rug.

When in doubt, don’t be afraid to seek the advice of a health professional if your stress is taking over your life. However, these ten ways to reduce everyday stress are a great way to start.

Relaxation Techniques for a Healthier Mind and Body

Relaxation Techniques for a Healthier Mind and Body

If you find that you have a hard time relaxing, it’s crucial first to accept that it’s perfectly okay for you to relax, that you deserve to relax, and that relaxation is part of a happy, full life. Now that you have permission to relax let’s look at some tactics that you can use every day to improve your relaxation.

1.Breathe – Anytime you feel as if you cannot relax, try some different breathing techniques. One that works very well is to simply breathe in slowly through your nose and out your mouth by counting to four. Count, one, two, three, four, to breathe in, count one, two, three, four to hold the breath in, then count one, two, three, four to blow it out of your mouth.

2.Release Tension – One way to relax is to release the physical tension in your body by tightening up and releasing all your muscles. Start at your toes and move all the way up to your head or vice versa, depending on your preference. Tighten the muscles, then release them, one at a time.

3.Get Moving – Some people have extra tension in their bodies due to a lack of physical activity. Anyone who has anxiety or who cannot sleep at night should first try moving more to see how that works. Everyone should shoot for a minimum of 150 minutes of intentional moderately difficult movement, such as fast walking per week.

4.Get into Nature – Humans need nature. Even if you have allergies to nature, going outside to walk with your feet in the dirt or grass is a great way to encourage your body to relax. If you’re shut in for some reason, try looking at nature pictures online while moving.

5.Eat Right – Eating a healthy diet at least 80 percent of the time is an essential component of being able to relax because you need the vitamins and minerals in the food. If you have any deficiencies, it can show up as sleeplessness and anxiety.

6.Stay Hydrated – Most people are walking around slightly dehydrated. Humans need approximately 64 ounces of water every day unless you live in a dry climate, then you’ll need more. When you note the inability to relax, ask yourself if you’ve had enough filtered tap water today or not before you do something else.

7.Clean Up and Organize Your Environment – Studies show that living in a cluttered environment adds to stress and makes it harder to relax. Try working on one room at a time, starting with your bedroom and workspace. You’ll start feeling more relaxed as you get rid of the clutter.

8.Put Worries into Perspective – If you are concerned about something even if it’s severe, putting worries into their true perspective can aid you in lessening some of your fears. At the very least, help you develop a timeline when you can overcome it. Asking what is the worse thing that can happen and then visualizing that along with what is most likely to happen can help a lot.

9.Journal Away Your Worries – Using your journal to get worries out of your mind is a great way to use journaling. It also sets a time limit to giving thought and attention to the negativity that can get in the way of your relaxation.

10.Visualize Yourself Calmer – If you’re worried about finishing a project picture, it done. If you’re concerned, you can’t complete the marathon, picture yourself done. If you’re just worried for no reason find a calming visualization like being at the beach or holding an infant to help you calm yourself.

Being relaxed about your life is an important way that you can reduce stress, get more done, and be generally healthier. People who regularly relax and recharge tend to get more done than those who try to burn the candle at both ends if your goal is to be productive focus on adding daily relaxation to your schedule for best results. 

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