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6 Ways to Instantly De-stress

How stress affects our lives, and what you can do about it

Written by: 100% PURE ®
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Queen and David Bowie said it best: sometimes, pressure pushes down on us.

If there’s one thing that affects everyone, it’s stress. In small doses, it can help motivate us; to complete tasks, or boost energy, memory, and survival functions. But when we’re constantly under pressure, stress can boil over into an avalanche of seriously debilitating physical and mental side effects.

It is absolutely crucial – especially now – to have a toolkit of coping strategies for managing daily stressors before they manage us. We’ll go over the key areas where stress affects our lives, and easy ways to instantly de-stress when the going gets tough.

Stressful Ways Stress Affects Our Lives

We know stress doesn’t do the body much good and in fact, it can even trigger serious mental risks. Whether it’s smaller stressors like rushed mornings to bigger ones like money troubles, you’ll want to try to be mindful of how you’re dealing with stress, so that you know when to seek help. Check out the top ways long-term or chronic stress can affect your mind and health:

Mental Health Conditions
Chronic, high levels of stress can trigger our bodies to produce too much of a hormone, cortisol – also known as the “stress hormone”. When cortisol levels are constantly high due to stress, it can cause physical changes in your brain, including mental conditions such as anxiety or depression.

Chronic stress can also cause neurological and physical symptoms such as headaches, chest pain to heart palpitations, loss of sleep, irregular appetite, and poor concentration.

Elevated Blood Pressure
High stress levels can negatively impact your health by raising blood pressure. The surge in cortisol can temporarily raise your blood pressure by causing your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow. Exposure to chronic stress can also lead to the development of hypertension: blood pressure that’s consistently high.

When your blood pressure is elevated most of the time, as it is with hypertension, decreased blood flow may cause organ damage over the years. This can lead to major health risks such as kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, heart attacks, and even death.

Mood Swings
The emotional effects of stress alone can leave you feeling like you’re on an emotional roller coaster with no end in sight. Since sleep is disrupted, stressful events are like poking a grizzly bear during hibernation. Any single otherwise ordinary event or interaction may send you into attack mode.

Though mood swings can range from irritability to anger in people who are stressed, if you’ve been feeling the blues or not like yourself for a while, it’s time to seek professional help.

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Skin Problems
With the toll that stress takes on our body, it’s no wonder it can wreak havoc on our skin. Too much cortisol can cause our skin to overproduce oil, often causing acne and imbalanced skin. Stress buildup can also speed the aging process.

Stress isn’t just limited to skin issues: it can affect your whole body, causing brittle nails, and hair thinning or hair loss. It can also make skin problems worse, from rosacea and eczema to skin rashes and fever blisters.

Poor Diet
Remember that little stress hormone, cortisol? Turns out when our bodies are flooded with cortisol due to high stress, it can make you overeat or eat far less than normal. The surge of cortisol can make you crave sugary, salty, and fatty foods to fuel the fight-or-flight response.

Stress can also make you lose your appetite, and with the lack of good nutrition, your whole body will suffer. There’s a powerful connection between the mind and gut; for example, your stomach doing backflips before a job interview. Overall, chronic stress and worry can take a serious physical toll on your digestive system.

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6 Ways to De-Stress

Stress is going to pop in and out of our lives, but it doesn’t have to be our life. While we can’t always predict or avoid stressors – case in point, the year 2020 – we do have control over how we react to them. To help keep stress in check, we’re going over some surefire ways to de-stress your mind and body.

1. Get fresh air

Getting fresh air is a great way to clear your head and just... breathe. We won't drill in the notion that exercise reduces stress (which it does), but we'll encourage getting outside as often as you can – whether it’s lunch on the patio, or gentle stretching in your backyard. If we could convince you to go for a short walk, we’d note that it boosts endorphins which, in turn, reduce stress hormones.

woman listening to earphones.jpg 2. Meditate

Mindfulness techniques such as meditation can strengthen your emotional responses to stress. As opposed to stress triggering cortisol or stress hormones, meditation triggers the body’s relaxation response. The practice of meditation helps to calm and repair the body through mindfulness techniques and controlled breathing. Practicing this state of deep relaxation has some big health benefits, such as mood improvement and reduced gastrointestinal discomfort.

PRO TIP: Try different types of guided meditation for sleep, quick de-stressing, or general wellbeing. Certain types of music can also help to lessen the effect of stress.

3. Accept without judgment

Another key to mindfulness involves acceptance and non-judgement of our present experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Whatever the cause of your stress, how you judge the situation can determine the outcome of your emotional reaction. The more accepting and non-judgmental you are of a situation, emotion, or sensation, the better chance you have at reducing your symptoms of anxiety and depression.

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4. Decompress and unplug

When managing stress, it’s important for you to set aside time to unplug and decompress. Carve out some time in your schedule to de-stress, with things that can actually help you unplug mentally. Activities such as coloring, doing a puzzle, crocheting, or knitting are seemingly tedious and repetitive tasks that can actually put you into a kind of trance. This period for detachment can actually breed feelings of emotional wellbeing, since it keeps your brain busy with productive, satisfying tasks.

5. Set boundaries

Decide what must get done now, and what can wait. Be mindful of multitasking too much, as the notion of unfinished tasks will only stress you out. Creating a daily to-do list prioritized by “important” vs. “if I have time” tasks. Learn to say “no” to new tasks if you start to feel like you’re taking on too much. At the end of the day, try to recall daily what you have accomplished instead of what you’ve been unable to do.

6. Take care of YOU

More often than not, we’re putting ourselves last among busy schedules and the demands of daily life. While we know our top responsibilities are family and work, it’s just as crucial to take care of our personal needs. Whether it’s calming mantras to professional help, making time for self-care means you’re essentially able to help others better, too. Don’t forget: you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Stress is inevitably a normal part of life. While we’re not able to control the situation, thought or feeling that’s causing us undue stress, we do have control of how we manage it. Hopefully with these coping strategies, mindfulness techniques, and self-care techniques in the back of your mind, you’ll be more prepared and a master of de-stressing when the going gets rough.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.

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