9 Relaxation Techniques for Busy Women (That don’t cost money!)

9 Relaxation Techniques for Busy Women (That don’t cost money!)

 if Struggling to relax?

I hear your sister.

Finding it hard to think of low-cost relaxation techniques you can do?

Don’t worry I’ve got you!

As someone who is regularly busy and easily stressed / anxious, I have a few tips up my sleeve when it comes to natural low-cost relaxation techniques.

For a lot of my life, I struggled with effectively managing my emotions and stress / anxiety symptoms. It was probably because I would make myself so busy that I just didn’t have time to unwind.

Well I felt like I didn’t anyway…

As a result, I’d often find myself working and pushing myself to the brink of burn-out until my body would give me no choice but to rest. Usually because I’d get sick or become bed bound.

Yep, thanks… but I guess it was usually my own fault.

Since Identifying these 9 relaxation techniques, I don’t experience this feeling anymore. I’m much more self-aware, better at listening to my body and stick to scheduled down time during my week.

I no longer feel guilty about it either.

These 9 relaxation techniques are a great no cost / low cost way to relax and unwind. 

 

1) Meditation is a Great Relaxation Technique

Meditation is something that I regularly use to unwind, detach or start my day in a relaxed state. It’s also fantastic for reducing stress and anxiety.

Meditation a learned skill that is easy for anyone to pick up. All you need is patience, commitment and consistency.

One of the benefits of meditation is that it can be done at different locations and at different times in your day. You can also choose whether you want to meditate in the morning, before bed, at you work desk, lying down and even whilst walking.

If you’re interested in learning more about meditation, why it is great for our health and why is can be a great natural technique to relieve stress and anxiety, you can start with our mini email course: An Introductory Meditation Course for Beginners. 

Register by entering your details below o the course modules can be sent to your inbox.

 

2) Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is an amazing relaxation technique for busy women. It is something you can do at anytime, anywhere.

One of the more common deep breathing strategies is the 4-7-8 breathing rule.

The 4-7-8 rule breaks down deep breathing into three memorable and easy steps.

  1. You breathe in deeply for 4 seconds (Breathe deeply into your belly, not your chest)
  2. Then hold your breath for 7 seconds and
  3. Breathe out for 8 seconds

You then continue to repeat this process until you can start to notice your body relaxing and returning to state of balance.

Read more about the powers of deep breathing here and how you can incorporate it into your daily routine.

 

3) Incorporate Mindfulness into Your Day

Similar to meditation, mindfulness involves bringing your attention to the present moment.

There are several ways to incorporate mindfulness into your day. You can be mindful whilst washing dishes, having a shower, walking to work, driving, hiking, running and more.

Mindfulness is a great natural relaxation technique because it gives you a moment to wind down and focus on the present rather than being consumed by worries of the past or future.

Have a bath during your week - relaxation techniques for busy women

4) Have a Warm Bath or Shower (anything warm)

For me, having a bath and going to the sauna at least once a fortnight is a non-negotiable.

Both of these relaxation techniques truly help me to unwind at the end of my day.

Whilst in the bath or at the sauna, you can also stretch your body which is a great way release any built-up muscle tension from the week.

Our bodies have the tendency to store emotions in our joints and muscles. Therefore, it is important to stretch regularly to release this built-up tension.

If you don’t have a bath or access to a sauna, a hot shower is a great free alternative and offer similar benefits.

For most of us, warmth promotes feelings of relaxation and comfort. This is why doing something warm during your day / a few times a week is great for your health…and no your normal morning or evening shower doesn’t count.

Using warmth to your advantage can aid relaxation, especially when you’re busy or on a tight budget.

 

5) Cuddles With Your Partner

People often overlook the power of affection, love and comfort for relaxation.

For those of you who have partners, I’m sure you can relate to that amazing feeling you get when your partner wraps you up in his / her arms after a tough day at work.

There’s something extremely comforting about it.

A feeling like everything is going to be ok.

If you are feeling stressed or anxious, or need to find a relaxation outlet – why not spend more quality time with your partner cuddling.

If you’re thinking to yourself right now that you “don’t have a lot of extra time for snuggles”, I’m telling you now…

MAKE time!

Even if you can just add 5 minutes of cuddles before you get out of bed in the morning or before you go to sleep each night, I promise it will help you and your partner will likely love it too.

 

6) Go for a Run or Walk in Nature

I don’t know about you guys, but I find nature to be one of the most soothing things. It’s also such as great relaxation technique, that is completely free.

Same with exercise!

Depending on where you live in the world, there are so many places you can go to a dose of nature.

You can go to one of your local parks, a national park, a botanical garden – honestly anywhere that has trees, flowers, birds or even flowing water.

The reason we often feel refreshed, rejuvenated and relaxed in nature is because of something called “negative ions”.

Despite their name, negative ions are great!

In addition to cleansing and purifying the air around us, the negative ions released by natural resources (eg. Running water, trees etc) are beneficial to our health.

According to Webmd, once negative ions reach our bloodstream, they are believed to produce biochemical reactions in the brain.

These reactions can increase levels of serotonin (the hormone that impacts our mood and feelings of happiness) and reduce depression, relieve stress and boost our energy throughout the day.

Exercise is also known for its stress relieving properties because it helps reduce stress hormones in our bodies such as adrenaline and cortisol.

It also stimulates the production of endorphins that make us feel awesome post exercise.

Pets make great Relaxation Techniques

 

7) Spend Quality With Pets, Family or Friends

The proven impact of pets and animals in general, on our mental health and happiness is legit. The truth is, pets make us happier….

If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or are finding it hard to unwind, grab your favourite fluffy friend and give them some love.

By doing this, you’re also guaranteed some unconditional love back.

If you don’t have a fury friend, then spend some time with close friends or family.

Laughter is its own form of natural medicine and can also be an amazing stress relieving activity.

The great thing about pets, friends and family is that they also provide a distraction from what may be stressing you in your life.

You’ll need to deal with it eventually, but for now relaxing may better until you’re in the right head space or frame of mind to address the problem.

 

8) Watch a Movie / TV Series that You Love

This relaxation technique is not rocket science, but a great one nonetheless!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes after a busy day all I feel like doing is plonking on the couch and watching a soothing romance, drama or comedy.

Watching a movie is a great way to distract your mind temporarily by giving you time to detach from the thing stressing you, and instead tune in to something that you love.

Sure, Netflix and some other movie subscriptions cost money – but even if you don’t have access to those programs – most of us have at least one DVD lying around.

Alternatively, if you have nothing at home to watch, tune in to your local TV channels which usually play a movie on Friday and Saturday nights OR catch up a friend who does have some great movies.

Kill two birds with one stone by socialising with a friend and being able to unwind whilst watching a movie.

Listening to a music - Awesome relaxation techniques

9) Listen, Dance or Sing Along to Your Favourite Music

Of all of the relaxation techniques mentioned in this article, this one is a classic. It’s crazy how good it can make you feel!

There’s nothing more that I love to do than singing along to my favourite song or music playlist.

Depending on your degree of confidence, you can sing or dance it in most places…

There’s the car, your bedroom, whilst showering, in the bath, whilst shopping. There’s no shame in singing along to your favourite tunes.

You can even get creative like this guy…

Dancing Squirrel Meme

 

After all, we all do it!

And those who say they don’t are lying!! haha 

If you don’t have a favourite kind of music, my favourite backup genre is classical music.

I know some people aren’t all that keen on classical, but for those who are interested in trying it I can 100% recommend.

There are some great classical playlists available on Youtube, Spotify and Apple music, so do a search and see if you come across anything that tickles your fancy.

You can also listen to relaxing music instrumentals which contain guitar, nature sounds, etc. These can be a great option to look into as well.

 

Which Relaxation Techniques are Best to Start With?

 

If you’re a busy woman like me, trying to work out which relaxation technique is going to give you the biggest bang for your buck can be tricky.

Especially if you have limited time in your day.

Personally, my #1 recommendation would be meditation.

Why?

Because with meditation you can knock off 3-4 of these relaxation techniques in one.

I’m an “achieve as much as I can with as little as possible investment” kind of girl.

How about you?

With meditation you get to incorporate deep breathing, mindfulness and listen to relaxing music all in one.

You can also tick off “keeping warm” if you wrap yourself in a blanket or doona (bed spread) like I often do.

If you haven’t done meditation before, you’re probably wondering “what’s the easiest way to learn?”

Don’t worry girlfriend, I’ve got you.

 

How to Meditate When You’re Busy?

Meditation doesn’t need to be complicated.

Once you get the basic concepts down you’re pretty much good to go and can do it on your lonesome.

The best way to learn how to meditate is to get guidance from someone who has been where you are, meditates regularly and knows what they’re doing – aka ME!!

At Finding Happiness, we offer an awesome meditation for beginners course for our clients called Journey to Calm.

In this course, you will learn everything you need to know about meditation. You’ll also gain an insight into other relaxation techniques such as self-care and natural remedies that can relieve stress and don’t demand a lot of time.

Making time for ourselves and filling our cups up, is just as important what we do for others.

Icon Journey to Calm Course

Click here to start the Journey to Calm Course.

 

If you’re not ready to commit to the complete course, you do have another option – you can sign up for our free “lite” introductory version of the course below.

Now with this mini course, you’re not going to get as much value as you would from doing the complete course.

But, you’ll gain an insight into the basic concepts of meditation so you can decide if that’s something you want to do before jumping into the bigger course.

Get started by entering your details below.

 

Next check out are article about: 

The Proven Benefits of Deep Breathing for Meditation & Stress Relief

How I Use Meditation to Decrease Anxiety & Stress

How I Use Meditation to Decrease Anxiety & Stress

If you find it difficult to decrease anxiety or stress, you’re in the right place!

Like me, you probably understand the following feelings:

  • Your thoughts racing on constant overdrive
  • Your heart throbbing in your throat
  • Over-sensitivity to what people say and think
  • Panic attacks
  • Feeling on edge and unable to focus when anxious
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Finding it difficult to sit still for long periods of time
  • Being unable to swallow properly due to emotions building up
  • AND unable to stop worrying about worst case scenarios or what will happen in the future.
Yep, having anxiety can suck...

But it’s usually at it’s worst when you’re not equipped with effective techniques to manage and cope with it.

As someone who has had anxiety for many years and found constant stress overwhelming, I understand the frustrations of not being able to switch off your mind, control difficult emotions or rationalise why you’re feeling a certain way.

I get it….

But I think the greatest challenge I experienced, was trying to explain my anxiety to my inner circle.

It’s hard to explain your emotions and what you’re feeling (eg. anxious, angry, stressed or upset) when you don’t really have a tangible reason behind it.

Managing Anxiety - When people Don't Understand

And in the moments when they couldn’t empathise with how I was feeling, I’d start to feel weird and like an outcast.

I think that was the greatest pain of them all…

BUT!! There’s a silver lining!  I don’t feel that way anymore!

I’ve learned to be a lot more open with my emotions and have learned how to decrease anxiety and stress symptoms.

And now, I’m so much more stable with my mind and emotions.

But how did I do learn to decrease anxiety?

I’m going to delve into this shortly, but before I do – here’s a video you can watch which covers the same content if you’re more of a visual learner than a reader.

To be honest, Meditation has been an absolute godsend for me!

If you haven’t done meditation before or are a bit intimidated or “weirded out” about with what meditation is, don’t worry! I was in the same place several years ago.

But after giving it a go and keeping consistent, the practice has truly transformed my life.

It’s such an amazing natural way to decrease anxiety symptoms, reduce stress and has a whole range of other benefits for general health and wellness. 

In this article, I’m going to highlight how and why meditation has helped me to decrease anxiety and how it can help you too.

 

How to Decrease Anxiety & Stress with Meditation 

If you’re struggling with managing anxiety, you probably experience at least one of the following thoughts in your day-to-day functioning:

That you/you’re:

  • Not good enough
  • Unattractive
  • Unloved or unlikable
  • Unworthy
  • Dumb or don’t have what it takes to be successful
  • Prone to fail
  • Difficult for other to understand
  • Have something wrong with you
  • Have no time or are too busy to do things you enjoy

Sound familiar???

The problem is that these thoughts are usually ingrained limiting beliefs that have developed at some point in your childhood or early years of life.

When you have anxiety, or are stressed, these thoughts are triggered regularly and can often occur in a scattered fashion.

The purpose of meditation is to slow down your mind and detach from your thoughts.

You are not your thoughts! 

That is something I have personally learned throughout my meditation journey.

How to Use Meditation to Help Decrease Anxiety and Stress


Why I Tried Meditation to Decrease Anxiety

In 2016, I went on the greatest adventure of my life!!

I spent 1 year backpacking around the world including South, East & North Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

Before my travels, I had read about the benefits of meditation for anxiety and had also heard about the powers of mindfulness.

Although I really wanted to decrease anxiety naturally, I felt that meditation was a bit too “woo woo” and wouldn’t work for me.

I also wasn’t a spiritual person, had very little extra time to invest into it and had some preconceived assumptions regarding what meditation was aboutwhich I later found out were complete myths!

Maybe right now, you’re feeling a similar way?

When working full-time, I’d put off trying meditation because I felt there were more pressing issues. But when I was travelling, I had no excuse…

I now HAD the time to give it a shot and didn’t have much to lose….

 

My First Experience Meditating #FAIL

Learning how to meditate was not easy, especially given I tried to be smart and do it all on my own (Not something I’d recommend if you’re just starting out too)

It took a lot of trial and error, time and I rarely had any idea what I was doing!

And because I didn’t have a dedicated meditation space, I felt so paranoid that:

  1. My room-mates would wake to find me looking like some uncoordinated passed out starfish on the floor
  2. People would think I’m dead or passed out and would notify the hostel staff
  3. Travellers would walk in on me, ruining my practice, focus, and also causing a big red face of embarrassment (on my end!)

 

My Experience Meditating Now

Now, several years later, I have developed a steady morning meditation routine. 

And what can I say, it’s freaking awesome!!

I love to meditate in the morning. I find it really sets me up for the day.

These days, I don’t get stressed as easily, I’m more balanced, more focused, motivated, centred and feel genuinely happy before my day has even begun.

Meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing have become necessary exercises in my daily life.

How I Use Meditation to Decrease Anxiety and Manage Stress

The Benefits I’ve Experienced from Meditation

1) Dedicated time to refresh, regenerate and relax. 

One of the greatest things I’ve gained from building a meditation routine is that I’m much more comfortable giving myself permission take a break and a moment to myself.

Being able to pause, reflect, focus and live in the now rather than constantly panicking about the future, what I need to do, my goals or past events.

 

2) Have Greater Clarity With My Thoughts

Rather than having scattered and distracting thoughts a lot of the time I’m now able to focus on what’s important, and detach from the rest.

 

3) I Deal With Anxiety & Stress Much Better 

I’m also so much with how I manage anxiety, pressure, stress, nerves, overwhelm and conflict.

Previously, it wouldn’t take much for me to feel stressed and overwhelmed, but now I feel that my tolerance and resilience is a lot better.

 

4) I Feel Genuinely Happy Within Myself 

Meditation has helped me to feel happier every day because I have greater focus and can prioritise my time on things that have the greatest meaning or impact to me.

I have a better understanding of myself and my emotional triggers, have learned to accept myself as I am and have a more positive mindset. I don’t dwell on the negative and have more gratitude and appreciation for the small things in life.

I guess you could say I’m a much more grounded, happy and balanced person in most areas of my life.

 

How Meditation Could Help You Decrease Anxiety & Stress

 

Something to remember…

Although meditation (for some) is a spiritual practice, it’s not magic.

There may be times when you meditate and don’t feel much afterwards at all. Other days you may feel amazing and ready to take on the world!

Another thing to consider is that Meditation will not rid you completely of your anxiety or stress symptoms.

But it will help you to reduce them and cope more effectively.

Although it may not do those things, Meditation will open the door to your subconscious and give you insight into the inner workings of your mind.

Given many of us are so busy running our lives and distracted by the noise around us, we rarely give ourselves time to tune in to what it really going on at a subconscious level.

Before learning the skill of meditation, I had suppressed my emotions for so long, that I’d eventually boil over like a pot on the stove.

Even at the most undesirable times…aka. work.

I learned the hard way but you don’t need to.

Until you sit down and truly listen to what’s going on in your head, you’ll never be able to overcome or address the source of your anxiety and stress.

If you’d like to read more about the health benefits of meditation you can do so here.

How to Meditate to Manage Anxiety & Stress

How to Get Started with Meditation as a Beginner

Wanna know what’s awesome?  Yeah you do…

Well for starters, you don’t have to be a pro or be spiritual to feel the benefits of meditation.

You also don’t need to have a lot of time to invest into it or spend a lot of money on meditation retreats or classes.

I started my meditation journey on a cold hostel floor with a pillow.

Not ideal, but proves it can be done.

To start a meditation practice, all you need is:

  • Yourself;
  • A quiet place to sit or lie down;
  • and guidance form someone who knows what they’re doing.

And that person is me! Yay!!

If you’d like to give meditation a go, and are interested in learning from someone who has been where you are, I offer a great meditation course for beginners to teach you how to meditate.

Decrease Anxiety with our Journey to Calm Meditation Course for Beginners

Icon Journey to Calm Course

In the course, Journey to Calm, you’ll get to learn about the following:

  • How anxiety & chronic stress impact our health and stress relieving activities you can do to combat it
  • About natural remedies you can add into your weekly routine for stress relief
  • How to build a positive and un-shakeable mindset by overcoming limiting beliefs and using positive affirmations, gratitude and mindfulness.
  • About the importance of self-care and some easy things you can do during your week to feel happier and fill your cup up again
  • How to Meditate and what you need to know before getting started
  • How to maintain a good posture to improve the quality of your practice
  • How to choose a meditation pose that suits your body and improves comfort and focus
  • Simple techniques to create a Meditation room that you love and that heightens your meditation practice
  • Simple ways to reduce back & joint pain
  • How to build a fool-proof Meditation Routine in just 14 days.

Click here to learn more about the Journey to Calm Course. 

 

If you’re not ready to jump into the complete course, you can alternatively sign up to our FREE / Lite version of the course below. 

In the free mini course, you’ll gain an insight into what meditation is, how it works, the benefits and why it is so great for decreasing anxiety and stress symptoms.

Like most things in life, you can never be 100% sure what the outcome will be until you give something a go…

Start your meditation journey today by entering your details below.

How I Meditate for Stress Relief & Anxiety

How I Meditate for Stress Relief & Anxiety

Coping with stress and anxiety can be tough. It’s can also be a pretty vicious downward spiral.

You often start out feeling stressed because of a demanding situation at work, home or with family / friends.

As you become more stressed, you start to notice that you’re stressed, causing even more stress because you don’t want to be stressed!

Your body starts to get tired and burnt-out but there’s no way in hell that you can slow down right now!

You continue to push yourself…

Overtime, you notice that your body and brain are dropping the ball.

You start making silly mistakes that are out of character and you’re beginning to fall behind.

But still, there’s no time to rest!!

You continue to push yourself BUT your body is now so full of stress that it’s getting out of control and you can’t manage.

Argh!!

Meditation for Stress relief

Get my feels?

I know for me particularly, this stress and anxiety cycle was something I dealt with on weekly basis. I found it hard to manage.

You’d often find me stressed about something, whether the trigger was study, exams, work, family dramas, household chores etc.

When you’re busy or a high-achiever, finding some degree of stress relief can be challenging – especially when you feel there’s no time in your day for down time.

But today, I’m going to blow your mind….and help a brother / sister out.

 

How I Found Stress Relief Through Meditation

Whilst on my journey towards becoming a healthier and happier me, I discovered an awesome, free and basic technique to relieve stress and anxiety…

Yep, as per the not so subtle headline, it was: Meditation

[Dun dun dun….! ]  Is your mind blown yet?

Ok well, maybe it wasn’t all that mind blowing….

BUT if you haven’t got on the meditation train yet my friend, it’s time to buy your ticket.

For those who haven’t heard of meditation before are are wondering “what the heck is meditation?”, it’s really not as scary or complicated as many think it out to be.

It’s actually a pretty simple concept.

Meditation has been proven to have many benefits for our mental health, physical health and soul.

That’s why I initially thought I’d give it a try.

Below, I’m going to talk more about meditation and how I meditate for stress relief and to cope better with anxiety symptoms.

 

 

Why I Meditate for Stress Relief

When I was getting started with meditation, there were so many myths about meditation.

  • Did I have to be religious to get the most benefit?
  • Would I need a lot of time to meditate and yield results?
  • Can I meditate when living at home with my family due to the distractions?
  • Will it really halp me find stress relief?
  • What if I can’t switch off my mind or thoughts?

So many doubts circled around i my head…BUT I decided to give it a go anyway.

After all, what did I have to lose??

Since then, I have been practicing regular meditation for over 3 years and it has had a profound impact on my mental and physical health.

Meditation has enabled me to:

  • Enjoy taking moment to pause, reflect, focus and live in the now
  • Gain greater clarity around my thoughts, rather than them being scattered and a tangled mess ALL THE TIME
  • To reduce anxiety and find stress relief before I start my day
  • Settle any stress or anxiety symptoms that I am experiencing at the time
  • Slow down my thoughts and focus on my priorities
  • Become more self aware, and also aware of others
  • Have more balanced and sustained energy during my day
  • Build a more positive mindset
  • Have more appreciation for the things I have in my life right now, rather than the things I don’t and worries about the future.

 

How to meditate for stress relief and anxiety

 

How to Meditate for Stress Relief

Meditation can help you to gain insight into the inner workings of your mind and become more self aware.

You learn to remain open and accept what your mind brings to surface (the good and the bad) and to let go of any emotions, stress or anxiety that you have been holding onto.

But, there are many different types of meditation which can make it at times, overwhelming for beginners.

Based on my own experience, I suggest that most beginners to start out with a basic meditation practice such as mindfulness meditation. Especially if your main goal is learning to meditate for stress relief.

Mindfulness meditation is great because it teaches you the basic concepts and principles behind meditation. This knowledge can then be transferred to and built upon for most other types of meditation.

If you’re interested in learning how to meditate for stress relief, I teach the basic concepts of meditation and guide your through each step in detail in the complete Journey to Calm Meditation Course.

In the complete 14-day course you learn:
  • How anxiety & chronic stress impact our health and stress relieving activities you can do to combat it
  • About natural remedies you can add into your weekly routine for stress relief
  • How to build a positive and un-shakeable mindset by overcoming limiting beliefs and using positive affirmations, gratitude and mindfulness.
  • About the importance of self-care and some easy things you can do during your week to feel happier and fill your cup up
  • How to Meditate and what you need to know before getting started
  • How to maintain a good posture to improve the quality of your practice
  • How to choose a meditation pose that suits your body and improves comfort and focus
  • Simple techniques to create a Meditation room that you love and that heightens your meditation practice
  • Simple ways to reduce back & joint pain
  • How to build a fool-proof Meditation Routine in 14 days.

If this is something you’re interested in checking out, you can read more about the course here. 

If you’re not quite ready to commit to the complete course, you can always start with our FREE / Lite version of the course here.

In the mini version, you will learn about the basics of meditation, why meditation is great for stress relief and managing anxiety, and also gain a great insight into the content inside the compete Journey to Calm Course.

Get started with the FREE / Lite version today, by registering your details below:

Overcoming Stress | 10 Stress Relief Tips for Women

Overcoming Stress | 10 Stress Relief Tips for Women

Sadly, chronic stress and anxiety are becoming a normal occurrence within society these days.

With many finding it more and more difficult to manage the multiple demands in their lives and find stress relief.

In Australia alone, nearly 5 million people are feeling more stressed than ever due to a lack of sleep, work pressures, juggling too many things at once and even expectations set by social media, a Medibank health study revealed. 

Prolonged stress not only causes us to feel awful, highly strung and on edge a lost of the time, but it can also severely damage our health in 3 ways.

This is why it is more important than ever to take back control and learn of ways to manage stress effectively.

In this article, I’ll be highlighting 10 stress relief tips to help you regain control over your life and reduce stress and anxiety symptoms during your day. 

But firstly, let’s cover the basics so we’re all on the same page.

 

What is Stress?

Stress relates to the body’s reaction to a specific stimulus that requires an adjustment or response. This biological response can be physical, mental or emotional and can often cause physical or mental tension.

The stressing stimulus “stressor” can be external (within our surrounding environments, psychological or social) or internal (health, illness, etc).

For many, stress can be caused by things such as work demands, financial pressure, poor health, family conflicts, self-expectations and more.

BUT stress is not all bad.

As an example, acute stress can help us to perform at heightened levels for a short period of time or even respond more rapidly when in danger (eg. A car accident).  However, exposing our bodies to stress over prolonged and extended periods of time creates havoc in our bodies (eg. Chronic stress).

Chronic stress can negatively impact our digestive system, sleep, weight and our reproductive systems. It can also lead to stress or emotional eating and deplete our systems over time.

We must decrease the stress in our bodies for optimal health. If you’d like to read more about how prolonged stress negatively impacts our health, you can click here. 

 So you’re probably thinking, “Ok great, thanks! But how do I actually get better at managing my stress!!”

 I’d now love to dig deep into some stress relief tips for you guys, that you can use in your daily life to better overcome and manage you stress and/or anxiety symptoms.

 

10 Stress Relief Tips for Women

 Here is a list of stress relief tips to help you cope more effectively with stress during the busyness of your week ahead. 

 1) Identify the Stressor

 The first step to coping with stress is to identify what it is that is stressing you out. 

Is it:

  • Your job
  • Money frustrations
  • Excessive exercise
  • Self-expectation
  • Pressure from others
  • Family conflits
  • Juggling too much at once, etc.

 

A little tip to remind yourself…

If it’s: 

  • Out of your control – there’s not point stressing yourself over it. If you can’t control it, learn to let it go.
  • Within your control and you can change – take note of it and address it.

 Yes, I know! Sometimes this is easier said than done. BUT, the more you train your brain to do this as a method of reflection, the more you’ll reduce the amount of stress you’re experiencing in your life.

 I love this quote:

“Grant me the serenity  to accept the things I cannot change,  the courage to change the things  I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  – Reinhold Niebuhr

 

Another way to flip your stressor into a positive is to ask yourself: “Is this something I can be grateful for?”

 

2) Choose How You Respond to the Stress

 The second stress relief tip is better management of HOW YOU RESPOND to the stress in your life. 

How do you typically respond to stress? Do you get:

  • Angry?
  • Emotional?
  • Anxious?
  • Passive aggressive?
  • Introverted?
  • Super calm/?

The way that you respond to a stressful stimulus can be productive or destructive, as can the way you perceive the world around you.

If you constantly see yourself as being victimised or attacked, the emotions you feel in response to stress could act as a catalyst for even further stress and even create havoc to your body.

Whereas, if you take the same experience but perceive it as a chance to grow, learn and empower yourself, you’ll likely find yourself coping in a much more effective and productive way. 

Our expectations on ourselves and our own perceptions of how urgent something is can heighten stress. In some circumstances it may not even be needed.

Sometimes, I find myself setting unachievable deadlines for my to-do list for no apparent reason. It’s almost like I like to be running around with a sense of urgency. In this case, my stress is all self-inflicted.

I’d love you to take a moment to reflect on how you typically respond to stress. Rather than stressing yourself out in response to a demanding situation, is there a better way you could respond?

Ask yourself:

  • What can I do to feel better about this?
  • How can I feel less stressed right now?

“Between stimulus and response there is a space, and in that space is the power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”

 

3) Diaphragmatic Breathing for Stress Relief

Did you know that our breathing can actually lower the amount of stress hormones circling around our bodies?

Deep breathing can help us signal to our bodies that we are safe. You can follow the 4-7-8 rule which means a deep 4 second breath, hold for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds.

 To remind yourself to breathe deeply it can be handy to set times in your day to do it – eg. During morning meditation, at lunch, in the car home from work.

 Deep breathing can activate our parasympathetic nervous system which is designed to bring our bodies back to a balanced and relaxed state. It is responsible for calming our bodies so we can rest, digest and repair. 

 This is why it can also be a great technique to help reduce anxiety symptoms naturally.

 

4) Meditation for Stress Relief

 Meditation is an amazing technique you can introduce into your days as stress relief.

Meditation has a range of health benefits but from a stress perceptive it is particularly great because it can help us to:

  • Train our mind and body to slow down
  • Brings peace and calm to the mind
  • Activate our parasympathetic nervous system (as mentioned above)
  • You can picture stress or anxiety leaving your body through visualisation

 Even just 5 minutes day can make an incredible difference to how you feel. It doesn’t need to be demanding or excessive, and no you don’t have to be spiritual or a religious person to master it.

I sure wasn’t!

 If you’d love to learn more how you can use meditation to relieve stress & anxiety, ensure to sign up for our FREE 5-day “Journey to Calm” Course for Beginners:

 

 

5) Exercise Regularly (Low vs High Intensity)

Exercising regularly can be an important way to relieve stress as it can help to rid our bodies of “stress” energy.

 Depending on what you prefer or find best for you, there are so many different exercises you can use for stress relief. When it comes to exercise, the truth is that we’re all individual.

 The energy that comes when stressed can cause some to feel hyper and overly energetic. Whereas for others, it can make them feel lethargic and fatigued.

Using me as an example: 

  • I tend to feel ultra hyper, anxious or fidgety – so I feel a great NEED to get this energy out of my body by running or with some high intensity exercise. But, to prevent myself burning out or draining my energy from running off adrenaline over time, I also balance this high-intensity exercise with some restorative activities like meditation, yoga, stretching or walking.

If you generally prefer high intensity exercise to release stress (like I do), there is something you need to keep in mind: Too much high intensity exercise can actually be BAD!

To much high intensity exercise can actually lead to the release of cortisol (the stress hormone) into your body, due to the physical stress you’re putting it under.

 Elevated cortisol in the body for long periods of time can cause disruptions to our menstrual cycles and how we burn fat in our bodies.

 This is why it’s key to have balance! Mix things up.

 Do some high intensity exercise during your week but also schedule time for restorative and low intensity activities such as meditation, yoga and walking.

 

6) Give Yourself Permission to Slow Down

 Stress relief tip number 6 is to give yourself permission to slow down. This is so important, guys!!

 As we mentioned above, slower forms of exercise like yoga, meditation, stretching and walking can help to balance out your parasympathetic nervous system.

 

 But some other ways you can slow down your mind and reduce stress is to pre-schedule down time during your week. Set a night aside which is for relaxation time.

 As an example, here are some self care activities you can do:

  • Have a bath one night a week
  • Catch up with friends.
  • Have a movie night
  • Get outside. Immerse yourself in some nature and breathe in the fresh air and nourish your body with some Vitamin D.
  • Schedule in white space in your calendar to break up your day
  • Do at least one thing that makes you happy during your daily routine
  • Practice gratitude each day – slow down and enjoy the present moment
  • Place your legs against the wall (apparently highly calming and resorative)
  • Establish a morning and bedtime routine that you love (eg. No phone at certain times)
  • Get enough sleep each night – 7 – 9 hours.

 It’s important to give yourself time to switch off rather than being go go go all the time….which in the long term, isn’t sustainable.

 

7) The Power of Whole food Nutrition

 Stress is not just about what is going on outside of your body. It can also be influenced by what you put INSIDE your body too.

 If you’re fuelling your body with crap (sugar and fatty foods), you’re not nourishing your body the way it needs to be nourished and will likely feel lethargic and unbalanced.

Let’s be completely blunt and honest…

 Most of the highly processed junk foods you’re putting into your body these days aren’t real “food”. Sure it may taste good at the time… but it can have a significant negative impact on your mental and physical health long term.

This is why it’s so important to fuel your body with good whole food nutrients and plant-based ingredients.

 For optimum functioning and performance, the USDA MyPlate guidelines recommend that we have 3-5 servings of vege and 2-4 servings of fruit every day and eat a variety off whole grain foods, fruits, and vegetables is the basis of healthy eating.

 Eating a wide variety of nutritious plant-based whole foods helps our bodies get the levels of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that we need for optimum health and performance.

 For many of us though, when we feel stressed, our diets are almost the first thing to go out the door!!!

 A super simple and great way to combat this and ensure that your body is getting the right level of nutrients every day is to take a simple and convenient whole food supplement such as these.

 

The Benefits of Taking a Whole food Supplement

They are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and great for pregnant or breast feeding mummas. 

I take these babies twice a day because they contain 33 varieties of whole food nutrition, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants which help to combat the negative ways stress affects our health and bodies.

Scientifically proven health benefits include:

  • Improved heart and cardiovascular health
  • Strengthened Immune System & reduced severity of colds
  • Maintains healthy DNA
  • Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables fight oxidative stress (eg. from exercise) and help you maintain optimal health.
  • Improved gum health
  • Better skin health by increasing blood flow and skin oxygenation

 And some other benefits people experience include:

  • Decrease systemic inflammation
  • Reduced cravings
  • Increased energy
  • A decrease in gut inflammation and IBS symptoms
  • Improved digestion
  • Healthier nails and hair
  • Improved sleep

 

If you’d like to learn more about these capsules and how they can help you to cope with the negative impacts of stress on our bodies, click here. 

 When we fuel our bodies correctly, our bodies are able to repair themselves.

 

8) Reduce Caffeine and Sugar Intake

 For those avid coffee drinkers out there, don’t worry! I’m not going to ask you to completely remove coffee from your diet. That would be like you telling me to remove chocolate from my life…

 Grimace faceit ain’t going to happen!

 But something I did really want to point out is how too much caffeine and sugar can heighten our feelings of stress ands anxiety.

 The reason for this is because caffeine blocks receptors in the brain that help us to slow down. It also activates our stress response causing us to release more adrenaline.

 Sugar, on the other hand, causes peaks and troughs in our blood sugar levels. This can lead to short bursts of energy which feels awesome, but often causes us to hit a wall shortly after.

 When it comes to coffee and sugar, I suggest reviewing how much coffee you are drinking each day.

 Is it more than 3-4 cups?

 If so, it may be time to cut back a bit, even just to 2-3 or maybe even just one in the morning.

Just some food for thought… or should I say.. coffee for thought? hehe.

 

9) Social Media Detox

 Are you in desperate need of a social media cleanse or tech detox?

 These days social media is also being considered a stressor for a lot of people. All that comparison, judging and social pressure. Sometimes we just don’t need it!

 Here are some cool stress relief tips that can help you take back control over that device of yours:

     1.  Turn all your app notifications OFF

 I can already hear some of you gasping in devastation:

  • “OMG! What!”
  • “But but but….”

 No guys. Switch them off!

If you’re truly serious about feeling less stressed and scattered in your life, rip the band-aid off and get it done. Stop taunting and distracting your brain with meaningless alerts and vibrations. I promise you won’t look back!

 Continuous phone and social media alerts can actually create additional stress that you honestly do not need in your life…especially not 24/7.

 I did this a year or so ago, and my gosh the FREEDOM you feel!!

 No more buzzing! No more alerts! No more pop-ups and text rushing across your screen with people’s demands.

 People can wait for you… Empower yourself. Check your phone on your terms, not on the terms of everybody else. 

 

     2. Unfollow people who make you feel bad

 If you’re following someone who is always posting photoshopped photos of themselves or are constantly negative, UNFOLLOW them.

You have the power over what comes up on your news feed. Follow people who inspire and motivate you or who make you feel good about yourself.

 Some other stress relief tips relating to your phone:

    3. Put airplane mode on when you don’t need it (eg. At work, sleeping) 

    4. Set time limits on your apps

    5. Keep your phone away during meal times

    6. Don’t bring your phone to bed with you – keep it out of your room

    7. Avoid using your phone as the last thing you do before night / first thing in the morning

 These can really help you to keep a clear head and also reduce distractions during your day.

 

10) Set Personal Boundaries / Choose your circle

 Guys this is a biggie…. Remember that you’re important too.

 Just like everyone else, you deserve to set boundaries and be protective of how you spend your time and energy.

 Time is our most precious commodity, yet many of us are so willingly to waste it on meaningless sh** or giving it away to others without even having a second thought.

Consider:

  1. Where do your priorities lie?
  2. Are you delegating things that someone else could do for you rather than you doing it ourself?
  3. Do you allow time for “you” and self-care during your week?
  4. Are you doing things that make you happy?
  5. How many things are you wasting your time on that don’t serve you?

 To reduce stress, another great thing you can do is SIMPLIFY.

Simplify how you spend your time and how you live your life each day. Set boundaries for what you are and are not willing to do. Also be kind to yourself regarding what is achievable in a given day.

 Break your to-do list into “Do, delegate, dump.”

  • What do you need to DO for the day?
  • Is there anything you can delegate to someone else?
  • What can you dump? Is there a task that doesn’t need to be completed right now?

 It’s time to get rid of the clutter around your mind and also in your environment.

That way you will be able to maintain focus on the things that are most important to you and of the highest priority to complete by the end of the day.

 

At the end of the day, feeling stressed and overloaded sucks!

 I really hope that you can take away some of these stress relief tips to help you better manage stress and anxiety during your day.

 Whilst you’re here, ensure to get your FREE copy of the Stress and Anxiety Relief Printable. That way you can keep this handy as a reference to help you throughout your journey.

 Enter your details below to get your free checklist.

Stress and Health | 3 Critical Ways Stress Affects Our Health

Stress and Health | 3 Critical Ways Stress Affects Our Health

Never before has stress been considered such a normal way of life than in the 21st century. Yet, research is revealing the numerous ways that stress critically affects our health – physically and mentally. 

In this current era, we are regularly finding ourselves with:

  • exploding calendars
  • overloaded to-do lists
  • never-ending work
  • family and health concerns
  • social media influencers
  • and multiple financial demands and burdens

It feels like there’s just never enough time in the day to do the things we want to do!!

Strangely, it’s become the norm to glorify the term “busy”, almost using “being busy” as a way to justify our self-worth, being enough and desirable to others.

Take exhibit A:

Person A: How are you? How’s work? We should catch up soon!!

Person B: “OMG I’ve just been sooo busy! Work’s been full on, I’m constantly on the run. I’m sorry but I just don’t have time atm.

Person A: Cool…

Sound familiar?

 

The problem with being “busy” all the time is that we’re not giving our bodies the rest it needs. We also put ourselves in a state of constant stress and overwhelm, which severely affects our health long term.

Back in caveman days, our fight / flight response was only activated in times of imminent danger. For example, when we were in fear of our lives.

These days, with our demanding jobs, constant distractions, self expectations and social pressures we’re finding ourselves activating this flight / fight response for longer than our bodies can handle.

In most instances, this can lead to chronic stress which can have a significant affect on our health. People can become sick – mentally, physically and emotionally.

This is why it’s important to talk about stress, what it is and how stress affects our health in a negative way.

If you’re someone who regularly feels stressed out, it’s time to understand what this constant stress is doing to your body and take action to reduce it.

 

 

What is Stress?

Stress relates to the body’s reaction to a specific stimulus that requires an adjustment or response. This biological response can be physical, mental or emotional and can often cause physical or mental tension.

The stressing stimulus “stressor” can be external (within our surrounding environments, psychological or social) or internal (health, illness, etc). For many, stress can be caused by things such as work demands, financial pressure, poor health, family conflicts, self-expectations and more.

BUT stress is not all bad.

As an example, acute stress can help us to perform at heightened levels for a short period of time or even respond more rapidly when in danger (eg. A car accident).  However, exposing our bodies to stress over prolonged and extended periods of time creates havoc in our bodies (eg. Chronic stress).

Chronic stress can negatively impact our digestive system, sleep, weight and our reproductive systems. It can also lead to stress or emotional eating and deplete our systems over time.

We must decrease the stress in our bodies for optimal health.

 

3 Ways Prolonged Stress is Bad for Health

Chronic stress is bad for our health because it can cause us to:

  • Be more susceptible to illness
  • Have less energy
  • Struggle to get good sleep
  • Experience headaches
  • Judge things poorly
  • Gain weight
  • Develop anxiety and depression

Chronic stress also impacts the functioning of our central nervous system and autonomic nervous system.

 

1) How Stress Affects Our Health: The Autonomic Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system is designed to keep us alive and is made up of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for our fight / flight response. It releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline to prepare our bodies for a quick response if required.

Whereas, the parasympathetic nervous system is designed to bring our bodies back to homeostasis. It is responsible for calming and relaxing our bodies so we can rest, digest and repair.

Having a balance between these two systems is crucial a healthy life.

One of the downsides of the autonomic system is that it can’t differentiate between an actual threat and a perceived threat. That is why, when we are stressed about something (regardless of what it is), the body’s natural response it to activate the sympathetic nervous system.

This drains our energy and also activates the release of numerous stress hormones into our bodies which can be detrimental to our health long term.

The Impact of Stress Hormones

The release of adrenaline actually signals danger to every cell in your body stating that you’re not safe causing the following natural reactions to occur:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Rapid and shallow breathing
  • You start burning glucose rather than fat, so naturally start to crave sugar
  • Blood is directed away from vital organs, to the arms and legs so you can run if needed
  • Blood directed away from your digestive and reproductive systems
  • Start to sweat

Having large amounts of adrenalin circling around in your body is bad, because it creates inflammation. This inflammation can lead to chronic health conditions, illnesses and also shorten our life span.

If adrenalin levels remain too high, the body will start to release cortisol.

Cortisol is our long-term stress hormone and is designed to keep us safe when food is scarce. It deposits fat around the body as a resource to be used to maintain survival.

This used to be really effective when we were cavemen. It would allow us to survive if we were in a famine with food not readily available. This is because cortisol helps to prompt our bodies to store and preserve fat for energy.

But overtime, too much cortisol and adrenaline in our bodies can lead to:

  • Reduced Sleep quality
  • Poor memory
  • Poor gut health & decreased metabolism
  • Decreased libido
  • Visceral fat storing and fat retention around key organs
  • Muscle break down
  • Inconsistent energy
  • Poor nutritional choices due to emotional/ stress eating (sugar or high carb) or not eating at all
  • Insufficient vitamin, mineral and anti-oxidant intake
  • The body wanting to use only fast burning fuel such as glucose, rather than fat
  • We lose the ability to burn fat because our parasympathetic nervous system remains out of balance.

 

 

2) The Reproductive System

Too much stress in our bodies can impact our sex hormones – oestrogen and progesterone.

Oestrogen is responsible for prompting our bodies to lay down the lining of the uterus.

Progesterone is then released into the body when we ovulate. Progesterone is also known to be a natural reliever of anxiety & depression and acts as a natural diuretic. (I did not know this originally!)

As women, we want our body to naturally produce progesterone for these reasons, but being in a state of constant stress can shut down production.

After all, why would it want to bring a baby into the world when there is a perceived danger or threat to our survival?

Our bodies are seriously SMART!!

This is why we must take better care of ourselves!

 

3) The Digestive System

As more research is revealing, our digestion is one of the most important systems in our body. Poor digestion is often a signal that something isn’t right in your body.

Did you know that these days, 1 in 5 people in Australia have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and unfortunately stress worsens these symptoms.

Prolonged stress has the tendency to negatively impact our digestive systems by:

  • Diverting blood away from our digestive organs
  • Limits the resources that the gut has to digest our food
  • Worsening IBS symptoms
  • Altering what we discrete from our digestive system
  • Altering our gut bacteria profile
  • Increasing intestinal permeability (also known as leaky gut).

There are some ways you can reduce the impacts of stress on your digestion.

For example, you can eat more mindfully.

Being more mindful when you eat gives your body more time to process your food and also trigger when you are full. This is important because it can reduce weight gain and also prevent you from hitting that “way too full!” feeling. 

Be present when eating your food – savour each mouthful, take time to chew it properly, enjoy the flavours and put your cutlery down between bites.

When you take the time to notice just how much you scoff down food on the go, you’ll understand why mindful eating is becoming a really important thing for our digestion (whether stressed or not). 

 

The Importance Wholefood Nutrition

Given many of us are finding ourselves in a state of prolonged stress state, we must ensure that we are giving our bodies the right fuel and nutrition they need to perform optimally.

This means flooding your body with good whole food nutrition, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants each and every day.

A simple and great way to do this is to take a simple and convenient whole food supplement such as these. They are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and great for pregnant or breast feeding mummas.

I take these babies twice a day. They contain 33 varieties of whole food nutrition, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants which help to combat the negative ways stress affects our health and bodies.

Scientifically proven health benefits of these capsules include:

  • Improved heart and cardiovascular health
  • Strengthened Immune System & reduced severity of colds
  • Maintains healthy DNA
  • Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables fight oxidative stress (eg. from exercise) and help you maintain optimal health.
  • Improved gum health
  • Improves skin health by increasing blood flow and skin oxygenation

And some other benefits people experience include:

  • Decrease systemic inflammation
  • Reduced cravings
  • Increased energy
  • A decrease in gut inflammation and IBS symptoms
  • Improved digestion
  • Healthier nails and hair
  • improved sleep

If you’d like to learn more about how you can boost your health and reduce the negative ways stress affects our health with these whole food capsules, click here. 

When we fuel our bodies correctly, our bodies are able to repair themselves.

 

In Summary,

So as you have read, there are many ways that stress affects our health.

The problem is that rather than responding effectively to stress, many assume that they’re bodies are betraying or failing them. When actual truth of the matter is that your body is just responding to the info it is receiving (Ie. what you are putting into it).

Our bodies are incredibly smart and are usually just doing what they’re programmed to do.

Unless we take the time to stop our bodies from perceiving stress, they will continue to send messages to our brains to prioritise survival.

Overtime, this is what impacts the function of our internal body systems; digestion, reproduction and contributes to fat storage.

It’s your job to look after your body and you can do that by reducing the amount of stress in your life.

You can also get your FREE copy of the Stress & Anxiety Printable here.

With this FREE download, you’ll learn of some simple activities you can implement into your day to reduce your stress and anxiety symptoms.

Enter your details below to be emailed your copy of the A4 printable.