1 – Take a deep breath.
Slowing down your breath rate and expanding your diaphragm stimulates your vagus nerve which activates your parasympathetic system. This allows us to rest and digest. Make sure your exhales are longer than your inhales and that you are inflating your stomach with each breath.
2 – Magnesium
Stress depletes magnesium which can cause muscle tension, cramping and twitching along with fatigue, insomnia, irritability and anxiety. Some dietary sources of magnesium include avocado, almonds, spinach and brown rice. We can also absorb magnesium through our skin. Epsom salt baths and transdermal magnesium sprays are great ways to help reduce the aches and pains that come with stress.
3 – Happy gut, happy mind.
Our gut microbiome help regulate the gut-brain connection facilitated through the vagus nerve. Consuming foods with probiotics such as kimchi, yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut can help populate your gut with good strains of bacteria such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus which has been shown to help reduce stress.
4 – Exercise.
Not only does exercise reduce our body’s stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, it increases the production of our feel-good hormones called endorphins. Hit the gym, go for a run or better yet, adopt yoga practice. Yoga not only focuses on the breath which activate our parasympathetic system-helping us relax, but it also is a form of meditation which has also been shown to help reduce stress.
5 – Get outside!
Spending time in nature improves your mood, energy and reduces your stress. Spring is here-go for a walk, take a hike, start gardening!