7 Tips To De-Stress
Stress causes your body to release cortisol, a natural steroid hormone. This puts your body into ‘fight or flight’ mode. Stress stimulates the body in preparation for whatever triggered it. While cortisol is an important and helpful part of the body’s response to stress, it’s important that the body’s relaxation response be active so that the body’s functions can return to normal following a stressful event.

However, in today’s high-stress culture, often our stress levels don't have enough time to recover. The down side is: High levels of cortisol for extended periods of time have been shown to be seriously detrimental to your immune system, causing such negative reactions as: insomnia and hormone imbalances—just to name a few.

So it’s really important that we keep our stress levels down—not only for our mental health but also for our physical health.

Here are 9 of my favorite ways to de-stress:

1. Meditation

Meditation is a great way to calm the drunken monkeys in your mind. Sit cross-legged on a cushion or upright in your chair. Make sure you are comfortable—spine straight and chin tucked in. Make sure you have turned your phone off and removed any distractions. Then, sit quietly and concentrate on your breathing. If my monkeys are extremely intoxicated, I start by focusing my energy on the tip of my nose and listening to my breathing. Sit for twenty minutes. Slowly increase the time as your meditation practice improves.

2. Yoga

Yoga encompasses the body and the breath so it’s not only a great form of exercise, but it incorporates meditation to slow down and calm the body and the mind.

3. Get in touch with nature

Go barefoot for a walk on the beach or in the park. Feel the sensation of the earth beneath your feet. Leave your iPod and phone at home. Take the time to connect with Mother Nature. Better yet: dive into the ocean. There is something so healing and meditative about the ocean. It is extremely cleansing and revitalising. Your body and mind will love you for it.

4. Drink Herbal Tea

If you’re feeling uber-stressed, coffee is not going to help! Drinking a warm cup of herbal tea might, though. The ritual of drinking tea, for me, is very calming. Either with friends or alone, there is something about tea that really makes me slow down and connect. Taking yourself away from your computer and doing something nurturing will also give you a physiological boost.

5. Lie on the grass

Someone once suggested this to me. At the time, I thought this was a load of bullocks. But, it actually works! Lying like a starfish on the grass is extremely grounding. Look up at the clouds and take long, slow breaths. 

6. Dance and sing

I love to sing—especially in the car. Your bedroom is also a great stage: mic (hairbrush) in hand and door closed (or open), release your inner Beyoncé.

7. Laugh and enjoy!

Don’t take life too seriously. 

Invite your best mates over for a hilarious rom com. Laughing releases feel-good endorphins, so get giggling!

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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To learn more about dealing with stress, check out our video course How To Manage Stress With Meditation.
About the Author

Melissa is a certified holistic health and life coach who helps women end their tortuous relationship with their bodies, clear up their skin and fall back in love with themselves and their life. All without calories counting, deprivation or limitations. 

After years of modeling, acting, presenting and being a professional dancer at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, Melissa battled her own body and would use drastic measures to stay thin. Melissa now uses practical and simple daily practices to stay well and create health and helps others do the same.  

Melissa graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and has a vision to help women transform their relationship with themselves and feel and stay well. Find Melissa on Instagram @melissa_ambrosini