Stress is a buzzword that we use a lot. We tend to accept stress as a part of our daily routine because it contributes to our ability to adapt and adjust to life's unstable moments.
We latch on to stress and feed off of its high-adrenalin octane, then come crashing down. This leaves us feeling burned out, emotionally abused, overworked and depressed.
Too much stress over a long period of time can ultimately affect our ability to be healthy and happy. Many of us overwork ourselves into exhaustion, which can lead to health issues, disease and even early death.
Taking care of yourself is the number one way to de-stress, but it doesn't have to be a daily downward dog and green juice. While these habits are both good for you, sometimes the best remedy for a stressful life is to play more and get back to basics.
To overcome my own stressful workload, I decided to play; I headed to Belize for a one-week personal retreat. When I arrived, I got more than I ever expected. My stay in the rainforest opened my eyes to a new way of being.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or out of alignment, consider applying these simple tips to help you stress less and live more — all inspired by my trip to Belize.
1. Keep it local.
The foods you eat make a profound difference in your body’s ability to function and process information. When you eat only food that is chemical ridden and processed, your body will break down. On the flip side, eating organic, local, healthy foods will help your body function at its optimal level.
2. Take a hike.
Sometimes the best way to de-stress is to mentally check out and check in to nature. Leaving the workload behind and mentally taking a break will work wonders for your stress levels. When we step into nature, we have the opportunity to see things with a new perspective.
As I was hiking through The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s private 365-acre nature reserve, an exotic jungle, I had a major "a-ha" moment. Most excitingly, the name of my next book came to me. I had spent six months trying to solve that problem prior to my visit to Belize. One step into nature and my mind was cleared instantly. Nature can be our best teacher and inspire us to solve problems in fresh creative ways.
3. Swim in salt.
Swimming, in general, is an excellent way to relieve stress, but saltwater can make it even better. The fresh water swimming pool at The Lodge at Chaa Creek has a unique sanitizing solution that uses a salt chlorinator. This makes the swimming experience therapeutic and transcendent.
Saltwater may help reduce inflammation of joints and muscles, which will leave your body feeling relaxed and completely stress free. If you can't make it to the ocean or don’t have access to a saltwater pool, you can add Epsom salt to your bath as an alternative solution.
Although technology has created massive advances in society, it has also contributed to high chronic stress levels. Take time each day to relax and enjoy the simple aspects of life. Leave your smartphone at home, turn off the television and be present with your own thoughts. The more you connect with your true self, the healthier and more stress free you will be.
5. Give more, expect less.
Simply giving more and expecting less can de-stress your body and mind. When you give from your heart, you help make the world a better place and inspire others to do the same. Ask yourself where in your life can you give more? “Giving” doesn't have to mean money; sometimes you can give your time. Your friendship and support are enough to make a powerful difference in another person’s life.
Although life can be chaotic and stressful at times, you don't have to buy into the stress parade. Simply adopt these easy steps for a healthy and happy life.