From Guest Writer Jennifer McGregor
Improving your health by minimizing the stressors in your life may require some sacrifices or changes to your habits, whether it’s committing to exercising regularly or adopting a healthier diet. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the various strategies, use this guide for head-to-toe health tactics for battling chronic stress that you can easily incorporate into your daily life.
Yoga and Mindfulness
When considering ways to improve your health, don’t forget about the importance of mental health. Your physical and mental health are incredibly intertwined: when one is out of whack, the other suffers. There are many ways to promote both sides of your well-being, including yoga and meditation.
Yoga is an excellent practice not only to improve your physical body but also your mental health and clarity, making you better equipped to naturally handle life’s daily stressors. While the poses may seem simple, the practice is designed to open energy channels in your body and restore blood flow to areas that can be “stuck” or inflamed. If you’re concerned about fitting yoga into your daily schedule, consider doing short practices: even 15 minutes can clear your mind, restore your energy, and help you relieve stress and anxiety.
Practicing mindfulness is one of the proven methods for bringing more happiness into people’s lives. According to research, people experience happiness when they are mindful of the present moment and are least happy when the mind is scattered or wandering. Mindfulness can be practiced anytime, anywhere, but you’re more likely to stick to it if you pick the same time of day for your practice.
One important thing to remember when practicing yoga at home is that you’ll need a nice, quiet space all to yourself. Try to make this as comforting and inviting as possible; the more you love your yoga space, the more you’ll practice, and the more manageable your stress levels will be. So, decorate the area to your liking and take steps to keep it decluttered, as too much disorganization can make you feel anxious.
Kickstart Your Exercise Routine
It can be hard to start exercising if it’s not in your regular routine. However, it’s incredibly important to exercise often to keep your body and even your mind healthy and strong, since working out can help you naturally relieve stress. Even if you can’t make it to the gym, you can find ways to exercise at home. There are plenty of online fitness videos that can help, and you can tailor your exercise routine to match your level of fitness and time constraints.
One way to keep your exercise routine on schedule is by using a fitness tracker or smartwatch to help. While it’s not essential, it can be useful for keeping tabs on your heart rate and allow you to log your workouts, holding you accountable for your progress. The Apple Watch Series 6 is a good option for people who want to monitor heart rate with its electrocardiogram generation and blood oxygen sensors. Another product to consider is a pair of sports headphones that will allow you to listen to music or podcasts while you work out.
As you jumpstart your fitness routine, make sure you also change your diet to help your body stay healthy. A vegan diet is great for many individuals because it promotes oxygen flow in the body and reduces inflammation. Animal products tend to be hard on people with a history of heart disease — adopting a vegan diet can often reverse diabetes and other cardiovascular issues. However, be sure to incorporate plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables into your diet regardless of whether you go vegan, because whole foods promote lower stress and anxiety levels as well as improved overall well-being.
Getting healthy is a process and requires small steps every day, but these measures are well worth the effort because they ease chronic stress and boost your holistic wellness. Start a yoga practice to help you gain energy and mental clarity, and adopt a mindfulness meditation practice to de-stress and find more happiness in your life. It’s important to also exercise regularly and eat well to help you become more naturally equipped to combat everyday anxieties and promote overall health. Take it one day at a time, and keep track of your progress to help you stay motivated.
Jennifer McGregor co-created Public Health Library to make it easier for people to find high quality health info. She is a pre-med student who enjoys writing about health and medical topics to help the readers find reputable health resources. Read more at PublicHealthLibrary.org.