Stress less // live more :: the truth about stress + 5 ways to beat it

One of my intentions in 2014 is to stress less + live more.

Last year was stressful beyond belief. Even though I was doing some pretty cool things, I was ridiculously stressed out and the impact on my wellbeing was starting to seriously affect me.

My skin was in perpetual breakout mode; I wasn't sleeping properly + would wake up at regular intervals during the night and found it hard to get back to sleep with my mind racing with all of the stuff I had to do.

I was juggling working 50+ hours each week in my day job, studying part time + squeezing in blogging + writing an eBook around this. Even though I was doing a lot - I spread myself far too thinly, surviving on coffee + little sleep.

Yeah it was not fun at all + I've made the definitive decision that 2014 was going to mean less stress and way more fun…openly admitting this is still a work in progress….

These days its not unusual to go through periods where despite the best of intentions, stress gets the better of us and we wind up finding ourselves in a completely bamboozled mess.

Thing is, some degree of stress is actually good for us as it can help motivate us and keep us on our toes, but the problem is when its sustained for long periods and starts causing major damage to your health, relationships + zapping the fun right out of life.

What happens to our body when we get stressed?

Stress is the physiological response to how our body handles situations where we feel threatened or in danger in any way (real or imagined!). Our bodies kick into a high gear called 'fight or flight' and our brain sends chemical triggers to our adrenal glands signalling that we're ready for action.

The adrenal glands then release hormones, including cortisol, which raise our blood pressure and blood sugar - this can end up having detrimental effects to our health if sustained over time.

So what do you do if you're stuck in stress mode? Here are 5 ways to stress less + start living more….


1. Re-frame how you look at the situation.

Everything in life is temporary, so the stress that you're going through + that's sucking the life out of you right now- it won't last forever. Choose to look at the situation you're in now as something that is challenging and difficult, but that will pass and one you will come out the other side of.

2. Breathe.

The best way to move past stress, uncertainty and any discomfort you're facing is to breathe through it. Try this: take a deep breathe; hold for 5 seconds and then slowly exhale. Repeat 10 times. Trust me, you will feel a lot calmer + more relaxed after doing this!

3. Exercise. 

Exercise is proven to lift your mood + decrease stress. If your body is run down exercising is a great way to give yourself a boost of energy + clear your mind. Get outside, breathe in the fresh air and get your body moving; then notice how much better you feel afterwards.

4. Focus on what you can control + let go of the rest. 

Being able to let go of anything beyond your control is incredibly liberating. Have faith that you can handle anything that comes your way + trust everything will work out as it should.

5. Hug it out + seek out solace with your nearest + dearest.

For me this meant hanging out with my family, having my Mum's home cooked meals and being licked to death by our dogs, which never fails to put a massive smile on my face.

Lovelies, have you ever let stress get the better of you? Want to join me in stressing less + living more in 2014?

Rachel xx

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