Written by Kelly Phillips, owner of Neighborhood Barre (located in Brentwood + Green Hills)
Is your stress level at an all-time high? In a society where we want to do it all and have it all, we can end up being physically exhausted from the non-stop going, and emotionally drained from not always living up to our unrealistic self-standards.
When striving for a healthy balanced life, stress can be an overlooked area we need to work on.
We know that stress left unchecked can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, as well as a negative impact on our thoughts, feelings and behavior. Nevertheless, living a low-stress life is challenging – especially in our extremely fast-paced society.
Ready for some stress relief? Try incorporating a few of these tips from American Psychological Association to reduce your stress. You may find immediate gratification – plus, maintaining consistency will help build-long term results.
Take a break from the stressor. It may seem difficult to get away from a big work project, a crying baby, or a growing credit card bill, but when you give yourself permission to step away from it and you let yourself have time to do something else, it can help you gain a new perspective or find the opportunity to practice recommended techniques to feel less overwhelmed. While it’s important to not avoid your stress (those bills have to be paid sometime), even just 20 minutes to take care of yourself can be helpful.
Exercise. The research keeps growing: exercise benefits your mind just as much as your body. We keep hearing about the long-term benefits of a regular exercise routine, but even a 20 minute walk, run, or a group fitness class in the midst of a stressful time can give an immediate effect that can last for several hours.
Smile and laugh. Our brains are interconnected with our emotions and facial expressions. When people are stressed, they often hold a lot of the stress in their face. Laughs or smiles can help relieve some of that tension and improve your mood!
Get social support. Call a friend or send an email! When you share your concerns or feelings with another person, it helps relieve stress. However, it’s important that the person whom you talk to is someone that you trust and you feel can understand and validate you. If your family is a stressor, for example, it may not alleviate your stress if you share your work woes with one of them.
Our studio mantra is “small moves will lead to real results.” Life should be modifiable and every day may look different. Maybe today is a Netflix and chill day to take a break and smile and laugh. Maybe tomorrow is hitting up a Neighborhood Barre class and meeting a friend for coffee to vent. Take a deep breath, and choose to take one small step today to slow down and smile more ☺