Everybody experiences stress. It comes to our body in the 3-T’s: toxins, traumas and thoughts. Thoughts, or mental stress, is a big one throughout the year, especially during the holidays which seem to add to that everyday stress. Every day we are bombarded with worries like bills, work, getting kids to school, health, household chores and all the expectations to keep all these things afloat. Then we find out how bad stress is for us and we stress out about that. That means we are up at night stressing about our stress. It’s a never-ending cycle! Don’t worry, we have nine ways to reduce stress.

It’s important to reduce stress because it can impact every system in your body, and when one system gets out of whack so can others. For example, when stress puts our body into the fight or flight mode it can impact our digestive system so the body won’t be able to digest the food you ate. This can lead to acid reflux, colon problems, hormone problems, high blood pressure and so much more.

The people who tell you to decrease stress without giving you any tools… well they are part of the problem. We like to make sure we get you tested to see what is stressing your body and how your stress hormones are doing. Any stresses that we can take away are going to leave your body better equipped to deal with the other stresses that come your way. Here are 9 ways to reduce stress you can use right away.

Ways to Reduce Stress

9 Ways to Reduce Stress

1 – Get adjusted

As you get stressed your shoulders go up and your muscles tighten up. This can lead to subluxations or misalignments along the spine especially in the mid back area where your fight or flight response is. I always recommend getting adjusted and know of lots of great clinics across the United States. It makes people feel really good and it lowers your blood pressure.

2 – Eat some real chocolate

This superfood makes it onto the list very frequently and when we say chocolate, we mean real cacao that’s unadulterated. You don’t want run of the mill chocolate that has been ruined with high heat, chemicals, and dairy. Cacao is high in antioxidants which support the body. The magnesium and serotonin found in this food help you relax. Consider this a prescription for healthy cacao. We have some great recipes in our desserts section!

3 – Yoga and focused breathing

Focused breathing can help get you out of the fight or flight mode. A great way to start practicing focused breathing is with yoga. Don’t worry if you aren’t flexible or feel like you aren’t any good at yoga. That’s the nice thing about yoga; it is for all levels. With yoga you come at your own terms reducing blood pressure and cortisol levels. That’s why yoga makes it on the list as an extremely good practice to help reduce stress.

4 – Enjoy time with pets

Pets have been found to reduce blood pressure and they reduce loneliness. Taking your dog for a walk or cuddling with your favorite furry companion can reduce a lot of stress. If you don’t have one of your own and don’t want that responsibility, borrow one. Even if it’s not your style to get a dog or cat – a snake or chicken work too. You do you.

5 – Get a massage

If you have ever had a massage you know…massages are awesome. Massage helps decrease fight or flight response and decreases muscle tension. That’s why I always leave a massage feeling like a puddle. A happy puddle.

6 – Find your tribe

Find people who help reduce your stress and don’t add to it with unnecessary drama. People who will bring you back to reality and keep you off that stress ledge. Great people need other great people. Find great people to help lift you up.

7 – Watch YouTube videos or listen to podcasts

Find a YouTube channel or podcast that inspires you while helping you cut off and destress. Self-development is a great way to refocus your thoughts and build yourself. Look for one that resonates with you because we all need something a little different. A few options I recommend are Tony Robbins, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, or Gary Vee.

8 – Support your body with herbs

There are some herbs that can help with your reaction to stress. They never take it away and I don’t make this as a long-term recommendation because you need to learn how to deal with your stress. Herbs like kava and california poppy can help you as you are learning to remove stress. How do you do that?

9 – Make a plan and identify your priorities

This is one of the most important things you can do so don’t skip this one! If you’re stressed it is often because you feel like you are out of control, and your life is controlling you. Check out Dr. Patrick’s article on priorities, and some of his videos to learn more about developing your own plan for your life.

Make Time for Ways to Reduce Stress

Everybody experiences stress but not everybody has to be controlled by their stress. I know that when you are stressed there is less time to deal with your own stress. For your health, it is the most important thing you can do. Ignoring your stress will just make it worse and can lead to major health problems. So, use some of the tools on this list and especially don’t forget number 9. Make a plan and take a look at your priorities to reduce the stress in your life.

By Dr. Stacey Willey

Want to learn more about priorities? Check out Dr. Patrick’s article, Priorities for Health, and his video.