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How You Can Reduce the Stress & Improve Emotional Well-Being Too

 width= Stress seems to be constantly on the increase but this could be because more attention today is being paid to the problem. And mothers in particular will put the welfare of their families first to the detriment of their own health. Meanwhile, you should be putting yourself at the top of the list for reducing stress and improving emotional well-being so that others will benefit too. If you can reduce stress while improving your emotional well-being, studies have shown that you will lower inflammation (the cause of so many medical conditions today), strengthen your immune system, increase your happiness levels as well as boost your brain power. Here are eight suggestions for reducing stress and improving emotional well-being too...

Top of the list has to be better sleep habits

Just a few hours of lost sleep in one night can lead to inflammation, insulin resistance and harms your immune system BUT having a good night’s sleep helps both body and brain to repair, reorganize, reset, restore and regenerate. Improve your sleep habits by: going to bed the same time every night and if possible getting up at the same time in the morning; avoiding electronic devices and even turning them off; using ear plugs and making sure there is total darkness. Get some sunshine, minus sunglasses, as this helps support a healthy circadian rhythm, increases HGH (human growth hormone) while strengthening the eyes and boosting the immune system.

Learning how to breath consciously and slowly

Every time I feel stressful about something, I will stop and make a concerted effort to breath deeply and slowly - and it really helps. It is also a useful tool to combat pain. But most of us overlook the importance of good breathing habits. Try this 5 x 5 breathing habit - slow your breathing down by slowly counting to 5 on the inhale and the exhale. Feel your belly expand on the inhale and deflate on the exhale. Repeat this exercise 5 times.

Making the decision to move more

Modern man and woman spend too much time sitting. We all need to start moving more. Regular exercise where you spend 30 minutes or more every day walking, cycling, swimming or strength training will prove to be anti-inflammatory while strengthening the immune system and reducing stress.

Spending time in the great outdoors

Just like we spend too much time sitting, we also do not get outdoors enough. In fact, most people spend about 90% of each day indoors. And that is just not a healthy way to live your life for many reasons. Spending time in nature has a long list of health benefits. These include lowered cortisol, reduced inflammation, improved immune function, decreased feelings of depression and stress as well as improving the memory. It is time to start making the effort to spend time in nature - as much as you can.

Making time to meditate

Try to take 10 minutes out each day to sit in a relaxed position in a quiet place. Then close your eyes, focus on your breathing as you breathe into your belly, consciously and slowly. At the same time, repeat a simple word or sound over and over. This will help to relieve stress.

Avoiding loneliness

It seems as if the world is becoming a lonelier place. Although it does not matter to spend some of your time alone, make the effort to reach out and connect with others too. Consider taking a class at a local community center; joining a recreational group or a book club; finding a charity or institution that could use your help as a volunteer; contacting old friends with whom you have lost touch; or enquiring about community outreach programs.

Raising your vitamin D levels

Long known as the "feel good" hormone, vitamin D can be a vital tool for improving your well being and lowering stress levels. It is well documented that much of the western world is vitamin D deficient. Get out into that invaluable sunlight as often as you can, enjoying up to 20 minutes in the sun between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm until your skin starts to turn pink. In the winter month, stock up on good quality vitamin D supplements.

Giving up on holding grudges

When you harbor emotions such as anger, resentment, regret or even old grudges, you foster negative feelings which can have a detrimental effect on your health. Instead, try to make a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you and free yourself from any deeply held negative feelings. It can only be beneficial for your health. Make the effort to follow at least some of these suggestions and watch your stress lessen and your health improve!