There are some amazing daily habits and rituals that can help decrease your stress levels and improve your mental health that are easier than you may realize. But did you know that decreasing stress can also help out your gut health? Stress can actually reshape your gut’s bacteria composition which may affect digestion and what nutrients the intestines absorb. Adding to the drama, stress can also increase gas production within the gut. Ugh!
It’s time to reduce stress, Busy Beauty!
Check out these 3 habits that can help reduce your stress and bring your gut some relief.
Exercise…but not what you think
Let’s get this one out of the way… stress levels decrease with exercise.
There, I said it. Before you sigh and skip ahead, let me say that you do not need to have a rigid workout routine or do exercise that you dread in order to check this box.
Your daily exercise habits can make an actual difference in how much stress you hold onto on a daily basis, BUT the type of exercise your chose to do needs to fit into your life and be something you actually look forward to. It is difficult to sustain exercise if you hate it or it causes a bunch of stress within your schedule.
Exercise needs to decrease your stress, not cause more of it!
If you dread working out, then you have not yet found the right workout for you. We are made to move and there is an exercise out there that will fit into your life. Its just a matter of finding it.
Look for an exercise that reduces your anxiety, helps release stress, and allows you to clear your mind, either during the exercise or during the cool down.
Do what is right for you, without judgement. Even if it is not “typical exercise”, if it gets your body moving and fits into your life, then that is the exercise your should stick with. Rotating types of exercise can also keep you from workout burnout.
Perfectionism is not Perfect
Nobody is perfect. Many people joke about how they are perfectionists and everything needs to be done exactly how they envisioned. But when all is said and done, if you are a perfectionist, you might find that it may be negatively impacting your life.
Now is the time to be aware if your expecting perfection or feel like a failure just because you didn’t accomplish everything on your list or do it exactly perfect.
Flexibility is key, because no human being is perfect. We don’t live in a black or white world – we live in a world of colorful hues. Try to find your balance. Give yourself permission to explore a comfortable place where you know you work hard and have responsibilities, but you also let yourself be open-minded about the results. Beating yourself up over imperfections can be a major self-inducted stress bomb.
Give yourself a break and let the “inner-coach”, not the “inner-critic” have a voice.
Stress lowers serotonin availability in the body, which regulates mood and emotion. Although serotonin is known as a brain neurotransmitter, it is estimated that 90 percent of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract. More stress equals less serotonin. Ladies, we need our serotonin levels up! So, let some of the perfectionism go.
Avoid Overuse of Social Media
While using social media definitely has its merits, it can also be a addictive habit that might be actually causing stress and chipping away at your healthy mind-set.
If you are someone that just checks in every once in a while or when you get occasional notifications, it’s probably not a negative habit for you. If you check social media throughout the day and get notifications constantly, this may be causing stress that can build up by the end of your day.
Try taking a few days to reduce the time you spend on your social media, just to see if it changes your stress levels. Give yourself a time frame to spend each day on social media.
Depending on your regular use you can decide what less time would be. For example, if you spend time on social media throughout the day, maybe try just checking in for a 30 minute allotment during the day, rather than a having constant interaction. Or try setting a timer and giving yourself a set amount of time to scroll through your social media, until the timer goes off. This will also help give you a sense of the amount of time you spend as you get pulled into the social media vortex.
You can also try to silence your alerts, so you don’t have your social media grabbing you attention throughout the day.
Remember that small changes, over time, can add up to big results. Reducing your stress, even by a little bit throughout the day, can minimize your overwhelm, support your gut health, increase your positive mindset, and allow you to live a healthier life.
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