10 Simple Ways To Unplug For Your Health And Stress Levels
Life is beautiful. It truly is. But, it’s also busy, hectic, crazy, and chaotic.
You know how it goes, the to-do list never seems to end and you feel like you desperately need a break.
And, you do need a break! We all do!
And, so often we overlook the warning signs of our body attempting to tell us this very thing.
Our days feel like they run together. The stuff from those days compiles and compresses on our physical and metaphorical shoulders.
Yet, we often ignore that pressure gauge and keep pressing on.
You know what would happen if you ignored warning signs of your vehicle’s gauges running hot? Yeah, you’d get stranded at the side of the road.
So, how often are we surprised when we strand ourselves in a given day, not being able to perform mentally or physically at work because we refuse to take a moment, step aside, and unplug...for our health: physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Stress is a fact of life, but it’s not something to just ignore.
So, let’s look at a few ways to focus on our health.
Let’s take a break for a moment here to find out how we can effectively unplug as a way of life for both our health and stress levels.
Oftentimes we can get so busy, so stressed, so overwhelmed, that we put off the things that actually facilitate health and work in a powerful way to alleviate the stress and burdens weighing us down.
So, maybe exercise is something on your daily list of essentials but you’ve recently made a habit of tabling it for work projects?
Or, maybe exercise isn’t something you even think about in your day to day busyness?
Either way, it’s undeniable the benefits awaiting your health and stress levels even from just a quick walk or workout session.
Exercise not only boosts your brain’s happy chemicals (endorphins), increasing your sense of well-being, but it can also reduce the effects of stress on your body by strengthening your cardiovascular, digestive, and even immune system.
Incorporating exercise regularly can also...
Have lasting positive effects on your mood
Lower mild depression and anxiety
Increase self confidence
And, you don’t have to spend hours in the gym to achieve these benefits either!
Now granted, a routine gym session is a perfect way to incorporate these benefits as well, but even 10 minutes of yoga, 20 minutes spent walking or running, a quick dance session, or even 25 quick jumping jacks can help you to destress, regroup, unplug, and ease the tensions in life and work that can build up more quickly than we realize.
Get A Massage
You’ve been at work all day then you get home only to be greeted by a laundry list of items (including laundry) that threaten even a moment of peace and rest, and all you’d like to do is lie down and have someone rub your aching feet and/or back and neck, right?
Those sentiments make for funny sketches for sitcoms for one reason: relatability!
We’ve all been there, and there’s good reason behind our body’s subconscious desire for a nice, long massage.
A massage increases localised blood flow, and this, in turn, gets “positive hormones” like endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine moving, which reduces stress, aids in feelings of relaxation, and provides a sense of well-being.
And, relieving the built up tension in muscle tissue translates to both a reduction in overall stress and helps to prevent future muscle tightness.
Go For A Nature Walk
I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, didn’t you already mention exercise?
Yes, and while this also can incorporate movement, the focus here is on nature.
Spending time in nature promotes a sense of centeredness and keeps you engaged in the present.
White, of the European Center for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter states, “Nature is not only nice to have, but it’s a have-to-have for physical health and cognitive function.”
And, an increasing number of studies have shown that time spent in nature not only provides a sense of well-being, but also contributes to a reduction in both crime and aggression, showing the distinct connection between this and mental/emotional health.
Studies have shown that spending some time in nature is not optional, but essential to our health, each and every day.
If you don’t have regular access to a park or green area, consider purchasing plants for your home or workspace, as just being near plants is associated with both lowered blood pressure and increased relaxation.
Technology can be at the root of criticism when it comes to the need to unplug and decrease stress. And, while we’ll get to that point in a moment, for now let’s look at how technology can aid in your efforts to increase health and decrease stress levels.
One piece of technology that can be a help in this regard is Hapbee.
Hapbee is a wearable device, scientifically designed to promote happiness, relaxation, and focus.
Using low-energy magnetic fields, Hapbee replicates feelings by playing signals onto your body.
So, as you use the device (check it out here: www.hapbee.com) low levels of the magnetic fields are travelling through the coils onto your body. The product is not heat based, non-invasive, and non-ionizing.
The signals used can help you to:
Relieve stress, aiding in feelings of confidence and relaxation.
Promote focus, helping you to recharge midday or prepare for an upcoming event or presentation.
Calm mental noise, allowing you to unwind and drift off to sleep more easily.
Prioritize, Plan, Organize
No one can escape feelings of stress and being overwhelmed when your docket is full and your time is limited.
And, the fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO of a large company or a housewife, you have a slew of responsibilities each and every day.
So, how do you manage a life of responsibility (aka being an adult) without letting the stresses involved become overwhelming? You plan, you prioritize, you involve organization in your day-to-day operations to ease the load of stress.
From incorporating time management strategies to even writing down simple to-do lists, making an effort to get organized can reduce stress.
With just a little bit of prioritization and organization, you can better manage your daily “plate.”
So, seek to delegate where necessary. Allow time in your day to not only complete tasks, but do a little unplugging as well.
Plan ahead to facilitate less stress, and plan to implement de stressing strategies in your day.
When you’re anxious or stressed, you tend to take shallow, quick breaths. But, when you slow your breathing, you can reduce stress and tension, lower your blood pressure and heart rate, as well as calm your mind.
Deep breathing focuses on slow, calculated breaths which send messages to your brain signaling it to calm down and relax.
Give this a try:
Avoid chest breathing, looking for extension in your belly as you breathe. Relax your stomach, and inhale, breathing in through your nose, for 5 counts.
Hold that breath for 5 counts.
Exhale, through your mouth, for 5 counts, noticing your belly slightly tighten through the breath.
Repeat for 2 full minutes.
And, deep breathing doesn’t just work to reduce stress levels!
Stopping for a few moments throughout your day to practice deep breathing is also known to promote detoxification within the body, support healthy digestion, relieve pain, and increase energy.
Healthy Eating Habits
One way you can change how stress affects your body is through nutrition.
So, if you’re saying, “I don’t have time to unplug!” First, I’d advise making it a priority to find some time to do so, for your health. But, simply incorporating some dietary changes can go a long way to manage stress.
This is because eating healthy doesn’t just have benefits to your physical health, but research suggests there is a strong link between digestive health and the brain.
Yep, that’s right, your gut health can directly affect your mental health.
The bacteria in your gut produce neurochemicals which your brain uses to regulate things like mood and memory.
In fact, 95% of your body’s serotonin, which is responsible for your mood and feelings of happiness and well-being, is made by the bacteria in your gut.
This is why it is crucial to fuel your body with nutrient dense, healthy foods from the categories listed below.
Foods rich in probiotics promote a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut which is essential for proper digestion, a healthy immune system, and as we’ve seen above, even for the production of serotonin to support your mental health and well-being.
Foods rich in antioxidants help to reduce levels of stress hormones within your body, improve your mood, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress.
Foods rich in vitamin C are known to reduce stress and boost the strength of your immune system.
In the words of Elton John, “music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves…”
And, it turns out science backs up Sir Elton. Take a look here at a few science-based facts about music:
Upbeat music has the ability to make you feel more positive and optimistic.
Fast music promotes concentration and alertness.
Music with a slower tempo “can quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day.”
Blood flows throughout the body more easily when a person is listening to music.
Music is an effective strategy for both promoting relaxation and managing stress.
Music decreases the release of cortisol (often termed the stress hormone).
Music stimulates the production of dopamine, relieving feelings of depression and anxiety.
Music enhances focus and promotes creativity.
One common misconception is that only classical music could offer or promote any of the above listed benefits.
And, while I don’t disagree that classical music most certainly can fit multiple musical categories and offer any of the above rewards to your health, science shows that all genres are included in the healthy aspects of music.
So, find what you like, what works, and incorporate music (daily if you can) as a way to unplug and boost your health while decreasing stress.
Read A Book
Reading is another way to both relax your body physically and relieve the mental and emotional ramifications of stress as well.
In fact, one study found that reading can reduce stress levels by up to 68 percent!!
Taking a break from the chaos of your day to read lowers your heart rate and even relieves tension in your muscles. See, reading isn’t just for your mind. :)
In fact, reading is said to be more effective at reducing stress than even music, and we just saw how beneficial incorporating some tunes into your day can be!
Choose something you’ll enjoy reading...you’re promoting pleasure and calm here, not added stress (you might want to skip the daily news for your stress-reducing reading choice).
Try journaling your thoughts after reading.
Shoot for 30 minutes of reading each day (or build up to that time if you need to).
Find a quiet, distraction-free place and time to read.
Timeout From Tech
Let’s face it, technology is part of our lives. And, we like it...it enhances so many areas of our day, even making things a bit easier on our already burdensome schedules.
But, let’s face it. We spend a lot of time in front of screens!
In fact, some studies show the average adult will spend 34 years of their lives in front of a screen.
More on the average adult (generally speaking, that’s you and me, by the way):
We consume 5 times more information than adults did 50 years ago.
We spend approximately 12 hours a day in front of a screen.
Greater time spent on smartphones have been linked to higher rates of depression and loneliness.
So, with all this time spent in front of, and incorporating the use of, technology, what could a good old fashioned break from it all mean for your health and stress levels?
Time away from technology allows your brain time to recover from constant stimulation, aiding your mental health.
Time spent hunched over a phone or computer screen can put strain on your eyes, neck, arms, and hands as well, thus necessitating a break for the sake of your physical health.
Consider putting some goals in place that help you set aside some time each day free from technology.
Maybe start your day tech-free by incorporating a morning routine complete with deep breathing, gratitude, affirmations, exercise, and a healthy meal (free from email, social media, and other notifications).
Incorporate a phone free dinner time with your family.
Set aside no-tech zones in your day to cut down on mindless scrolling.
Seek to connect with people in person, and avoid relying solely on tech for communication.
We’ve listed these ways to unplug for the good of your health and stress levels...but, in case you’re tempted to think, “eh, stress isn’t that big of a deal, it’s just part of life.” Or, if you’re so accustomed to just living with a shoulder full of burdens, operating under the perpetual “I’ve got this,” without realizing the need for any of the above mentioned methods of unplugging, consider the following:
Continual, uneased stress can affect your mental and physical health.
Ongoing stress can cause headaches.
Continued stress can affect sleep, which can hinder the normal functioning of hormones within the body.
Blood pressure is negatively impacted by increasing amounts of stress.
Stress can affect thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
The digestive, immune, and cardiovascular systems are all negatively affected by unrelieved stress.
Your breathing, blood sugar, heart rate, and even sex drive are all affected by stress levels.
By the time you notice consistent symptoms of rapid heart rate, insomnia, headaches, digestive distress, etc. chances are stress is already taking a toll on your health.
So, rather than allowing those negative effects to become normal, make incorporating the above ways to unplug and destress your norm instead.
Move your body. Make exercise a priority.
Get a massage. They aren’t just a splurge item, but an effective way to destress and facilitate health throughout your body.
Spend some time in nature, or bring in some plant life into your home or workspace.
Consider letting technology work for you by incorporating devices such as hapbee to relieve stress and promote relaxation and focus.
Incorporate organization to plan and prioritize tasks in your day.
Spend some time breathing deeply, focus on slow breaths.
Incorporate healthy foods rich in probiotics, antioxidants, etc. which can promote gut health, and in turn reduce stress and promote feelings of well-being.
Incorporate some time in each day to listen to music, both to relieve and prevent stress.
Spend some time reading a book.
Take a timeout from technology. Plan some phone free, tablet free, notification free moments each day.
We just learned that nutrition can go a long way to reduce stress and promote health, specifically the role of probiotics in gut health and therefore serotonin production. (see #7 for a refresher)
And, what better way to get in a healthy dose of probiotics than through your daily cup of coffee?
Most of us can’t start our day without a cup (or two) of coffee.
So, while those moments of peace and quiet with your morning brew are already aiding in stress relief, you can take it a step further with our Biotics Cold Brew.
Biotics Brew uses a proprietary probiotic that only Lifeboost has!
Containing 12 different strains of probiotics, our Biotics Brew has a special acid that keeps the probiotics in an adaptable phase, making them able to withstand stomach acid, boosting bioavailability and making them more useful to your body, namely the health of your gut.
Lifeboost Biotics Brew, like all Lifeboost Coffee, is low acid, with immune boosting antioxidants.
And, as always, our coffee is
USDA certified organic
pH tested to be up to 27.7% less acid than common store bought coffees
Shade grown, mountain grown
Sun-dried in the mountains of Central America
3rd party tested for mycotoxins and 400+ other chemicals
So, drink to your health and reduced stress levels, by unplugging with Lifeboost Biotics Brew.
MEDICAL DISCLAIMER This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Charles Livingston nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.