As much as we all wish we lived in a blissed out state, completely free from all worries, it’s just not a reality. Unfortunately, stress is an unavoidable part of all of our lives. And with everything going on in the world – climate change, political turmoil and increasing pressure to succeed – we are all subjected to more stress than ever.
And while it may be unpleasant, a little bit of stress is normal. It becomes problematic, however, when stress starts to feel constant, when it becomes chronic. Beyond just being unpleasant, chronic stress has myriad negative health effects from disrupted sleep to reproductive issues, digestive distress and problems with your cardiovascular systems.
Though we certainly won’t be able to banish all stress for good, there are tons of ways we can work to reduce it and manage it. When we arm ourselves with some great tools and natural practices, we can ensure we feel our very best as much as we can.
One of the most outspoken and well known experts on stress reduction is Wim Hof. While there are so many avenues you can take to reduce your stress, we must say we are particular fans of the Wim Hof Method, as we’ve really found it to be a powerful tool that has helped us change our lives. We also love it because it’s quite simple. Built on three essential pillars, the Wim Hof Method is something that will improve your body and your mind.
What are those pillars? Breathing technique, commitment and controlled exposure to cold. When combined, these three tenets have very powerful effects. Not only will they help you reduce stress but also promote better sleep and a more focused mind.
The most recognisable aspect of the Wim Hof Method is probably the prolonged exposure to cold. Wim Hof believes that cold body therapy, whether taking cold showers or whole body cryotherapy, has a whole host of health benefits. It speeds up the metabolism, reduces inflammation and aids in the recovery of sore muscles and swelling. It’s also beneficial for improving energy and relieving symptoms of autoimmune diseases. And, most importantly, it helps to combat stress.
Wondering how to put it into practice? It’s almost too easy. All you need to do is incorporate cold showers into your daily routine (start with a regular shower that finishes with a 30 second cold blast). If you really want to go whole hog, then you can also incorporate periodic ice baths to get the most benefits.
In addition to cold therapy, the Wim Hof Method also promotes other natural ways to reduce stress. It encourages people to accept that you cannot control everything in life, particularly the thoughts and actions of others. You can, however, control how you respond to things others say or do. Once you accept that, you’ll breathe a bit easier.
Another idea that the Wim Hof Method teaches is the importance of saying no. When we create clear, defined boundaries, we are controlling what goes on in our lives. With control comes stress reduction. Additionally, it’s essential that you get enough, restful sleep and also change your expectations. If you are always striving for perfection, you will inevitably be stressed.
If you’re looking for a few extra tips, we’ve got you covered.
- Take hemp oil extract
- Invest in adaptogens
- Ditch caffeine