3 Tips For Reducing Stress From Mind Body Green’s Revitalize
Did you know that you can calm your nervous system with a simple breathing technique? Learn that plus more tips from Mind Body Green’s Revitalize, a three-day wellness conference I recently attended in Arizona.
As you’ve probably gathered, I’m a skeptic when it comes to many things. If something is stated as a fact, I want to see the evidence. #showmethescience
So when I was invited by Kohl’s to check out the Mind Body Green Revitalize conference in Arizona this past weekend, it was with a healthy dose of uncertainty that I packed my bags full of super cute new Nike gear and headed for the desert.
I was pleasantly surprised though by the medley of fascinating people in attendance with viewpoints that embraced both Eastern and Western tradition and I came home with a plethora of practical, applicable life skills that I’ll be incorporating into my daily habits.
The majority of techniques I learned were related to breath and the powerful ability of breathing to change your emotional state. Simple breathing techniques can instantly produce a shift in mental state.
So when you need to amp up for a hardcore workout like the one I did Saturday morning with Sophie Jaffe, Jordan Younger, and Alicia Archer – there’s a breathing technique for that!
Btw, how cute are our Kohl’s outfits? Deets at the bottom of the post!
Or when you want to take it down a notch after a jam-packed day of thought-provoking presentations and stimulating conversations – there’s breath work for that too!
There are also some techniques I learned for refocusing and reframing your thoughts, preventing negativity from hindering your performance, and eating to lower stress hormones.
Want to optimize your mental and physical state with some easy, applicable tips? Try these! >>
1. Rechannel Negative Energy with “Anxious Reappraisal.”
The next time you’re feeling anxious about something – meeting someone important, giving a presentation to a large group, doing karaoke at a crowded bar, reframe your thoughts about your nervous energy.
Instead of viewing anxiety as a hindrance, imagine it as excitement. It’s called “anxious reappraisal” and one study showed that people who were able to employ this technique were better able to regulate their emotional state than those who tried to suppress their feelings or simply accept them.
Thanks to David Mykel of Cliffhanger Academy for this tip!
2. Calm Your Nervous System with Breath.
It sounds simple — when you’re stressed, just breathe. Actually, it is that simple!
Studies show that deep, slow breathing has the ability to decrease heart rate and slow the sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system. I got the chance to take a breathwork class led by neuroscientist Andrew Huberman Ph.D. and human performance expert Brian Mackenzie and learned an easy breathing exercise to use when you’re feeling hyperaroused and need to chill out.
Here’s how to do it:
- Breathe in for a count of 5.
- Hold your breath for a count of 5.
- Breathe out for a count of 10.
- Hold for a count of 5.
- Repeat for 5-6 rounds.
The more you practice this exercise, the longer you can make your breaths. Just remember to keep the ratio 1:2 for the inhalation and exhalation.
3. Balance Your Cortisol Levels with Diet.
Despite its negative connotation as the “stress hormone,” cortisol is actually not a bad thing. We need cortisol to provide our body with energy throughout the day between meals, and to provide arousal in the morning when we wake up. What we don’t want is chronically high or low cortisol levels, or high levels of cortisol at night when we’re trying to wind down.
Dr. Aviva Romm, who specializes in women’s health and hormone functioning, shared some insightful tips on using diet to help regulate cortisol levels. One of them was to aim for a plant-based diet or Mediterranean style of eating. Studies show that women who eat diets rich in whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables have better “cortisol variability,” which means a more healthy cortisol cycle, and lower abdominal body fat (a risk factor for chronic disease).
Aviva suggests women consume whole grains within 3-4 hours before bedtime, as this can lower cortisol at night and prevent food cravings the following day.
In addition to these helpful tips and tricks, I also walked away with many amazing new friends and a renewed interest in the practice of meditation (one of my new year’s goals that fell by the wayside).
I am so thankful to Mind Body Green and Kohl’s for inviting me to this wonderful weekend!
If you’re in need of hip new activewear for fall, you should definitely check out Kohl’s right now. They have tons of cool gear in the most popular shades of the season from wellness brands including Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, New Balance, Asics, Gaiam, Tek Gear, and many more.
They also have tons of other healthy living must-haves from brands like Vitamix, Nutribullet, Ninja, and FitBit.
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Weigh In: Do you do yoga, meditation or breath work? Will you try any of these techniques?
*This post is sponsored by Kohl’s but all opinions are my own.