Stress is one inevitable part of life. We all have stress in our lives for different reasons… maybe your child is struggling in school, maybe you have a jerk of a boss, or maybe you’re barista is being super slow making you on the brink of being late for your spin class. Whatever the reason; we all stress from time to time. Stress can affect our body through muscle tension, headaches, fatigue and more, it can affect our mood by creating feelings of anxiety, lack of motivation or focus, sadness and/or depression, among other things, and it can even affect our behaviour through overeating or undereating, drug and alcohol abuse, or simply exercising less often.
One side effect of stress you were likely unaware of, was that stress sweat creates more odor than regular sweat! You see, regular sweat comes from eccrine glands and is made up of mostly water, salt, and potassium. Stress sweat on the other hand comes from your apocrine glands, this sweat is made up of fatty acids and protein. The difference is regular sweat dries quickly, and is not necessarily the ideal habitat for bacteria (thank you salt), whereas stress sweat actually takes longer to dry and the protein in the sweat provides food for the bacteria (nothing Frisk Deodorant can’t counteract).
So by simply reducing your stress and learning how to cope with life’s stressors, we not only live a happier and healthier life, but we also smell better!
Here are 5 easy tips to reduce stress that you can start implementing today!
- Get Moving
Not having time to go to the gym is no reason not to move. Exercise doesn’t have to be an intense crossfit workout, or even a jog... simply standing up and stretching, taking the dog for a walk, or walking to the water cooler at the office helps get the blood flowing. Getting your blood flowing releases endorphins which helps improve your mood almost immediately.
- Reduce your nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol consumption
Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants which means they will actually increase your stress levels rather than reduce it, and increase your blood pressure (I know, it’s hard to imagine that second cup of coffee adding stress to your life, but it does!). Alcohol is a depressant in large quantities, but acts as a stimulant like caffeine and nicotine in smaller quantities (and we all know large quantities of alcohol is bad for us, so just stay as clear as possible!).
- Drink herbal tea
Herbal teas can replace your regular coffee as a caffeine-free (or low caffeine) option! Most impressively, green tea contains antioxidants and theanine, an amino acid that has a calming effect on the nervous system.
Right this instant, straighten your back, bring your shoulders back, and take a big breath in through the nose, hold for three seconds, then exhale. Don’t you already feel better? While shallow breathing causes stress, deep breathing oxygenates your blood, centres your body, and clears your mind. At the end of this blog there is an easy to-do, one minute breathing/meditation exercise you can do whenever life has you overwhelmed and you feel the need to be grounded.
- Gain Perspective (a Frisk Favourite)
Volunteer your time helping those who are less fortunate - and there are always people who are less fortunate… don’t know where to start? Your local soup kitchen, volunteer at a local youth group, visit elderly people who no longer have family around, make a meal for your single parent neighbour with many kids, or help your elder neighbour with their yard work. There is always a way to help someone, and by helping them not only will you feel less stressed because you’ll know you spent your time the best possible way (helping someone who has a hard time helping themselves), but you will also gain a reassuring sense of confidence as you realize how much control you have in your life.
Now, as promised, a simple breathing exercise to ground you, clear your mind, lift your spirits, and awaken your senses.
Take a deep breath.
Breathing in through the nose,
Breathing out through the mouth.
Breathing in feeling the lungs expanding,
Breathing out feeling a sense of letting go.
Breathing in to feel the body getting fuller,
Breathing out to feel the release of any tension.
Breathing in to feel alive and awake,
Breathing out feeling muscles relaxing.
Breathing in that sense of fullness,
Breathing out any unnecessary tension.