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1. Swap energizing foods for some calming ones

Cut back on coffee, which can make you feel wired. Try to limit alcohol (difficult at this time of year, I know!) because it only temporarily relieves stress but then has a rebound effect leaving you feeling lower and less able to cope.
Try starting the day with green tea instead. Taking B-vitamins and essential fatty acids can help a lot too.

2. Breathe

When we get stressed our breath becomes rapid and shallow thanks to the “fight or flight” response initiated by the sympathetic nervous system.

When we consciously take slow, deep breaths, we’re stimulating the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, which is the one that calms us down.

Mindful Eating

3. Find a way to relax your muscles, especially your back

Acupuncture is a great way to relieve muscle tension, our Yinova patients always talk about how they float out of our center after a treatment.

If you don’t have much time and notice your back is tense, simply take a minute to shrug your shoulders then relax them and roll them back, making your scapulas (your shoulder blades) move towards each other.

4. Stay Present

Most stress is related to reliving the past or worrying about the future.

Taking a big breath and consciously being here now can really help. Try to remind yourself that nothing exists but this moment. The past is over and the future hasn’t happened yet.

5. Let it out!

Most of the physical responses to stress come from feeling pent up. Repressed emotions make people sick so finding ways to harmlessly let off steam can really help.

Some suggestions for letting it out – laughing, exercise, therapy, singing, art, writing, music, dancing.

Dr. Jill Blakeway

Dr. Jill Blakeway is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, a licensed and board-certified acupuncturist, and clinical herbalist and one of our amazing meal plan partners. Here are her best ways to reduce stress right in time for the busy holiday season to come!

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