April is quickly approaching, and with it, the day that many people dread, Tax Day! Oh No! With studies showing that 74% of the population ages 18-36 indicating that they felt some level of stress around filing taxes, it is not surprising that April is also Stress Awareness Month.
Every April since 1992, health care professionals and health advocates across the country band together to enhance public awareness about both the causes and remedies for the stress epidemic that is gripping our nation. Stress affects you both physically and mentally. It causes high blood pressure, headaches, muscle tension, chest pain, fatigue, and can even affect your mental health and behavior.
We here at Topnotch Resort believe that wellness is always in season and that is why we have joined the cause. We not only want to bring awareness to this pressing issue but to offer science-backed ways to reduce your stress.
With our busy schedules, we often forget to take time and just enjoy the serenity that nature has to offer and the healing effects it can have on our body. A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science showed that participants who took a 90-minute walk through a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination (repetitive negative thoughts). So, whether it is skiing, mountain biking, or a leisurely stroll through the park, get outside and enjoy nature.
Merriam-Webster defines mindfulness as the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis. Studies indicate that mindfulness have broad-spectrum antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects and decrease general psychological distress. This can be accomplished through practices such as meditation, deep breathing, and journaling. Our spa here at Topnotch offers a great way for you to practice mindfulness and experience a transformative journey where your inner self and outer life come into better balance.
Surprisingly, chewing gum is shown to reduce anxiety by nearly 17% and reduce levels of salivary cortisol (a physiological stress marker) but 16% according to a study conducted by Andrew Scholey, Ph.D., professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
It is no secret that you feel better when you are more active. But did you know that exercise can help you to manage stressful situations better immediately after you work out? The benefits are stronger in people who work out regularly. It helps by lowering your cortisol levels (your body’s stress hormone), improve your mood by releasing endorphins and improve the quality of your sleep. Remember even when you are on vacation, you do not have to sacrifice your workout schedule. Topnotch offers a variety of ways to stay active. You can join a yoga class, do cardio tennis with an instructor, or if you prefer to do your own thing, visit our gym.
We are so caught up in our everyday life that we forget to just let go and enjoy ourselves. You do not have to plan something elaborate either. Studies show that it is the little things that reduce our stress the most. For example, playing with your pets decreases glucocorticoid (a stress hormone), decreases your blood pressure as well as your heart rate. Laughter is another example. Laughing helps to relax your muscles, release endorphins and improve your immune system. So get together with your friends, play fetch with your pooch, get a massage, listen to some music and enjoy today!
A Good Night Sleep
Last but not least, get a good night sleep. Your body cannot function the way it needs to when you are sleep-deprived. According to Berkeley News, UC Berkeley researchers have found that a lack of sleep, which is common in anxiety disorders, may play a key role in ramping up the brain regions that contribute to excessive worrying. So turn in earlier and your body will thank you in the long run.
You may not be able to avoid stress but with these tips, you can lighten some of the grievances. With our amenities like the spa, fitness center, pilates and exercise studio (not to mention out great location here in Stowe, VT), Topnotch Resort is the perfect place to relax. So, come join us any time of year and get away from it all! Book your stay today!
Backed By Science: 6 Ways to Reduce Stress was written by Patricia Ellis