At some point in our lives, we all experience stress. Stress can be anything from a minor inconvenience to something that feels all-consuming. A definition of stress is any reaction, physical or mental, that causes us to sense an imbalance or difficulty in our lives. Like a slippery slope, it can slowly start to creep up on us until before we know it, it’s all-encompassing.

What Causes Stress?
The most common causes of stress are life events, such as economic problems, family situations and even positive events such as a new job or an exciting new hobby. Other causes may include an irregular sleeping pattern, health concerns, or overcommitting yourself to more than you can take on. Everyone experiences stress differently, so it’s important to be aware of potential sources and to take measures to prevent or reduce them.

Physiological Effects of Stress

A. Effects on the Brain:
When stressed, our brains can actually start to impair our thought processes. The hormone cortisol can impair the hippocampus, which is responsible for regulating our memories and emotions. As a result, we may experience a ‘mental fog’, where it may be difficult to concentrate, remember important facts, or come up with creative solutions. The same hormone can also trigger a fight-or-flight response, which can cause an increase in adrenaline, racing thoughts and feelings of anxiety.

B. Effects on the Body:

High levels of stress can wreak havoc on our body as well. Physical symptoms of stress include headaches, digestive issues, fatigue and insomnia. We may experience muscle tension, which can lead to back or neck pain, or difficulty breathing. Stress can also have real impacts on our immunity and make us more prone to getting infections and illnesses. Finally, our hormones may be thrown off balance, leading to issues with digestion, menstrual cycles, and libido.

It’s no wonder that feeling overwhelmed and stressed can have such profound effects on our entire bodies. Taking the time to reduce stress can make all the difference in helping us feel and function better, both mentally and physically.

Shortcuts to Releasing Stress

If the thought of stress-free days make you salivate, you’ve come to the right place! Fret not, there are several simple ‘shortcuts’ you can incorporate into your everyday life that are sure to help you reclaim your peace of mind.

Starting out with something fundamental: exercise. Just doing 20 minutes of light cardio per day has been scientifically proven to lower levels of stress hormones in the body while simultaneously releasing endorphins that make you feel ever so good!

The age-old practice of meditation has also been shown to help combat stress. Taking just a few moments to be in the present and observe your thoughts is a powerful habit to cultivate.

If meditation isn’t really your cup of tea, then why not focus on what you put in your body? Nutrition plays a huge role in reducing stress. Ingesting specific foods such as berries, dark chocolate and nuts have been proven to have calming effects thanks to their rich vitamin content.

Lastly, let’s talk about the importance of sleep! Well-rested days are essential for achieving peace of mind. Getting an ample amount of sleep helps to set your body and mind up for a productive day, and is a sure-fire way to reduce stress.

Though it may seem daunting to instill all of these practices into your life, know that you don’t need to do them all at once! Start small and pick one of these stress releasing techniques to focus on each day. With persistence and determination, you’ll be able to reclaim your peace of mind in no time.

Reclaiming Your Peace of Mind

We all go through times in which stressors seem overwhelming and peace of mind can seem far away. But there are numerous steps you can take to reclaim that peace. Here are some shortcuts to releasing stress and reclaiming your peace of mind:

A. Understanding the Causes of Stress
The first step in reclaiming your peace of mind is understanding the root of your stress. While our external triggers can vary, we often find that the real stressors behind our feelings are connected to feelings of not having any control, or a sense of being overwhelmed with too many tasks. Take a moment to identify the true underlying cause of your stress and then you can start to work on solutions.

B. Finding Healthy Ways to Cope
No matter what your stress triggers may be, it’s important to find healthy outlets to help work through it. Exercise, deep breathing, talking with a friend, and writing in a journal can all provide useful ways to help release tension. Additionally, if the stress is connected to a larger problem that may take time to address, it is helpful to acknowledge that in the moment and find ways to acknowledge and honor your need for self-care and time away from the issue.

C. Prioritizing Hobbies and Self-Care
One of the most important steps to reclaiming your peace of mind is investing time in hobbies you enjoy, and activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Taking time to focus on your interests can help provide peace of mind, and can also be a great way to reframe difficult situations and provide needed perspective. Additionally, it is important to invest time into self-care practices, like getting enough sleep and nutrition, that can help create a sense of calm in both your mind and your body.

Stress can often feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to last. Through understanding the causes, finding healthy coping mechanisms, and prioritizing hobbies and self-care, you can reclaim a powerful sense of peace of mind.


By taking the necessary steps to releasing stress and reclaiming your peace of mind, you can live a life of balance and well-being. The benefits of releasing stress are numerous and serve to improve your mental health, physical health, and relationships. Taking time to care for yourself, engaging in activities that bring joy, and reaching out to trusted sources of support can provide a greater sense of well-being.

The practice of reclaiming your peace of mind is anything but easy, but worth the effort. Establishing healthy habits and challenging negative thought processes can pave the way to finding solace in yourself. All of the tips mentioned here are powerful tools that can equip you to achieve balance and contentment.

At the end of the day, remember to be patient and kind with yourself. Not everyone’s journey looks the same and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. We all have the potential to overcome any obstacles that may stand in our way to true peace of mind.

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