First, the amygdala, the brain’s center for processing emotions, goes into overdrive and becomes extra sensitive to negative thoughts, emotions, and events. Small setbacks that you’d normally be able to take in a stride begin to feel like major obstacles.
Simultaneously, the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s center for executive functions like logic and reason, becomes less influential over your emotions. Without the normal influence of logic, the amygdala runs amok, you’re susceptible to bridezilla moments.
As your emotional health fluctuates and you lose sleep, your physical health can deteriorate too. Sleep deprivation is linked to appetite changes and weight gain as well as poor immune system health. However, you can stay at the top of your wedding game by managing your stress and getting better sleep.
4 Ways to Manage Stress on a Daily Basis
When you’re preparing for a big event, stress management can’t be an afterthought. It has to be an everyday habit. We suggest addressing your stress during a nightly bedtime routine. By focusing on stress before bed, you’ll be able to get the sleep that will bring your emotions under better control. Our top five suggestions include classic favorites as well as Eastern techniques that have proven themselves over centuries.
- Get Comfortable
You may not have thought of comfort as part of stress management but when it comes to better sleep, it is. A clutter-free bedroom, low light levels, and a supportive mattress that eliminates aches and pains are all part of physical and mental comfort. Sheets made of natural fabrics, pastel colors that don’t overstimulate your eyes, and cool temperatures are other ways you can get cozy. Even the temperature in your bedroom can impact the way you sleep–but since not all space heaters are safe for the bedroom, make sure you’re making safe choices if you’re trying to eliminate cold spots from your room.
- Meditate in Bed
Meditation is more than sitting or lying in bed. This ancient Eastern practice helps focus the mind in the present moment rather than thinking about a stressful future event. Studies have shown that it reduces the heart rate and blood pressure. When done daily over a long period of time, it can strengthen the connection between your prefrontal cortex and the amygdala, restoring emotional balance.
- Yoga for Muscle Tension
Yoga stretches and loosens muscle and has been shown to improve moods while decreasing stress-related inflammation. Gentle yoga poses done either next to or in bed can relieve your physical tension when you need it.
- Warm Bath
A warm bath artificially raises your body temperature, causing the body to then rapidly cool itself. The speed at which your body temperature falls simulates the natural drop in body temperature that takes place at the onset of sleep. Consequently, as your body temperature drops, you start to feel sleepy.
You can’t avoid stress, but you can manage it in healthy ways. As you devote yourself to daily stress management, you’ll be able to get the rest you need so you can fully enjoy the time leading up to your wedding.