MoHow Posted By: Dr. MO There’s no denying it…. stress is rampant in Western culture. Asa matter of fact, chronic stress is considered to be the number one risk factor contributing to most diseases and illnesses. In this post I will define stress and offer you 8 stress-busting tips. First a definition….
Stress is a physical, chemical, social, mental or emotional stimulus that causes bodily or mental tension, may be a factor in disease causation, and requires a response or alteration to the way we perform, think or feel.
Change, which has been defined as the only constant in the universe, is stressful whether it’s positive or negative. Take the change of seasons for instance, many people experience some physical response when we move into a new season, such as headaches, moodiness, a cold or flu.
Stress can result from many things we experience in our day to day lives, both internally and externally. We also experience stress in different form; physical, psychological, spiritual and social.
Even when we exercise, we cause stress to our body. Just as it’s natural for the seasons to change, our bodies change and they require a certain amount of stress to cope with the change, whether it’s to get stronger and healthier or to resist the changes of age (i.e. stay younger, longer).
Yes, stress is a necessary part of life and yet we all know it can also threaten life. The key is to find varied and healthy ways to manage it.
Now, here are 8 ways for you reduce your stress and it’s negative impact on you.
1. Take care of yourself. Your body and mind have needs; exercise them both, get proper nutrition and sufficient sleep. Treat yourself with kindness and hold yourself accountable.
2. Make time for re-creation. Take a drive, listen to music, go to the beach or lake, read – whatever you find rewarding and relaxing. Be present and enjoy the moment, learn to relax and how to reduce your negative thoughts and increase your optimism.
3. Pursue a hobby. Hobbies relieve stress, especially creative ones. Take the time to do what you enjoy. Don’t feel guilty about spending time doing something for your self. Your health is worth it.
4. Learn how to regain your emotional balance. Identify the people and situations where you have felt most stressed in the past and either eliminate them from your life or prepare yourself to cope with them better. For instance, if rush hour used to “stress you out”, see if you can change your work hours or join a carpool, listen to audio books, enjoy your favorite music, and learn to think differently.
5. Learn to feel more accurately and express your feelings. Your feelings are a way of describing your reality. Strong negative feelings can cause serious health problems when they are too extreme and/or not expressed. Don’t be afraid to cry – it will help you manage stress, relieve anxiety and let loose bottled-up emotions.
6. Work on creating a lower stress home environment. Keep the noise level down, noise contributes to stress. Lower the volume of the radio, stereo and TV. Throw rugs and wall hangings absorb noise and are good additions to decor. Color is another important element of your environment to consider, choose calming colors.
7. Laugh more. Read jokes, watch cartoons, read comics, go to comedy movies. Look at the lighter side of life each day. Smile more… it’s very difficult to feel stressed when you look for humor and fun in your life.
8. Connect. Spend time regularly with people that make you feel good; people you have fun with, who you admire, who love you and who you love.
Do you have any stress reduction techniques that work for you? If you do, please share them with us!
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