Controlling stress in your life can feel like trying to empty the ocean with a thimble. No matter how much you try, the anxieties seem to weigh upon you. Just being stressed seems to cause more of it. It is a vicious cycle.
When you find yourself feeling frazzled, do something about it. It might mean changing your habits a bit. Stress stems from all sorts of factors, including bad habits. Similarly, there are many coping strategies… so if one way does not work for you, try another. Ideally, combining some or all of them will give you the most benefit. Here are a few:
Make sure that you get enough sleep every night. When you push yourself too hard by staying up too late or getting up too early, you are robbing your body of sleep that it needs to be well. Sleep helps boost your immune system. Lack of sleep can cause mood problems, something that stress already causes. No matter how busy you are, try to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night.
On the other hand stress causes anxiety… and that can make it hard for you to fall asleep. If you are having trouble sleeping, try listening to a guided meditation CD or find clips to play on YouTube to fall asleep to. Nature sounds work great as well. There are products on the market that simulate different nature sounds. I have a little contraption that simulates a water fall. It’s quite relaxing.
When you are feeling overwhelmed but cannot take a walk…use breathing techniques for stress. Breathing is relaxing and calming…and can even lower blood pressure. Breathing exercises are great stress busters.
Inhale slowly and deeply, filling up your lungs… and then hold it for a second or two. Now, slowly exhale through your mouth. When you inhale, make sure to breathe from your belly and not your chest. Take five to ten of these deep breaths to calm yourself.
Exercise is a healthy bonus...
Another great way for controlling stress is daily exercise…which is also great for your waistline. Endorphins are what our bodies produce to make us feel good. When we exercise, we produce endorphins. They help to reduce any tension that we are carrying in our bodies. Thirty minutes of exercise daily will have tremendous benefits.
Stress happens, there is no way to avoid it entirely, but it can be managed. By controlling stress, you will be helping to keep healthy, physically and mentally. It is not something that you need to have to live with, start managing your stress today…and feel the benefits.
Stress Management and Mental Fitness
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