- Mental Health
Three Fast Ways To Overcome Stress
Do You Suffer From Stress Over-load?
Stress is something that we all have to deal with what with major life changes, social situations and relationships. We worry, we fret and even lose sleep which causes even more stress.
So what are we to do? How do we learn to live without the "S" word? Stress is part of life. But stress is manageable and it doesn't always require a trip to the Doctor. What it does require is this:
- A few minutes of your time
- A change in your thinking
- Body awareness
We have 24 hours each and every day to spend. Now 8-10 hours are spent in sleeping (or they should be). That leaves time to spend for driving, work, caring for the kids, writing, grooming, eating, donating our services, shopping, studying, school and recreation.
Tension builds up gradually and it doesn't take a break until we acknowledge it. By then, it's too late. The knots are already forming in your neck and back and a headache begins to pound right into your skull.
But hold on now - you.re about to be introduced to some fast-acting tips to help reduce those stressful times.
Stress can take a huge toll on our health, both mentally and physically. And for most of us stress has even become a way of life. Make way for a heart-attack!
What You Can Do To Relieve And Reduce Stress
While there are several methods we can use to overcome stress, only 3 are needed to provide immediate results. These three will give you fast relief and can be done anytime of the day. Make these excercises a daily habit
By setting aside just a few minutes to do these exercises, you'll feel better, accomplish more, be a happier person, live longer and reduce stress. Now isn't that worth devoting a short time each day to the most important person in the world - YOU!
Let's get started.
For The Next Few Minutes I Want Your Full Attention!
For the next few minutes you are going to devote some time to yourself. Yes...you! Let your voice mail pick up messages and turn the volume down or completely off. No distractions. Send the kids out to play or put them down for a nap. Turn off the television and bolt the front door. If you must, hang a "do not disturb" sign on the door.
This is YOUR time to rid your body and mind of all stress clutter. If you must, lock yourself in your car. No one is invited to invade this precious few minutes that you so richly deserve.
Ready? Let's go.
1. To Reduce Stress Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing Known As the "Belly Breath"
Diaphragmatic breathing adds years to your life and life to your years. It also helps with reducing tension and stress. This is one reason we are told to "take a deep breath" during an emergency. Begin to be more aware of your breathing throughout the day. Correct any bad habits. Your goal is to replace your present way of breathing with diaphragmatic breathing.
Here's how to begin connecting with diaphragmatic breathing:
- Make yourself comfortable. Lying down is preferred, but you may also sit up if you choose.
- Now, take a deep breath and concentrate on your breathing. Release your shoulder and neck area. With each new breath, release even more air. Visualize the neck and shoulders as soft fluffy clouds...continue breathing as you release every last bit of tension.
- As you inhale, pretend that your belly, ribcage and lungs are filling a balloon with air. Avoid any movement in the shoulders. Keep focusing on relaxing the neck and shoulder area as you inhale.
- This time, as you exhale your air, do so very slowly and hiss like a snake until you are completely out of air. The longer you hiss, the more tension you will release. If you would like a complete lesson on breathing and how to use the belly correctly, click here.
Go back to the beginning of this portion on breathing and repeat the exercises as many times as needed. Eventually your new way of breathing will become automatic.
*A word of caution. If you experience light-headiness or dizziness stop immediately. You are hyperventilating due to low levels of carbon dioxide ( C02). To prevent hyperventilation - blow into a small paper bag a couple of times.
2. Take a Brisk Walk
How does something as simple as walking help to reduce and overcome stress? Check out these benefits of walking in the list below:
- Walking will free your mind from stress as it releases tension in your body. With brisk walking your mind detaches itself from daily pressure and worry.
- Walking costs you nothing, but a few minutes of your time and even just 10 minutes will have you feeling better.
- Our body isn't meant to be in a sitting position all day. Try to avoid sitting longer than 20 minutes at a time. Get up and move!
- Walking improves the mood by boosting endorphins. These endorphins actually reduce stress and alleviate mild depression while lifting your self-esteem.
- When we walk we improve our stress resilience by lowering the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Walking is invigorating, both mentally and physically. When your brain is tired, or you begin to suffer from "scrambled brains", just get up out of that chair and go for a walk. You'll feel great and be ready to take on the day - ot finish it.
So when stress and tension have drained you of your power and energy, get moving. Recharge your battery with a short, rythmical walk.
Laughter - The Immediate Cure For Stress
Laughter is indeed the best medicine. We've all heard it, but do we practice it enough? Do we set aside time to read a humorous book or anecdote? When is the last time you went to a comedy club?
- I like to watch my PTS DVD collection of the Johnny Carson shows, or watch an old black and white " 3 Stooges " film.
- Laughing will chase away stress faster than anything. It's free and you only need one or two laughs to do the job.
- Whenever possible, surround yourself with people who are fun. Link up with positive people.
- Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress and pain.
- Laughter is one of the best resources we have for diminishing pain and stress.
- Laughter will relax your entire body and keep it relaxed for up to 45 minutes.
- When you laugh, endorphins are released (those are the feel-good chemicals) and not only do you relieve stress, you can relieve pain as well.
I have included some funny pictures below as well as a video or two. Trust me - you're bound to feel better after a good roaring laugh releases all that tension.
Even if there is nothing to laugh about, laugh on credit.
A good, real, unrestrained, hearty laugh is a sort of glorified internal massage, performed rapidly and automatically. It manipulates and revitalizes corners and unexplored crannies of the system that are unresponsive to most other exercise methods. ~Author unknown, from an editorial in New-York Tribune, quoted in Quotations for Special Occasions by Maud van Buren
A Note From The Author
I wish you each enough joy to help sustain you through the tough times. Stress just isn't worth the penalty your body and mind are charged with. Change your thinking to change your stress-level. The mind is where it all begins. Nothing, absolutely nothing is as powerful as your own amazing mind.
You are the power and the authority in your world.
Thanks to each of you for being here.
A Little Bit of Humor (Sorry Johnny)
- I Dreamt I Slept With Johnny Depp - A Poem
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