Reduce stress now for better health tomorrow

exercise

April is Stress Awareness Month. And if you have stress, you probably don’t need to be made aware of it, but perhaps you could use some tips on getting rid of it and making your life better. This is especially true since we know that large amounts of stress can impact your mental and physical health.

Exercise

Regular exercise increases the amount of good brain chemicals called endorphins. Any expenditure of energy will do: a nature walk, a competitive game of tennis, and jumping on a trampoline can help you feel better and calmer. And a bonus is that exercise will improve your quality of sleep and elevate your mood.

Yoga and deep breathing

Fifteen minutes a day of stretching and controlled breathwork will help relax you and increase your balance.

Inventory your time

How do you spend your days? It might surprise you. Create a daily journal and break it down into 30-minute segments. What were you doing or thinking? You may find ways to use your time better and be surprised at the number of stressful activities you participate in.

Nurture friendships

Leaning on friends and family for support during stressful times is considered one of the best ways to deal with stress. Nurture friendships by actively invigorating them: meet for lunch, go for a walk, or call or text just to say hello. Keep the lines of communication open and flowing both ways so that you can be there for each other when it really counts. And laugh a lot with your friends. Laughing is also a stress reducer.

Anticipate your stressors

Does bill paying stress you out? Pay the bills as they come instead of waiting until the day before they are due. Or put them on an automatic payment system online. Do you have a presentation at work? Get it done early and prepare your remarks. Practice and anticipate questions. Early preparation will help reduce stress.

Know when to ask for help

If you’ve tried it all and you still can’t shake that feeling, know when it’s time to call in for back up. Ask your doctor for a referral to a therapist and describe your stress. People are there to help you.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Charles O’Dowd/Clardstown Medical Associates

 
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