How Can I Reduce Stress?
Many years ago, my dad suffered a heart attack, I sold my home, moved to a different city, and started my own small business. Talk about a stressful year.
Besides the emotional feelings tied to the stress, my body’s natural response to stress was to tense up.
Stress affects our body, and it’s important to learn how to recognize when your stress levels are out of control. Typical physical symptoms include body aches and pains, diarrhea or constipation, nausea, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, and frequent colds.
You can better cope with the physical symptoms of stress by strengthening your physical health. For example, set aside time to relax. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, prayer, and deep breathing activate the body’s relaxation response, a state of restfulness that is the opposite of the stress response.
Also, exercise regularly. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress.
I ALWAYS feel better after I go for a walk.
Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress. Start your day with a healthy breakfast and reduce your caffeine and sugar intake.
Get plenty of sleep. Feeling tired can increase stress by causing you to think irrationally. Keep your cool by getting a good night’s sleep. And I’m a personal fan of a good afternoon nap.
My body’s natural response to the stress those years ago was to tense up. To counter this, I would physically hike my shoulders up to my ears and then let them down slowly, imaging they had weights on them. This simple action relieved my shoulder stress relaxing my shoulders down to normal.
So be aware of your body’s specific response to stress and incorporate simple strategies to strengthen your physical health.