Jan
30

Reduce Stress so Life’s Not a Mess

posted on January 30th 2013 in Heart Health with 0 Comments

We all know how stressful life can be. Between balancing home and work life, the increased congestion on our roads and the overall hectic schedule of our day to day lives can cause even the easiest going person to feel some stress. But how you let stress impact you is within your
control.

While a certain amount of stress is considered normal, stress that is frequent or long lasting can adversely affect your health, from headaches, to upset stomach, to weakening your immune system. Stress can also make your heart race and cause rapid breathing.

You CAN choose to have less stress in your life. I started thinking about the ways I control stress in my life, and here are my top 10:

  • Make a list of things you are thankful for, when you’re stressed think about all of the wonderful things in your life already.
  • Talk it out and put it in perspective. Sometimes sharing your feelings of stress with a confidant can allow you to gain a different perspective. A good friend can sometimes help you see the positives, even if it seems there are none.
  • Keep a realistic schedule. Try not to say “yes” to every opportunity that comes your way, allow for some free time every day.
  • Get enough rest. Being tired makes everything seem worse.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Keeping your body nourished can positively impact your state of mind. Also try to drink more water and less caffeine.
  • Write it down. Take time to journal about the stress you’re feeling.
  • Go for a walk. A change of scenery could be just what you need. Walk at a comfortable pace, and take good deep breaths. Even 5 minutes around the block can boost your mood.
  • Volunteer at a local animal shelter. There is nothing better than giving affection to a pet waiting for its forever family. Better yet, just get out and volunteer! There are so many organizations that need and will greatly appreciate your time. Visit with a local senior who is housebound and spend time listening to their journey, you’ll learn something new and provide companionship.
  • Reflect. Think about what causes you the greatest stress in your life. Is there something you can change or modify to reduce your level of stress? Do you find your commute to work particularly stressful? Perhaps changing your route could help.
  • Find something to look forward to. Book yourself a massage, or plan a weekend getaway. Having an enjoyable activity on the horizon, and planning for it can be enough to change your mindset.

If you feel that you are unable to control the stress in your life or feelings of overwhelm are constant for you, make an appointment to see your health care provider and discuss your feelings – don’t feel like you need to do it alone.

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