Stress relief tips
Here are some stress relief tips that you can use on your way to managing your stress. Remember, depending on your Myers-Briggs personality type and your unique situation, certain pointers will work better for you than others:
- Exercise Ideally 30-45 minutes/day, 4 days per week (check with your doctor)
- Healthy Diet Check with your doctor or nutritionist/dietitian. Generally speaking, make sure you have a balance of vegetables, fruits, protein and carbohydrates. Part of a healthy diet is plenty of WATER.
- Meditation Take 10 minutes in the morning and evening to simply sit and practice smooth, rhythmic breathing from your diaphragm (“belly breathing”). When thoughts arise, simply acknowledge them, then shift your focus back to your breath; over and over and over when necessary (it gets easier with practice)
- Listen to relaxing music Try creating a playlist just for stressful times
- Take a relaxing drive Though you may wish to avoid rush-hour! Put on relaxing music if you like; but not so calming that you drift off.
- Talk to a friend, family member or mentor These are people who want to help. Resist the urge to cut them off because of stress.
- Take a warm bath Some find a warm shower relaxing as well. Have a good book handy, and a big glass of water. A soft towel to wipe away sweat is helpful.
- Try aromatherapy Even if you are unsure of this one, neuroscience actually backs it up. The olfactory lobe (the ‘smell center’) is located very close to the emotional centers of the brain, and actually influences them. . . this is why you get reminiscent of grandma’s place when you smell apple pie. To relax, try a lavender scent
This is by no means a complete list. Remember to always check with a doctor before changing any exercise routines or diets.
Call (512) 920-3083 for more information
What is stress anyway?
Stress is not simply a feeling of being tense; it is a biological response, a state of mind, an emotional state, a survival mechanism and a reward system.
Stress can be as simple as experiencing change, or as complex as a trauma response. We are all familiar with what is called “negative stress,” but few are aware of “positive stress.” Positive stress can be a promotion at work, or getting engaged. On the surface, these are wonderful experiences, but to our biological systems, these changes require the brain to make changes to adjust to the new positive circumstance. The stress response itself does not distinguish between positive and negative stress; it simply dumps the chemicals into the brain and body that help us manage a real or perceived threat.
“According to the American Institute of Stress in Yonkers, New York, 43 percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects due to stress, and 75 percent to 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints or disorders.”
When you experience stress, your brain is producing chemicals that prepare you to deal with danger. This, obviously, is a great thing when we are in a truly dangerous situation. But when we experience this chemical state for too long, our bodies have negative reactions to the chemicals and their levels; this is what most of us call “being stressed out.” This chemical state can compromise our immune system and wreak havoc on our bodies if we don’t intervene.