Saturday, April 2, 2016

7 Ways to Beat Stress

By camlinknews
If stress is starting to run you ragged, take heart. There are some easy ways to help keep it from overtaking your day. No. 1: Breathe Deeply This simple strategy is a powerful stress fighter. It helps you: Lower stress hormones Lower your heart rate Bring down your blood pressure Here's how to do it: Sit quietly with one hand on your stomach, the other on your chest. Breath in slowly and deeply through your nose, filling your lungs. Hold your breath for a few seconds. Breath out slowly through your mouth until all the air is out of your lungs. Repeat four more times. No. 2: Meditate This ancient practice relaxes your mind and the body. For several minutes, each day, sit quietly and comfortably. While you do this, focus your mind on one of these things: Your breathing An object A specific word or phrase (mantra) As thoughts and distractions intrude, gently push them away. Return to your focus. You can do meditation alone or with a group. No. 3: Exercise To get your heart rate up with an aerobic exercise: Walk, Cycle and Swim Just 20 minutes a day will help calm your mind and lower stress hormones. Exercise also boosts endorphins, brain chemicals that improve your mood. Even light exercise can relax you though harder workouts offer greater health rewards. Check with your doctor before you start a new exercise program. No. 4: Practice Guided Imagery This technique has the same relaxation benefits of deep breathing. Here's how it works: Sit somewhere quiet and picture yourself in a calm and peaceful place, such as a beach. Imagine walking through this place and taking in its sights, sounds, and smells. While your imagination is working, breathe slowly and deeply. Keep this up until you are fully relaxed. Ease back slowly into the real world. To get started, you can search online for podcasts that will talk you through the process. Nurses, counsellors, therapists, or other professionals can also help you learn how to do this on your own. No. 5: Eat Well Foods rich in vitamin C, like oranges and grapefruits, may help lower your stress hormones. Omega-3s, like those found in salmon and other fatty fish, as well nuts and seeds, may also be calming. In general, fueling your body well with a balanced diet can help keep your body healthy and better able to handle stress. Part of eating well means focusing on getting whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Want something sweet? Dark chocolate may have a calming effect by lowering stress hormones. No. 6: Talk Positively to Yourself Being self-critical can add to your stress. So try the opposite approach. Help yourself relax by practicing positive self-talk. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. In other words, be the little engine that could. Tell yourself "I think I can" rather than "I know I can't." No. 7: Sleep Well Getting a good night's sleep can help you fight stress the next day. Go for at least 7 hours a night. Try these tips if you're having trouble: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day -- even on the weekends. Avoid caffeine after 3 p.m. and alcohol close to bedtime. If you take naps, do so early in the day rather than too close to bedtime. Exercise regularly. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day -- even on the weekends. Avoid caffeine after 3 p.m. and alcohol close to bedtime. If you take naps, do so early in the day rather than too close to bedtime. Exercise regularly. Stress Management What happens when you are stressed? Stress is what you feel when you have to handle more than you are used to. When you are stressed, your body responds as though you are in danger. It makes hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, and give you a burst of energy. This is called the fight-or-flight stress response. Some stress is normal and even useful. Stress can help if you need to work hard or react quickly. For example, it can help you win a race or finish an important job on time. But if stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can have bad effects. It can be linked to headaches, an upset stomach, back pain, and trouble sleeping. It can weaken your immune system, making it harder to fight off disease. If you already have a health problem, stress may make it worse. It can make you moody, tense, or depressed. Your relationships may suffer, and you may not do well at work or school. What can you do about stress? The good news is that you can learn ways to manage stress. To get stress under control: •Find out what is causing stress in your life. •Look for ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life. •Learn healthy ways to relieve stress and reduce its harmful effects. How do you measure your stress level? Sometimes it is clear where stress is coming from. You can count on stress during a major life change such as the death of a loved one, getting married, or having a baby. But other times it may not be so clear why you feel stressed. It's important to figure out what causes stress for you. Everyone feels and responds to stress differently. Tracking your stress may help. Get a notebook, and write down when something makes you feel stressed. Then write how you reacted and what you did to deal with the stress. Tracking your stress can help you find out what is causing your stress and how much stress you feel. Then you can take steps to reduce the stress or handle it better.

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