Whether it’s struggling to finish your taxes, dealing with high-stress at home or on the job, or just juggling multiple tasks every day — taking a breath once in a while is the best thing you can do for your overall health, say experts.
How does stress play a harmful part in our daily lives? It’s often felt in a tightening of the muscles, increased blood pressure, headaches, dizziness, and dry mouth.
In fact, studies show that severe stress has a direct correlation with heart disease, depression, and a general lowering of the immune system which, in turn, opens the body up to many other diseases.
The cure? For some, it only takes a timely reminder to breath — have a laugh, and relax. For others it requires a serious, daily affirmation that stress won’t get the better of them.
Sure, stress will always be a part of our lives, so it’s important to keep in mind the ways to cope with it. And what better way to start de-stressing than on National Stress Awareness Day?
- Treat yourself. While junk food isn’t often recommended as the antidote for anxiety, there are a handful of immune-boosting desserts made with fresh blueberries, strawberries, honey, and whole grains that make for a wonderful daily indulgence. Even chocolatehas its health benefits when consumed in moderation.
- Exercise. Be amazed at how physical movement can change your mental perspective. Take a walk — or a good jogin place, or around a nature park — to get those “feel good” chemicals (called endorphins) pumping in your brain that lend a feeling of relaxation and well-being.
- Meditate.Taking time to breath, and collecting your thoughts before a hectic day, can often lead to increased energy and stamina.
- Get enough rest. For a good night’s rest, conciously shut the door on what has been bothering you during the day. (Sure, it may still be waiting there in the morning, but meanwhile… sweet dreams!) Remember that the body is detoxified and cells are regenerated during deep sleep, leaving us feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the world again.
- Pet your dog. Or it may be a cat, a parakeet, or any other pet. Science shows that the unconditional love that pets freely give helps us to de-stress and has powerful effects on lowering our blood pressure.
- Bend, don’t break. Trees that survive to a ripe old age are the ones that learned to roll with any passing storm.
- Laugh.It’s true what they say about laughter being the best medicine. So collapse on the couch and take time out to watch your favorite TV sitcom or stream a classic Hollywood comedy to end the day.
As the old, wise man once said… “Sometimes a quick hit of nothingness delivers a balance to the everythingness.”
Chill. And enjoy the day dedicated solely to de-stressing!