April 7, 2019
Stress can be extremely damaging to your health. We’ve talked with our doctors and compiled a list of helpful tips to keep your stress level in check:
Is a mess causing your stress? How many times have you been late because you couldn’t find something? If you don’t feel like you have a handle on things at home, it’s surprising how that can affect your confidence at work, school and in relationships. Maybe that’s why the art of decluttering has been called “life-changing magic.”
Sometimes, you spill your coffee. You get a flat tire. You space out and forget something. Your boss is in a bad mood and takes it out on you. It happens on occasion because, well, we’re human. So what’s the difference between blowing off steam and blowing things out of proportion? It’s not buying into negative self-talk that we tend to take to extremes. No, you don’t always screw up. No, it’s not true that your life is never going to get better.
Remember that how you respond to bad things is up to you. You are in control. You decide if it’s just a speed bump or if it stops your dreams. Why not flip the script: Congratulate yourself for being so resilient that you can make it through a bad day.
After something stressful happens, take time to heal. Just focus on what restores you – not things that numb you, like overeating, too much alcohol or other substances. Find the balance. Take some time to decompress but resist the urge to cut yourself off from everyone. Join your coworkers commiserating over happy hour – if you can stop after one hour. Connect with a good listener but don’t try to get back with your ex now. Just don’t extend your bad day with regrets the next day.
Whether it’s corny jokes or funny animal videos on YouTube, laughter can be the best medicine. Even the Mayo Clinic has studied laughter and determined it has great benefits. Laughter soothes tension, enhances your oxygen intake and increases endorphins.
Sometimes it seems like you can’t squeeze another ten minutes out of your day. But ten minutes of meditation can make you feel like you’ve gained time back by helping you to focus. It can calm the mind, teach you how to relax and turn negative thoughts into positive ones.
Walking, biking, jogging and other physical activities can help you work off stress. Exercise increases the production of endorphins, which are your body’s natural mood boosters.
Just a small act of kindness for someone can help relieve stress – and you don’t have to go out of your way to do it (unless you’d like to). Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine found that simple things like giving directions or holding an elevator can improve your emotional wellbeing. The study doesn’t explain why but maybe it’s enough of a distraction to take the focus off your own challenges for a short time.
For some people, it’s trying to live up to someone else’s expectations. For others, it’s debt. Still others are hanging onto a toxic relationship. Addressing the root cause once and for all will bring about a sense of inner piece that’s priceless.
Maybe you’ve been putting off that visit to the doctor or dentist. Maybe you’ve been thinking about starting a fitness routine. Why not make this the month that you take control of your health. Isn’t it time to make your health a priority?
People talk about being stressed out all the time but what does it really mean? Since April is Stress Awareness Month, we thought it was a good time to define exactly what stress is and how it affects our health.