Stress is bad for you – it’s bad for your mood and it’s bad for your body. Stress release the hormone cortisol – sometimes called the hunger hormone. Continued stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or obesity. If you control your stress, you’re a healthier you.
Here are 5 Strategies to Reduce Stress.
Table of Contents
1. Take A Deep Breath
Literally. Concentrate on your breathing and put your hand on your stomach. Now inhale slowly through your nose. Feel your breath starting with your stomach and feeling it rise to the top of your head. Now, reverse the process and exhale. Another breathing tip to calm you is four-square. Breathe into a count of four; hold your breath to another 4-count. Now, exhale to a four count and hold breath again for a four count. Do it – you guessed it – four times. Another trick is to visualize your breathing. Think of positive emotions – joy, friendship, love – coming into you on the inhale and negative emotions like anger and stress leaving on the exhale.
Put yourself in your favourite place. Imagine the ocean lapping at the sand or the feel of sitting on the grass in a beautiful meadow. It’s called guided imagery and you can use audiotapes, self-help articles, and books or a teacher to guide you to your happy spot and reduce your stress.
3. Call a Friend – or family member.
We’re not talking about going online; we’re talking face to- face or at least voice-to-voice over the phone. Make sure you seek out a positive person to share your concerns with and one with a great sense of humour. You may come up with a solution to your current problem – or, at least, share a good laugh. Seriously, your social network is an example of the best tools for handling stress.
4. Be Present
Focus on your senses. Step outside and listen carefully – what do you hear? What do you smell? How does the air feel on your face? Taking a walk is a great idea (exercise helps) so concentrate on the feeling of your feet hitting the ground. Pick one behaviour and concentrate on it for 5 minutes.
Being active is a good way to change the chemicals inside your brain. Lack of serotonin can result in anxiety, but physical exercise can increase serotonin levels. Get a run, dig the garden or go to the gym. You will find that your body feels great, the mind is stimulated as well as your levels of serotonin and dopamine increase. This leads to lower anxiety minimizing depression as well.
If stress has already had a negative effect on your life, make a change. If stress has contributed to making you overweight or even obese – and, now, your weight and your health concerns are keeping you stressed, think about starting a diet at a medical weight loss centre.The above tips will help you to live a stress-free life. You’ll have the advantage of professional support, medical supervision and a quick start that may make an immediate difference in your health and make you downright joyful.