Here are Some Ways to Chill
By: Dawn Meyer, CFMW
All stressed out?
Stress is so prevalent in our hectic society. There are a million things to do all the time. People constantly wanting to keep in touch with you via email and cell phone – bombarding you with constant information and requests!
It just wears you out until you don’t know where to turn.
How Stress Affects the Body
Stress is your body’s normal physical response when you feel threatened or upset. It’s your body’s way of protecting you – it’s your fight-or-flight response – increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, decreased digestion, increased concentration and focus. A normal stress response can help you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life by giving you extra strength to defend yourself or react quickly to avoid danger.
The stress response can also help you handle challenges in normal, everyday situations such as keeping you on your toes during a presentation at work, increasing your concentration when you’re studying or taking exams or helping your focus when playing sports.
However, stress stops being helpful if experienced for extended periods of time and can instead cause major damage to your health, your mood, productivity, relationships and eventually to your quality of life. According to the American Psychological Association, studies have shown that extended stress can alter the body’s immune system producing conditions that are usually associated with “aging” such as reduced ability to regenerate blood cells, frailty, functional decline, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, inflammatory arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers – all actually causing the body to appear physically older than its chronological age.
Luckily there are many things you can do to reduce your stress levels:
Get a Massage
Massage promotes relaxation by relaxing muscles and relieving tension, aches and pain. It also:
• Improves blood and lymph circulation
• Improves joint mobility
• Improves immune system functioning
• Improves and balances energy flow
• Speeds recovery from strenuous physical exertion
• Enhances tissue elasticity
• Triggers the relaxation response
• And just feels great
For some people, the thought of sitting for any period of time with their own thoughts can be daunting at first, but it is amazingly relaxing. You don’t need hours of meditation to get the benefits, just a few minutes will help.
Simply close your eyes, breathe deeply and envision yourself somewhere peaceful. Just for a few minutes. Listen to the breeze or the waves in your mind and let it carry your tension away!
It’s a great pick-me-up at any time (OK, maybe NOT when you’re driving – keep your eyes open then!!).
Have your “Bars Run”
OK, what does THAT mean? No, don’t run to the nearest bar!
Access Consciousness Bars is an up-and-coming method of helping you experience deep relaxation and stress release. It can help you let go of emotions and beliefs you are holding onto and move on – just by having points on your head and face touched while you simply relax and maybe even take a nap!!
Turn Off Your Phone, Computer, and TV
Yes, many people are addicted to their electronic devices, but sometimes you just need to turn them off, or at least leave them behind and do something else. That constant bombardment of stimuli just winds the body up even more, continually demanding attention and focus. Plus the strain to the eyes can dramatically increase fatigue.
Get Out Into Nature
Being in nature has a very soothing effect on the body. Go for a walk under some trees or on the beach. Sit outside and read. Listen to the wind and the birds. Just flow with nature and let your stress dissolve.
And there are many other ways. It mostly comes down to this – Take time for yourself. Take care of yourself.
You need that body for a while, take care of it! You take care of everything else and everyone else, put yourself on the top of that list NOW!!
You are important enough to have time for yourself!
It’s all about you, baby! If you don’t take care of yourself, who will?
Now, go for a walk!