Stress is not good for you – it’s bad for your mood and its 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.
Strategies to destress
- Take A Deep Breath. Literally. Focus on your breathing. Sit up straight; close your eyes; 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. Breath to 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.Experts claim that a good chuckle can ease muscles and send oxygen into your blood. Laughter also lowers your blood pressure.
Next time you feel tense read a funny book or watch a funny movie. I found that reading books helped me unwind best however I would always get a slight headache. It turns out I needed new glasses. I went to eyeweargallery.com to find the best pair for my needs. Laugh heartily for a few good minutes and call up a best friend
- Meditate. Put yourself in your favorite 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. You can find a more in depth explanation on this wiki page.
- There’s An App For That – and a website. The Mindfulness App available on iTunes or Relax Lite for Android are just two available apps. Just search and find one that works for you. Or, visit an easy website. Donothhingfor2minutes.com invites you to destress and just enjoy the tranquil seascape it provides.
- 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 behavior and concentrate on it for 5 minutes. Yoga is a great way to stay in tune with all your senses this Pinterest link shows some helpful tips on how to get started.
- 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 humor. You may come up with a solution to your current problem – or, at least, share a good laugh. Seriously, your social network is one of the best tools for handling stress.
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 center. 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.
Lastly, check out this video for some relaxing yoga tips.