In the last blog I spoke about how stress affects the body. This time, I really want to focus on how we can stop perpetuating the cycles of stress so that we can allow our bodies to be in a state of balance where healing occurs and it is easier to stay healthy.
How can we deal with the cycle of stress?
- Doing things that bring you joy: Reading, socializing, dancing, to name a few
- Exercise: Regular movement of your body is vital for physical, mental, and emotional health
- Nutrition: Eating healthy foods that provide essential nutrients for the optimal functioning of body and mind
- Relaxation Response: Things like mindfulness, breathing, and meditation
- Cognitive strategies: Recognizing negative thoughts, thought stopping, and rewiring your brain for positivity
- Social support: Connect with people who are supportive and loving
Awareness is really the key to stopping stress. Learning what your stressors are, where you might experience those triggers, and being proactive in taking care of yourself. When you can identify what the things are and who the people are in your life that are sources of stress it becomes more simple to find ways to cope. Not that the process is easy, however, awareness allows us a starting point from which we can then create change for ourselves to make the situation better.
Taking care of yourself on a daily basis is key for stress busting. There are so many ways to do it. Beyond what was mentioned above, make sure you have ample amounts of sleep as it lays a very important foundation from which you can respond to situations rather than react to them. When you are well rested you function more optimally from a physical, emotional, and mental standpoint from which to handle a situation. Taking a little time to step away from something that is creating stress for you, or at least taking a moment to simply take a breath before you jump in provides a moment for you to identify what’s happening and make a new choice for yourself. Being positive and training your brain for positivity can be extremely beneficial. If you can change your perspective there may be things that arise which no longer trigger stress for you. Also, staying grounded in a peaceful mindset is another way to enrich your life when it comes to combatting stress. If you can learn, through mindfulness and meditation to stay in a more peaceful state, stress impacts your life less. You become more responsive to a situation rather than letting it take control of you and carry you away.
Take time to create a peaceful and serene environment for yourself when possible, as it can be very important in washing away stress and the chronic effects it tends to have on our bodies, minds, and souls.
Due to the demands of our society we tend to be “doers” and think less about taking time to just be. In order to create a relaxation response in our minds and bodies we need to make a little time for ourselves to just “be”. This can be done in longer intervals, such as during meditation, prayer, or contemplation. However, it can also be done frequently throughout the day using other methods. We love teaching breathing techniques in the clinic because they are simple, effective, and inexpensive ways to create a more relaxed state in the body. Here is one of the many “mini” breathing exercises we suggest:
- Count very slowly to yourself from 10 down to 0, one number on each out breath. Thus, breathe in, and on your first out breath, say “10” to yourself. With the next out breath, say, “9” working your way down to “0”. When you get to “0”, notice how you feel.
There are lists of therapies and practices that you can do each day to create a more peaceful life, and to decrease the stress response in your life.
Some of the therapies we offer in our office are:
If you are interested in learning more about what is written here you can listen to our podcast Stress: Kicking the Habit which has much more detailed information on fighting stress. If you are interested in booking an appointment and beginning your own self-care regiment and healing process you can book online or call us directly at (952) 452-8583. Happy Healing. We hope you find your best practices for stress reduction.