3 Tips To Ease Effects of Stress
Do you ever feel stressed - even nervous, anxious or worried? With our global financial crisis, division and uncertainty within our country, and world-wide disasters, etc., it is difficult not to feel stressed. Stress, anxiety, nervousness and worry all challenge our immune system and cause damaging effects. You can become trapped in these feelings before you realize it, maybe even feel that there is no hope or no way out of the difficulties.
But, you have the power within you to reduce your stress and its impact on you. You can choose to feel better, even in the midst of stressful situations. The key is learning how to do that. Just as you exercise your physical body, learn to exercise your emotional muscles to turn on your STRESS RELIEF. As the happy–u coach, this month I focus on teaching you skills for stress relief .
Here are 3 Simple ways to work out your emotional muscles and support your STRESS RELIEF:
1. REMEMBER TO BREATHE! Recognize that when feeling nervous, anxious or stressed, most people tend to hold their breath or not breathe properly. This reduces the oxygen available to your brain. When the brain receives less oxygen, it signals the body to panic or feel frightened. This can send you into a chronic spiral of stress, anxiety, panic attacks or nervousness. By not breathing deeply, you make yourself even MORE stressed, afraid or worried.
How to: To help eliminate this perpetuating cycle, remind yourself to take several deep breaths often. Post notes to remind you to breathe on bathroom mirrors, your computer, the dash of your car, and even perhaps as an hourly reminder alarm on your cell phone. Deep breath in moment of intense stress can help to reduce your stress and anxiety plus have you thinking more clearly. They even teach deep belly breathing to Navy Seals to keep their stress low and minds clear.
2. BE PRESENT! To avoid feeling current stress, our minds often wander to the future worrying about what might happen or to the past dwelling on negative experiences. This creates more stress on the body and emotions, and can even trigger an anxiety attack. You can literally work yourself into a panic attack just by allowing your mind to go extremes. The key to controlling fear and lowering stress is to focus on the present moment at hand.
Focusing on the present moment happening, helps break the huge unmanageable situation into manageable pieces of time. The present is the only moment when you have any true control - as the future has not yet come to pass, and the past is already done and over. As you focus on handling stress in the moment, you can develop greater skills to get through each minute, then each hour, then half- day and then a whole day. By focusing on the moment at hand, you find that you can manage your life and situations with more calm focus, and without igniting greater fear over what might happen.
How to: Breathing is one of the most effective ways to bring your focus to the present moment. Stop. Take a deep breath, and close your eyes if your environment allows. Feel your breath move in and out of your body 5 times. Now, look around and find things that you are grateful for - people, flowers, pets, children, food, shelter, clothing. This process helps calm you down, reduce heart rate, get oxygen to your brain, and help you think with more clarity
3. DRINK WATER! Have you noticed that when you have to do something stressful, your mouth suddenly becomes dry? Whether it is a presentation you have been dreading or a confrontation with someone, suddenly your tongue feels like it’s wearing socks. The toll that stress and anxiety take on our bodies is often multiplied by one simple missing link – enough water!
Did you know that when you feel worried or stressed, your adrenals pump more adrenaline so your heart rate and blood pressure increase, plus digestive functions slow down. In addition, your cortisol levels go up (stress hormones that increases fat storage) and your body systems goes into stress alert. Breathing and being present can assist with relaxing your system to yellow alert, but the demands on the body still remain. The body requires substantially more water during high stress, than when relaxed and happy.
How to: Strive to drink up to 3 liters of purified or spring water every day when under stress. Add a squeeze of lemon to it for additional immune support, emotional detoxification and flavor.
My next tip? A MOST helpful food to manage energy and stress, plus a delicious recipe to help Turn On Your STRESS RELIEF!