All too often your body is always on high without managing your stress. It’s been proven that over time, high levels of stress lead to serious health problems. Don’t wait until stress has a negative impact on your health, relationships or quality of life.
Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the ever-increasing demands of our every day lives. Studies have proven that many Americans experience challenges with stress at some point during the year.
In looking at the causes of stress, remember that your brain comes hard-wired with an alarm system for your protection. When your brain perceives a threat, it signals your body to release a burst of hormones to fuel your capacity for a response. This has been labeled the “fight-or-flight” response.
Once the threat is gone, your body is meant to return to a normal relaxed state. Unfortunately, the nonstop stress of modern life means that your alarm system rarely shuts off.
That’s why managing your stress is so important. Dr. Corinne Weaver offers some stress management techniques that give you a range of tools to reset your alarm system.
Below are a few stress management techniques you can start practicing today:
- Manage Your Time: The most significant aspect of managing you stress is managing your time. Make a schedule allowing for time spent in your spiritual life, family life, mission/career life, physical life, recreational life, and personal life.
- Create A Schedule: Accomplish your responsibilities by prioritizing your time daily focusing on God first, family second, and career third. Draw lines around each area of your life so you can be 100% focused on what you are doing at that moment.
- Delegate: Let go and trust others to carry out some of your responsibilities. For example, have a neighbor kid mow your lawn while you spend time prepping meals, or your schedule for the next day/week.
- Breathe from Your Belly: Sit in a comfortable position and take a few deep breaths by expanding your belly (rather than lifting your shoulders). Releasing physical tension and increasing oxygen intake calms you quickly—even if stressful events continue.
- Take a Short Walk: Change your scenery and change your perspective—indoors or outdoors. Walking gets your blood circulating and helps you “blow off” steam so you can return to a new frame of mind.
- Spring into Action: Even a short burst of exercise (like running up several flights of stairs, or several sets of push-ups or abdominal crunches) can reduce stress. Exercise helps deliver more oxygen to your brain and distracts you from stress to give you a fresh perspective on things. Even simple stretching can help bring a little relief.
- Dance or Sing: Start moving to your favorite tunes— or just sing along. Bursting into song or a silly dance move can transport you to a stress-free zone.
- Laugh: Maintaining a sense of humor reminds us that our stressors may not be as menacing as they seem. Purchase or download a laugh track, cartoons, jokes, or your favorite comedy TV show or movies to enjoy when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Taking steps to manage your stress has a double benefit. The actions you take will help you feel less stressed right away and more in control of your life, giving you a greater sense of well-being.