Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ways to relieve stress naturally


We live in stressful times.  Stress takes a toll on our health and well-being.  It can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease anxiety, depression and insomnia among other things.   There are many things that you can do to reduce stress.  An article from Fox News published July 6, 2011 outlined 10 ways to reduce stress naturally.  Here are a few of the suggestions mentioned in the article.
  • Massage   Ok, this a no-brainer and first on my list for obvious reasons.   Massage relaxes tense muscles, reduces pain, improves circulation and quiets the mind.  
  • Exercise   Exercise releases endorphins into the brain which improve your mood.  It prevents other health problems giving you less to be stressed about, and it allows you time to be alone with your thoughts and enjoy nature.   One of the easiest and most effective forms of exercise.….go for a brisk walk.
  • Eat healthy   It has actually been proven that junk food can make us depressed!  Healthy foods like whole grains and protein can improve your mood and give you plenty of energy.  Foods proven to have stress-busting properties include blueberries, salmon and almonds.
  • Sleep   Too little sleep leaves us cranky.  Too much sleep and we are sluggish and depressed.  Try to find the right balance.  Promote better sleep by establishing bedtime rituals that signal to your brain that it is time to fall asleep.
  • Meditation   I’ve had a lot of people tell me that they are intimidated by the idea of meditation.  They find the practice difficult and are afraid that they “won’t do it right”.   There are some very simple ways to “meditate”.  One of the easiest is to focus on your breathing.   Check out my blog posting  "Deep breathing for stress relief"   for more information on using this technique.  15 minutes of quiet time everyday can be a fantastic way deal with or release stress. 
  • Organize your life   Organization offers a sense of control and peace of mind.  Sometimes the mere sight of clutter can put us on edge.  This is certainly true for me. 
  • Limit internet and cellphone use    Part of the problem with reducing stress in today’s world is that we can never truly shield ourselves from it.  By turning off the computer and our cell phone even for just a few hours we limit some of the channels from which stress can reach us.  I frequently suggest a “news holiday”  to my clients when they are feeling very on edge.

Live in the moment and appreciate it!

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