Stress – it seems we need a measure of it to thrive and grow. But too much stress raises blood pressure, tightens muscles, creates headaches, and deprives you of sleep. Chronically high stress levels can have lasting effects on your health.
Lowering your stress levels requires turning inward and evaluating what’s behind your response. Maybe you’re expecting too much of yourself? Maybe a friend or two, your job, or your circumstances need to change? When you’re so wound up that you feel as taut as a guitar string, something’s got to give. Don’t let that something be your health.
The ultimate stress buster is simply learning how to relax.
1. Breathe – Many of us hold our breath when we tense up.
2. Carve out time to relax. Yes, time is precious, but so is your health. You can’t rush relaxation!
3. Refresh your attitude with daily exercise. Walk, run, ride a bike – whatever suits you. Exercise actually builds new pathways in your brain. You have a greater capacity to learn and a natural defense against depression when you set your body in motion. And you know, sometimes taking a break is good as well, there are some road trips in Arizona that are worth a try.
4. Read a book. More than that, get lost in a good book! Sure you need to read for professional development, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. When you’re reading to relax, choose a book that you thoroughly enjoy.
5. Do what you love. What is it that you love to do? Create art? Play guitar? Travel? Write? Get your hands dirty in the garden? Play with your children or grandchildren? Whatever it is that you love, make time for it.
6. Make time for your friends and family. Invest in your relationships. Close ties will pull you through rough waters.
7. Stop burning the candle it both ends and get enough sleep. A tired mind and body is more easily stressed.
8. Carry a small notebook with you. Writing down ideas as they occur allows you to get them off your mind and onto paper.
9. Listen to music that you find relaxing.
10. Pray. Notice your blessings and practice gratitude.
Just like babies tend to fight sleep, adults tend to fight relaxation. There’s always something higher on the priority list. But babies eventually learn how to soothe themselves to sleep, and as adults, we need to learn how to relax if we intend to stay healthy.
Thanks to FitBuff.com for including this post in the Total Mind and Body Fitness Carnival, and to Tip Diva for featuring this post in the Carnival of Tips.Also please GO HERE and read more about this.