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How to Handle Stress Effectively and Naturally
Does life have you so stressed out that you feel like you’re a pressure cooker that’s ready to explode? Do you long for the day when you can slow down, relax and just enjoy life?
When you undergo continual, chronic stress your body retaliates. At a minimum, you get tense muscles, an upset stomach, frequent headaches and problems sleeping. But, if you don’t get any relief, over time the symptoms can become more serious, like elevated blood pressure, chest pains and aggravation of serious health conditions.
Some people choose to deal with stress by taking medications meant to lessen the side effects of life. While that’s certainly an alternative, what can you do if you want to combat stress naturally?
Here are six options:
Exercise – When you’re active, your body is not only healthier but endorphins are released that make you feel better, thereby combating some of the stress effects. Aim to do some form of physical activity every day. If you don’t have time to get to the gym, go for a walk or do some stretches. It doesn’t have to be an all-out workout to get the benefits.
Eat healthy – Your body can’t function efficiently if you feed it junk food which, unfortunately, is one of the first things a stressed person does. Although it’s tempting to go for the sweet or salty treats to soothe yourself when life feels overwhelming, stick to foods that are high in vitamins and nutrients. You’ll have more energy and feel better, thus making you more capable of dealing with whatever comes your way.
Meditate – When life feels like it’s too much, take a few minutes and focus on your breathing through meditation. It releases stress from your body, renews your energy and strengthens your immune system. It also boosts several feel-good hormones so you’re not as susceptible to negative conditions, such as depression and insomnia.
Talk it out – Sometimes it helps just to let it out; say what’s on your mind and be done with it. Find someone you trust to talk to. Maybe it’s a friend, family member, pastor or priest, counselor or psychiatrist. It doesn’t really matter who you choose as long as it’s someone you feel comfortable and safe with.
Stay in the present – You can create a lot of your own stress if you spend too much time in the past or the future. You can’t change the past, so you need to let it go. And you only have so much control over the future, so to worry until you know the realities is a waste of time and energy. Enjoy what’s in front of you right now and you’ll dramatically reduce your stress level. You’ll also become more productive because you’re more focused.
Do something enjoyable – If you’re constantly anxious and worried, it does your mind and body good to do something that you enjoy. It gives you a bit of a break from whatever has you concerned and allows you to focus on something fun. Take in an event or participate in an activity that makes you smile. Join a friend for dinner and share a few laughs. Spend some time with your child or grandchild. Whatever you choose to do, just have fun doing it.
You have many options when it comes to handling stress effectively and naturally. The key is to get it under control before you suffer negative consequences from constantly feeling under the gun. Pick one or two of these things and try them out. What do you have to lose, other you’re your stress, of course?