Once upon a time stress was important in our lives, and it still is today – to some degree. Prehistoric times required for us to have stress so that we could adapt and meet any sort of sudden natural threats face to face effectively.
Daily stress that we encounter now can also have the same effect, but most of us have a lot of different smaller things that contribute to our stress: waking up on time, getting to work on time, parenting, losing weight, paying the bills, making dinner, vacuuming the house – the list goes on and on, which means that the stress that continues to pile and pile and pile on top of itself to the point where we feel like exploding.
Stress is no laughing matter. While it does have a place in our lives, having an abundance of stress is both physically and psychologically damaging to our bodies. Stress can lead to anxiety and depression, and other physical conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- Lowered immune system
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Weight gain
- Sleep issues
- Sexual dysfunction
- Reproductive dysfunction
- Memory problems
And that’s just a short list! Stress is also often responsible for other health issues such as skin issues, hair loss, and teeth and gum diseases. It’s easy to see why stress needs to be reduced in our life – but how can we do it?
Sounds simple enough right? It perhaps sound so simple that many of us don’t even consider this a being some method or form of stress control. Truth be told, going for even a short 5 to 10 minute walk when feeling stress will greatly reduce that stress and have us feeling happier far more sooner than if we were to sit and lament. You don’t have to go for a power walk; a simple stroll outside of the office or around the block will help you lower your stress.
The easiest way to quickly and effectively reduce your stress is to simply breathe. Focusing on your breathing and taking deep, calculated breaths go a long way in helping your restore your mental capacities and releasing the physical tension that is contributing to your stress. You can also choose to learn some quick and easy breathing exercises if necessary to help lower your stress levels.
Take a Mental Vacation
Whenever possible, if you are feeling overwhelmed it is important to take some time to yourself and have a mental vacation. Whether this is 5 minutes or 5 days in length, this will go a long way in helping you keep your stress at bay. Try to use visualization techniques and guided imagery to really help ease your mind.
Muscle Relaxation Exercises
Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercises, otherwise known as PMR, is a well known technique that helps you release all of the tension that is in your muscle groups in a matter of seconds. This technique usually works from the top of the body to your toes and helps ease away any stress that you may be feeling throughout your entire body.