It’s inevitable that we experience stress every day — but the important thing is learning to manage chronic stress before it affects our lives. We’ve gathered 10 tips to tame stress, and ease our weary bodies and minds.
Chronic stress, however, is another story. Unmanaged, it adversely affects both body and mind. Chronic stress triggers headaches and lowers our immunity and ability to ward off illness. It can even contribute to insomnia, hair loss and muscle aches.
And while we can’t completely eliminate stress from our lives, we can learn to manage it. Jennifer Bowler, BSN, RN-BC, LADC, manager, Behavioral Health Services, offers us 10 simple stress-reducing tips.
- Get in touch. Hold hands, stroke a pet, hug a loved one. Physical contact is a powerful stress reliever.
- Take time out. Take three deep breaths, stretch your muscles, nap, meditate or do a few tension-relieving exercises. Get outside too: Natural light is a very powerful stress reducer.
- Discover fun ways to exercise. Experts agree on the benefits of aerobic exercise – the kind that raises your heart rate and makes you breathe hard. But, if you hate to jog, try swimming, cycling, aerobic dancing, racquetball or a few fast sets of tennis.
- Get it off your chest. Bottling up feelings just increases stress.
- Talk it out. A sympathetic listener is always helpful.
- Reward yourself. Stop for a special lunch or snack after shopping crowded stores. Relax with a favorite television show or book after cleaning house.
- Schedule fun. Don’t give up seeing friends and doing things you enjoy because you are busy. Pleasurable activities are important too.
- Take a break. You need time to yourself — to listen to music, pursue a hobby or have a heart-to-heart talk with a friend. If you can’t afford to hire a babysitter, try trading child care time with another parent.
- Get a massage. Tension just melts away under the touch of experienced fingers. A talented amateur, such as a partner or friend, can do almost as well.
- Unwind before bedtime. Stretch to get the kinks out, then read, listen to music or some other relaxing activity. These activities will help you sleep better, and having adequate sleep is a great stress reliever.
To learn more about managing your stress or to make an appointment with a counselor, contact Renown Behavioral Health at 775-982-5318.