t’s 2020. Our nation has never faced more division than now. Race, hate, and bullying are rampant in society. Concerns about war, natural disasters, and school shootings contribute to this societal stress. News reports and social media platforms not only keep us informed but keep us on high alert and wary of things happening all around us. Everywhere we look, stress is upon us, good stress and bad stress.
But there are things we can do to experience less of it. Here are a few highlights, but for more info, check out the Healthline website.
- Exercise: Exercise relieves mental stress and reduces anxiety. Find something you enjoy and get moving.
- Just breathe. Breathing deeply controls the relaxation response, lowers your heart rate, and helps you feel more peaceful
- Journal. Write down the things that cause you stress. Then, practice identifying the positive things going on in your life.
- Self-Soothe with your senses. Burn a scented candle or use essential oil. Chew a stick of gum. Hug or cuddle someone you love. Pet your dog or cat. Listen to calming music, water, or nature sounds. Look at soothing pictures.
- Reduce caffeine. Higher levels are linked to increased anxiety.
- Spend time with friends. Having strong connections reduces stress and anxiety and may help you get through harder times in life.
- Laugh. Laughing reduces stress, tension, and improves mood and the immune system. Watch a funny show. Read a funny book. Laugh with friends.
- Say No. Take control of your life. Be selective about the things you take on and say no to things that add to your load.
- Prioritize. Make time for what needs to be done today. Stop putting things off. Stay on top of your to-do list. Try starting with just three tasks a day.
- Take a stress-relieving class: Try yoga or Tai Chi. It may help lower blood pressure, heart rate, and GABA, a neurotransmitter that is lowered in mood disorders.
- Be Mindful. Use the breath, a sound, an object, or a physical sensation to anchor yourself in the present moment.
Still, want to learn more? Contact me at SHCS!