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Simple Ways to Get a Grip On Stress

By Sandy Schroeder

If every day seems to bring more problems, and you can't remember when you just sat back and enjoyed the moment, you may need some new ways to dial stress back.

When things get that bad at my house, I find myself sleeping poorly, snapping at everyone, and repeating myself. At the same time, everyone around me is giving me knowing looks, and heading the other way when they see me. Stress clearly has the upper hand.

When I wake up to the situation I often go to Plan B and head out for a weekend away. No phones, no schedules, just open space and free time. After putting things into a better perspective I usually return smiling.  I also use tips like these from to field stress on a daily basis.

Move more and stress less - When stress has the upper hand, short runs, jogs or walks can lower tension, lift your mood, and help you sleep better. Use quick bursts of activity when you can't manage bigger chunks of time. A brief walk in the morning, stretches at lunch and a relaxed yoga session in the evening will all help.

Pause to refocus - Short 10-minute meditations at the beginning and the end of the day can do a lot to clear your mind and calm your thoughts. Stress left unchecked causes the body to release a hormone called cortisol which can lead to chronic inflammation. Creating patterns of relief such as meditation can keep you healthier and happier.

Let go of stress with yoga - The simple act of settling onto your yoga mat could be a signal to let go of tensions and worries. For an hour you can match your breath to your movements and put the world on hold. Experts say yoga improves the nervous system, balances hormones and regulates nerve impulses. You may find your mood lifting, pulse rate slowing and blood pressure dropping with every session.

Sip a little tea - Just settling into your favorite chair and sipping a cup of hot tea may be an easy way to calm down and refocus. Researchers have found the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, drop when people make green or black tea a regular habit. There are also good reports for herbal teas such as peppermint, lavender, chamomile, lemon balm, ginseng, turmeric and catnip.

Deep breathing, hobbies like gardening or music, and cooking are additional ways to relax when stress won't let go. Keep looking until you find a good answer and enjoy the difference.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lakewood, Calif.

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