Stop the Distress and De-Stress!
By Randi Morse
It feels like the world we live in now is much more stressful than it ever has been before. We're constantly running to and from places: our jobs, our home, errands, sporting events, hanging out with friends. While cell phones make the internet, and contacting friends, family and co-workers, easy, it also makes it impossible to escape the daily stress of your life. The bad news is that increased stress levels can affect your health in a huge way and you may find yourself experiencing a wide array of symptoms, including:
- Raising blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Change in sex drive
- Aching body
- Increased vulnerability to sickness
While it would be nice to wave a magic wand and make all stress instantly disappear, life doesn't generally work that way. There are, however, things that you can do to lower your stress level, which helps your body to stay healthy.
Cut the Cord
We're so connected to everything in today's world it seems like we can't spend two minutes without looking at some sort of screen. If you want to lower your stress level, make time during the day to disconnect from your electronics. Silence your phone, avoid your computer and go into a room that doesn't have a television. Then, for 10 or 15 minutes, just breathe. You may want to start trying meditation, but just taking deep breaths for 10 minutes or so will do wonders to help your stress level.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Would you believe it if I told you that laughing actually helps your body? Laughing has actually been found to decrease stress hormones, so find something that makes you laugh! A good comedy sketch, a silly movie, or old YouTube videos that you posted years ago and completely forgot about.
Bust Out the Chewing Gum!
A study done in Australia proved that chewing gum helps to dramatically reduce stress levels. It not only helped to lower anxiety levels, the chewers were also able to concentrate better and multitask much easier. So while you may not want to be chomping on gum in a board meeting, chewing your stress away is definitely a good option!
Say It With Me: Exercise
It's a tale as old as ... well, the doctor's office. For generations, physicians have been recommending that we exercise a certain amount each week. Most experts say that getting some aerobic exercise 20 minutes a day, at least three days per week, will do wonders for keeping your stress level low. If you find you're too busy to exercise when you come home, try spending your lunch hour doing something aerobic. If there's a gym close to your work, spend some time there exercising during lunch and then sneak a sandwich at your desk. Don't worry -- we won't ell.
Lowering your stress level often seems like one of the last things we want to bother fixing but, in reality, it's one of the most important. All the studies show that the lower your stress, the healthier your body and mind, so make sure to take a little time to de-stress as often as you can.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Rocklin, Calif.