Are You Swimming In Stress?
By Sandy Schroeder
If your days and nights begin and end with stress, you need answers. Whatever the issue, family, finances, illness, or job pressures, when stress gets a grip, life changes. Weight gain, foggy thinking, and impulsive choices rush in.
Hormones surge, breathing accelerates, and the heart pounds as muscles tighten. This is the classic “fight or flee” response to real danger. But in today’s world the danger threatens us, increasing the risk for heart attacks and serious disease, and compromising the immune system.
Finding A Way Out
To loosen the grip of stress, finding a new way to respond to it might work. Stepping away for a few minutes to create your own relaxation response can be an immediate way to slow everything down. Now you have a retreat, a feeling of calm that you can use anytime you need it. When you have taken one too many emergency calls, just stopping to relax can make a difference.
Here are some relaxation responses that began at the Harvard Medical School as Dr. Herbert Benson developed the technique. Try one on and see what you think.
Just Breathe – Simply take one long, slow breath after another, close your eyes and let your thoughts go. Deep breathing from the belly lets your whole body relax. When you feel stress climbing, step away or close the door and take a few minutes to regroup.
Picture a Different Place – Step away and find a quiet spot to sit for a few minutes with your eyes closed, picturing something that pleases you. It could be your favorite beach, flowers, or pets. Whatever makes you smile will help you relax and enjoy the moment. Positive moments like this helps us regain our balance, and realize how much we have.
Body Focus – Taking a few minutes to do a body scan helps us let go of physical tension. Sit down, or lie down, close your eyes, and breathe deeply as you let your mind focus on one set of muscles after another. As you make your way around your body, let your muscles calm down as you soothe your mind and your body.
Practicing Mindfulness – You can use this meditation anywhere. Find a comfortable and quiet place to sit, focus on your breath, and let your mind roll ahead with your thoughts, not judging, just watching. At first this can be challenging, but the more you use it, and enjoy the results, the easier it will be.
As you deal with stress, if you are still feeling the pressure as you seek relief, see your doctor for recommendations for counseling to help you work through the problem.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.