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Learn How to Handle Stress and Live Better

By Sandy Schroeder

Everybody knows what stress is, but most of us struggle to handle it. Researchers tell us the key issue with stress is how we react to it. Most of us have seen this close up. One person receives devastating news and collapses. Another person receives similar news, and rallies to solve the problem.

Stress can motivate you to run faster. But when it causes you to run too fast, your wheels can fall off. Over the years, I have experienced the good and the bad effects of stress. Sometimes it kept me humming, helping me keep my family in peak shape. Other times, it threatened to run us off the road, as I lost sleep and gained weight.

Knowing how to make stress work for you can be a life-defining difference. Think about your reaction to stress and then try to improve that reaction. Accept that you cannot avoid all stress, but know that you can change how you respond.

How to Start

Fashioning your own approach to stress could be the solution. Try a variety of methods and keep the ones that work best for you. Harvard Health suggests these approaches.

Make time for pleasure – Too often we let life’s tasks crowd out leisure moments. Doing what you really enjoy in hobbies, sports, cooking, traveling, art or music could be the magic stress release that you need to thrive. Start a list of big and little pleasures, such as baking cookies with your kids, going to summer concerts, or biking to the park. Then make those outings happen. You may be amazed at how much more relaxed you feel.

Enlist a friend and exercise – When you and a friend head off to the gym, go for a run, or play tennis you will collect endorphins that calm the mind and ease the body. That regular exercise routine, reinforced by your friend’s participation, can help you establish a healthier life.

Avoid obvious stressors – If you know heavy traffic drives you wild, or long lines set you off, skip those situations. Take alternate routes or shop online. Skipping stress gives your body and your mind a break, letting calmness become the norm.

Let your breath help – When the day becomes impossible, step outside. Sit down. Close your eyes, and inhale deeply. Hold your breath for a few seconds. Open your mouth and release the air. As the tension is released you can return to work feeling calmer.

If these approaches ease your stress, work them into your day, helping your mind and your body handle stress instead of being handled by it.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tampa, Fla.

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