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Cool Ways to Lower the Stress Volume

By Sandy Schroeder

The stress picture is not a fun one. When it is carried to the max, there can be a faster heartbeat, difficult breathing, and tightened blood vessels.  The body kicks in to deal with a perceived problem, but all of that weight of stress is really not appropriate in our society.  Feeling like you should fight or flee simply puts a tremendous load on your heart and your health.

Carried on overtime a heavy stress load can create anxiety, ongoing headaches and a host of other body symptoms.

What to Do? Cool it!

When you feel stressed, just stop and look around. Whatever traffic jam, deadline or person is pushing your button, it really may not be as crucial as it seems. Accept it, deal with it and make it as easy as possible on yourself with some good backup.

Bring In Greenery – Treat yourself to a trip to the nursery and pick some healthy green things to fill your home, garden or office. Health experts tell us plants in a room actually help to lower blood pressure.

Live Right Now – Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. Just make sure you are operating in real time right now.  You can miss a lot of really good moments if you don’t focus completely on the present. You will also be a lot more effective in dealing with your life.

Walk It Off – A short five or 10-minute walk can take the edge off of an argument, or give you new perspective on a problem.

Talk to Your Dog – If you don’t have a dog, consider getting one, or talk to your cat. Dogs never talk back and love you no matter what. That reassuring love and loyalty can do a lot to melt the stress and put your day back on track. Cats approach the issue in a slightly different way. But when they curl up in your lap and purr, it’s really had to be all bent out of shape.

Pull the Plug – All of our screens have a way of permanently attaching, keeping us tuned in for way too many hours. Make sure you break away for a walk, run or bike ride. Or head off to the bookstore (if you can still find one) or garden and enjoy your space. For sure, make sure you are offline at least one hour before you go to bed.

Deep down, you know when stress is ruling everything and when you actually feel relaxed and thriving. Pin down the difference and keep using the patterns that lower the volume on stress and keep it there.

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