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Simple Ways to Break the Grip of Stress

By Sandy Schroeder

If you are living with stress, you may have appetite surges, mood swings, sleep problems, or even signs of heart disease.

We all live with degrees of stress in our wired world. Daily traffic, ongoing job demands or family issues abound. If the stress becomes chronic, the fallout becomes more serious. Doctors suspect stress triggers inflammation, a known trigger for heart disease. Stress may also have a ripple effect. When we are stressed, it’s easier to smoke, drink too much, skip exercise, or load up on fries or pizza.

Harvard Health suggests some ways to handle stress and sidestep unhealthy habits.

Let laughter in – Giggle every chance you get. Laughter cuts stress hormones, reducing inflammation in the arteries and building good HDL cholesterol.

Work on your problems – Riding along with issues at work or problems at home keeps stress in play. Take a close look at the situations you live with and do what you can to resolve them. Sometimes just talking about them can release tension and open the door to solutions.

Take an electronic break – Step outside, or stroll around the block, minus emails and online global news bulletins. Enjoy at least 15 minutes every day absorbing peace and quiet with sun, shade and breezes.

Rest well – Losing sleep can be a vicious circle. When you are stressed you may sleep poorly. Then you may become more stressed as you try to make up sleep. Break through the problem. Establish a regular bedtime, skip caffeine after early afternoon, and make your bedtime a retreat. Leave the electronics outside. Use blackout drapes to control the light and fans or air filters to create white noise.

Ease the mind and the body – Meditation, prayer or yoga may help you dial back heart disease triggers such as high blood pressure.

Get moving –  Use exercise that your doctor approves to generate mood-making endorphins. It may also keep you trimmer, reduce blood pressure and strengthen the heart.

Reach out – Stay close to your family and friends. If stress is building, talk to someone that you trust, or look for a stress support group. Keep connecting with others in your community and neighborhood.

Pick some distractions – Turn up your favorite tunes, play with your pet, or lose yourself in a great mystery.

Get everything together – Make an effort to make your daily schedule run better to lower pressure and ease stress.

Stress needn't run the show in your life. Try a few of these tips to ease up. When stress backs off you will know. You will be grinning.

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

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