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What Can Happen When We Hold On to Stress

By Sandy Schroeder

Some people shed stress without even blinking, but many of us hang onto stressful events too long. A recent study in Psychological Science says people who still have negative feelings a day after the event happened may run into more chronic health problems down the road.

For those of us who hang onto stress, it may take practice to shrug our shoulders and move on, but here are some ways that may help.

Simple Ways to Shed Stress

Get moving - Walk, run, jog or bike your way out of a bad day. Too often we just fold up our tent and shuffle off, carrying all of those bad vibes with us. Let the stress go with movement and then choose something new to do.

Crank up the sound - It’s hard not to grin when your favorite tunes surround you. When the day has been too long and there’s too much to do, music can untie some of the knots. Some of my friends use music all day to keep them up and moving.

Soak up some sunlight - I feel better almost the moment I step outside. The trees, breeze and sunlight challenge me to respond and feel better. If I spend the day outside I can tell the difference when evening arrives as I relax more and sleep better.

Swap a few jokes - Call your favorite funny friend and trade crazy stories over coffee or a brew. Go see a funny movie, or watch your favorite vintage comedies. Laughter creates both physical and mental relief.

Reach out to help someone - Stress has a way of evaporating when you help someone who really needs it. When I help at the animal shelter I become so absorbed with the animals that my mood quickly changes and my stress often fades.

Treat yourself - This may be the perfect time to go shopping, get a haircut, or splurge on new shoes. Or this may be the time to take a special trip or do a series of weekend getaways.

Put it all down on paper - Keeping a journal can be a way to let go of stress. Sometimes just writing about it may make it clear what happened and what to do.

Get creative - A friend of mine used to make her stress go away by redoing her house. I could always tell how stressed she was by the size of the project.

If stress continues in spite of your efforts to lighten up, you may want to see your doctor and a psychologist to work through it.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lincoln, Nebr.

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