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7 Savvy Ways to Roll Stress Way Back

By Sandy Schroeder

When stress will not go away, we desperately need relief. Often that relief turns out to be a huge pepperoni pizza, several glasses of wine, or a double order of cheesecake. Calorie counts fly out the window as relief arrives, but what if there were a better way?

Shape.com tells us there are ways to transform stress into positive energy. I tried a few of these suggestions, and they actually work. See what you think.

Get ready for tomorrow - When you are in the midst of a hassle at home, or a challenging project at work, take a few minutes to clear the area and make a to-do list. Just knowing that you have a plan of attack for tomorrow can assure you that you are back in control, helping you rest up for the next round.

Replace comfort foods with smart snacks - Pick up some of your favorite fresh fruits, Greek yogurt, hummus or avocado dips, and whole wheat chips. Overwhelming stress and the urge to eat are totally linked, but substituting healthy snacks like dried fruit, almonds, nut butters, dark chocolate and low-fat cheeses will keep you energized and guilt-free. The key is not to deprive yourself, which can create even more stress.

Do a lot of rote tasks - Vacuuming, knitting, ironing or shredding paper can quickly move you into a calmer state in which your heart and breath rate, and blood pressure, all slow down. Another way to go is to use faith as a mantra, repeating your favorite quote or verse. Researchers have found this soothing repetition can ease everything from insomnia to anxiety.

Only make one withdrawal - Stress has been known to trigger unlimited shopping and other cash-devouring escapades. If you hold your cash withdrawals down to one weekly hit, you will know where you stand and probably spend less. When stress hits and spending spikes, it simply inflates overall stress. Limiting the cash flow and making a chart of where your finances stand can put you back in charge as you reduce overall stress.

Stop texting - Jump out of the 24/7 mode and let your body breathe. Whatever the latest stress hit is about, staying online indefinitely will probably not ease its effects. Setting up boundaries that give you a break between work and home will give you time to be with your family, regain your balance, and calm down. If you can manage it, shut down electronics at night and get a good night’s rest.

Ease into music - Recent British research in Heart advises turning on soothing jazz or other instrumentals when you are stuck on the freeway. At the same time, do a few breathing exercises or shoulder rolls.

Dive right in - Recent Swedish reports in the International Journal of Stress Management recommend floating in a pool to lower stress hormone levels. It may ease depression and tension too.

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

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