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How to Loosen the Grip of Stress and Live a Little

By Sandy Schroeder

If you know what bothers you, but have not figured out how to ease the stress, it may be time to try some new approaches to thrive instead of just survive. Which of these things bugs you most?

  • Family
  • Money
  • Work
  • Relationships
  • Pets
  • Fitness
  • Housework

How to Let Go of the Stress

There are some easy ways to remove the stress and anxiety you are feeling.

Schedule family fun - Yes, take some regular breaks at home just to laugh a little and unwind. Never taking a break to sit and play games with your kids or go out to a party with a spouse means you may be building a tighter and tighter stress trap that could snap shut on you. Your kids pick up on stress traps too, and may fall into the same ones when they grow up. Break the pattern and spend some time playing together each week. 

Lighten up at work - See what you can do about adding some laughter to your workplace. Some workplaces already have it figured out with funny hats, Nerf toys, or other props that help everyone let off steam. Or consider inviting everyone to weekly after-work coffee or brew sessions. It’s amazing how stress just evaporates when people relax and share a laugh.

Breathe in and breathe out - When we are stressed, our breathing may feel very tight and painful. Both the mind and the body absorb the pressure. Take a few minutes to step away and find a quiet spot to do a simple breathing exercise. Once you learn how much your breath can do, you may find yourself using breathing exercises throughout the day. Try this one from Bulletproof.com to use whenever you need it.

Take a One-Minute Breath Break

  • Breathe in to the diaphragm for 20 seconds
  • Hold for 20 seconds
  • Exhale for 20 seconds

Return to an old hobby - Or pick up a totally new one. Just make sure it is a hobby that you really enjoy. Then time just floats away and pleasure sets in. If you have ever watched a hobby group in action you know how this works. They are all totally engrossed in the subject and happy to stand around talking about it as along as possible. My best hobby experience was a car group which adored their cars, loved to race them, work on them, and talk about them. A hobby like that can be a perfect way to let go of stress.

If these stress relief choices work, keep using them to keep stress in line. Or look for others that might fit you better, such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, or regular running, biking or brisk walking.

Whatever works, keep it up. Life is too short to live under the gun of stress every minute.

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

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