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Lose Stress to Gain Joy

by Cindy Gray

Do you feel stressed? Here’s a quick stress test to check if you need help letting go of stress.

Pause and check your physical demeanor.

  • Are your shoulders hunched and tight?
  • Is your jaw clenched?
  • Are you sitting forward on your chair, rather than relaxing back into the chair?
  • Is your mind running over a past conversation with someone or the list of things you have to do?

All these are physical indicators of the fact that you need help on letting go of stress and learning to relax.

Laughter is a good way of letting go of stress

Be Aware of Physical Stress

It’s good to recognize when your body or mind is showing signs of stress. First of all, embrace it with a smile. Physically focus on that stress, whether it is in tight muscles or a mind in turmoil. Gradually imagine relaxing those muscles; wriggle, stretch and rotate the tense areas to release that stress. You can do exactly the same with your mind. Imagine gathering up all those thoughts in a bundle, throwing them in an imaginary bin and putting the lid on tight. Be conscious that you feel lighter as you are physically and mentally letting go of stress.

Exercise

When stressful thoughts and situations threaten to overwhelm you, go for a short walk or run. Getting your heart pumping releases endorphins that lift your mood and alleviate stress, whether it is family induced or work related.

Related:  The Best Way to Fight Stress

Breathe Deeply

If you can’t escape and do some exercise, consciously start to breath deeper and more slowly. Shallow breathing is a sign of panic, but deep breathing slows the heart rate and fills your lungs with oxygen. Concentrate on your lungs filling up and gradually releasing each breath. Do this for 3-5 minutes and then return to your task after letting go of stress through this simple relaxation technique.

Make a Cup of Tea

While coffee and caffeinated soda can raise blood pressure and cause the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to speed up, a cup of green tea can calm and soothe. The very act of slowing sipping can de-stress until the theanine in the green tea gets to work, calming your nervous system.

Binge on Omega-3

While sugary carbohydrate snacks may seem to offer comfort, fruit and vegetables provide a better way of letting go of stress. Omega-3 rich foods are known to help reduce the symptoms of stress, so enjoy a tuna sandwich or some fresh fruit as a pick-me-up.

Share Your Problem

If you feel overwhelmed by stress, it’s good to share your thoughts with someone outside the situation who can bring a new perspective to the problem.

Stress is one of the leading causes of ill health, so it’s important not to let it build up. Letting go of stress is not easy, but by following these tips you should be able to master the situation and overcome the physical effects that stress can cause.

 

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