Let’s face it, being stressed out may be a buzz word, and yes you know your stressed, but common, let’s get real? You have real threats, like being low on funds or family problems that seem to have no solution. I understand, been there, still there. However, there are some things you can do to help de-stress yourself and help bring about a more positive attitude. Why have a positive attitude? Because it can help you think outside the box, and from my personal experience there is nothing you can’t get through when you feel positive and play the game of life to the best of your ability. So what can you do to help you reduce the stress in your world?
Yes, breath. Breath slowly in through the nose and out through the nose, focusing your energy about an inch and a half below your belly button. This area is known as the Dan Tian in Chinese Medicine and is considered an area important to life and vigor. If you can’t take the time to stop and take three slow, relaxed, deep, controlled breaths, then that’s the first problem. Don’t let life go so fast that you can’t slow yourself down and give yourself time to center your Qi (“chee”), your focus, or bring your body to a level of homeostasis.
2. Take a 10 Minute Walk
Laps around the block or your building can give you more energy and improve your mood. Don’t waste your ten minute break at work, do something productive like getting rid of the built up tension. Maybe you may have tension with your boss or co-workers (or maybe you are the boss with lousy employees!), or had an argument with your spouse, and taking some time to walk is what you may need. 10 minutes is only the minimum, you can go for 15 or 20 if you feel like it. Walking can help move your Qi and get your energy moving, especially when you hit that afternoon energy drop when you want to go to sleep. Keep it moving!
3. Use Preventative Medicine
Did you know that you don’t have to wait until your broken down to see an acupuncturist? Holistic therapies such as acupuncture focus on preventing disease and helping the body to become as strong as possible. In Traditional Chinese Medicine mild stress can be considered the early point of disorder in the body, and it can either get better or get worse. If financial burden is an issue try to find a community acupuncture clinic in your town or find an acupuncturist that offers a sliding fee.
What Is Stress?
According to physiologists, stress is any stimulus that directly or indirectly stimulates neurons of the hypothalamus to release corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which then initiates many diverse changes in the body1. In plain english, that means anything that causes us to react in a certain way. This is known as the stress response.
Hans Selye of McGill university was one of the pioneer researchers of stress. His research led him to believe that the body exhibits certain responses when confronted with an outside stimulus or threat. In today’s society we are constantly bombarded with stressors that keep us on edge. This is why we must learn to identify our stressful interactions and deal with them accordingly.
There are many other ways to help you reduce the stress and anxiety in your life, so please don’t feel limited just to the ideas I have suggested here. The more you begin to think and find a solution the better off you will be in the long run.
1. Thibodeau, G. Anatomy and Physiology, Mosby Inc, 2003