Stress is a subjective phenomenon that manifests itself in different physical, emotional, or mental ways. Chronic activation of your stress response system, coupled with long-term cortisol release, can put you at risk for health issues. Headaches, weight gain, anxiety, issues with sleep, high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke, and depression can occur.
If you are currently experiencing stress, try one or more of these techniques:
Belly breathing can help you feel more relaxed.
- Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly.
- Inhale slowly through your nose, allowing your belly to puff out and your chest to fill. This should take between 5 and 10 seconds.
- Breath out slowly through pursed lips or your nose.
- Repeat for 5-10 minutes a few times a day. This should feel calming, not cause shortness of breath.
Take Charge of Social Media
Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed after reading articles and posts from certain people or organizations? These accounts are not serving you, click unfollow. Perhaps you could replace them with a cooking account, a florist who creates beautiful things or just put the phone down altogether.
Find Time to Move
Pick your exercise of choice. Shimmy to some music, take a brisk walk, youtube a yoga class, ride your neglected bike, or break out the rollerblades. Movement releases endorphins that are good for your brain, and your heart will appreciate the cardio too.
Allowing your brain to focus on a simple task activates your creativity and relieves stress. Research shows that coloring has a meditative effect on the brain. Borrow your child’s coloring book, or print a page at home.
Connect With Others
Talk to friends or family that you can trust about your feelings of stress or anxiety. Voicing your concerns out loud helps with processing and the eventual release of the tension they were causing. If you don’t feel comfortable verbalizing your stress, try writing it down.
If you find that stress is stopping you from taking care of your daily activities for several days, please reach out to a healthcare professional. SEARHC is offering Telehealth appointments, so you can speak to a healthcare provider at home. Most importantly: remember to breathe. You are doing great!