Other Lifestyle Changes that Can Help with Stress Management
Below is information I found on a website that has wonderful suggestions on how to manage and/or reduce your stress.
A key component to any stress management program is to incorporate lifestyle changes, not only dietary, but physical and mental/emotional activity as well. Exercise and some form of mental/emotional outlet can significantly reduce the disruptive effects of stress. Your health-care practitioner can help you determine which techniques would work best for you. Listed below are some general suggestions to help you on your way to a more stress-free life.
Relaxation techniques help relieve muscle tension, support cardiovascular health, and promote mental and emotional calmness. Examples of relaxation techniques include:
- Deep-breathing exercises
- Progressive muscle relaxation
Exercise for stress relief can be physical, mental, or spiritual in nature – or a combination of the three, as in the case of yoga. Physical exercise is a very effective way to relieve stress. It stimulates the body to release chemical substances (endorphins) that are similar in nature to opiates and make you feel good. Examples of physical exercise include the following:
- Organized aerobics
- Brisk walking
- Stretching exercises
- Strength-building (weight training, core conditioning, pilates)
Other stress-relieving ideas
One good way to help manage stress is to simply take time to do things you enjoy, either by yourself or with people you enjoy being with. Some examples include:
- Acquiring a hobby (cooking, fishing, photography, painting, or playing music, for example)
- Making time for family activities (game night with the kids or family dinners, for example)
- Spending time outside (nature walks, outdoor tai-chi, or bird-watching, for example)
Regardless of what your stress-relief program involves, make a commitment to incorporate these changes into your daily routine – for your health and for those you love. This is your life. Live it well.
Getting Extra Help
Practicing self-help techniques for stress management can be very beneficial. However, there may be times when you need additional assistance in dealing with stress. To help determine whether you need additional help, consider the following questions:
Is stress the cause or is it something else? Often, people are quick to blame stress for their fatigue, pain, or eating or sleeping disorders. Be sure to check with your health-care practitioner to rule out any possible physiological reasons for these symptoms before you conclude they are stress-related.
Is it more than stress? Sometimes the mental and emotional problems may be more complicated. Stress can be normal – anxiety and depression can be disease states. If you think you are depressed, or often feel overwhelming panic or anxiety, consult a health-care practitioner who can help you determine the primary cause and make recommendations best-suited for your situation.