Saturday, April 16, 2011

Decompress to Reduce Stress

With the way many of our lives run today, it’s difficult to not experience some stress. Sometimes stress is a good thing, for example, when we’re driving and are cut-off by someone, and we need to react quickly. But being fully engaged for fight or flight all the time can have a real impact on us physically.

Like a pesticide or an organic chemical, stress is a toxin that actually depresses the immune system, generates free radicals, and negatively affects brain function. It also induces the production of cortisol, which can lead to weight gain and/or the ability to lose weight.

To maintain health and a sense of wellbeing, it is vitally important to relieve stress or decompress on a regular basis. Here are some ways accomplish this:

Go Play – Having fun is a great way to relax, and rather than being a waste of time, it can actually work to your advantage., Engaging in leisure activities or hobbies is a wonderful way to get the creative juices flowing. And it’s more difficult to feel stress when you’re enjoying yourself.

Get out in Nature – There is something so calming about being among the trees. The combination of the quiet, the calmness, the living energy, and the abundance of oxygen are all very healing to body, mind, and spirit.

Unplug – The radiation we are exposed to from our computers and internet connections, cell phones, and appliances place a tremendous amount of stress on the body and will be the topic of another post. Spend time away from them on a daily basis–for example, in nature as mentioned above.

Be still – We’re exposed to information overload and on a continuous mission to be somewhere or do something, often multi-tasking to get it all done. Take some time everyday to sit quietly, meditate, or just think. And sitting for hours in front of the TV does not count here : )

What are some of the ways that you like to wind down to relieve stress??

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