Thursday, April 15, 2010


Hi, it's been a few days since my usual health topics, so I want to get back to them.

Ways To Cope With Stress

A vital aspect of health is stress, or rather how well you tolerate it.  If you're alive you will have stress, that I can guarantee.  What matters is how you react to it.

Everyone knows that stress causes disease.  I know I don't need to list all the diseases it causes, as everyone knows it has some responsibility in all the big killers, and also contributes to the lesser ones.  There probably aren't many diseases that wouldn't be affected detrimentally by added stress.  We know all this already.

So, what do we do about it?  If you can avoid it, do so, but you don't want to avoid something that is necessary or beneficial to your life just to avoid stress.  You don't want to stop paying your taxes anymore because it is too stressful.  Trying to avoid stress that way will certainly bring on much more of it in the future.  I'm referring to avoiding stress in beneficial ways.  For example, say you always wait until the last minute for an appointment, and then rush so as not to be late, but inevitably there will be a lot of traffic and you will have once again caused yourself unnecessary, avoidable stress.  That is the kind of stress that can be avoided, by being mindful and changing bad habits.  I know you can think of many ways to do that in your own lives.  My mantra is always saying, take care of yourself, and this is a good  way to do that.  It isn't only about eating a healthy diet and exercising, but also about making good choices for yourself; taking great care of you. Think about how much better our world would be if we all took good care of ourselves first.

Another important thing is to learn how to cope with the stress that comes, in the least detrimental way.  We all know some of the things we can do, exercise, EFT, healthy diet, meditation, music, acupuncture, acupressure, magnesium, yoga, massage, there are many.  Just closing your eyes and "closing out" the stress for a few minutes has actually been proven to reduce stress levels.  You can refer to my Alternative Cures/Home Remedies page at the top of my blog to refresh your memory of them.

One of the best is deep diaphragmatic breathing, it's handy and always with us. Three deep slow breaths will almost always make a difference in your stress level.  Remember that when you breathe in your diaphragm comes out and when you breathe out your diaphragm goes in.  You're breathing from the diaphragm, so don't raise your shoulders.

Take Charge 

One thing I've noticed, is when I'm in the throws of stress,  I don't remember or think about what to do when it starts.   Probably the same thing happens to you.  When I am very stressed I don't think about anything else.  I realize afterwards that I should have practiced my deep breathing.  The first step to improving that is by being aware of it.  Put in your mind, the next time you are feeling stressed sitting in a traffic jam or something else, you will remember to do your deep breathing.  After that your stress level will come down, and then you can apply other techniques.  Turn on some nice relaxing music or give yourself some positive self talk.  After all, getting stressed isn't going to change the circumstances you are in, it will just cause you more discomfort and eventually make you sick.

Deep breathing is the best antidote, as it is always handy, no one has to know you are using it, and it is really good for your health.  Don't wait until you are stressed,  anytime you think of it you should practice some nice deep breathing, as it not only relieves stress, it has many other benefits as well.   It releases endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, it can increase your energy, and it is
cleansing, a lot of toxins are released through breathing.

One Great Technique

I want to share with you another great stress reliever I learned years ago, and have been using since.  I don't know who thought of it, but it is terrific.  You can try it sitting in your seat right now.  Look straight ahead, then up a little above eye level, keep your eyes steady on that spot and don't move them, but "see" the other things in your environment while you keep looking at that one spot. Take it all in, the things on your right, your left, above and below.   Then "look" at the other things in the room, in your mind, include the unseen things behind you, etc.  Do this without moving your eyes from that one spot. You will notice when you do this, and when you have others do it, your breathing will slow and deepen and your shoulders will relax.

The theory behind this exercise is very interesting, and makes a lot of sense, I guess that is why it has stuck with me all these years.  When we are stressed, anxious, or fearful our focus is so intently on that one thing, and we see nothing else.  Part of the stress is the intense concentration on it, almost like everything else is excluded, closed out.  This technique broadens our focus and it works immediately, you will be amazed at the results.

Choose To Take The Healthy Path 

Stress can be damaging in so many ways; it can affect every aspect of our lives. When we are stressed,  cortisol is released and this leads to weight gain, and insomnia.  It effects our job, health, and  relationships.  It can lead to anger and irritability.  We have all witnessed many people who choose damaging ways to "relieve" the stress in their lives.  Overeating, abuse of drugs, drinking, the list is endless.  Life has a way of taking a toll on us if we are not vigilant, so promise yourself today, for your sake and your loved ones, that you are going to start at once and take positive steps to deal with the stress that comes your way.

Good Health and Wealth,


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