February 25, 2005
Stress is how your body responds to change. Stress happens everyday and everyone responds differently. Some people eat less. Some people overeat. Some people exercise. Some people smoke. Some people get angry. Some people meditate. Some people can’t sleep. Some people write in a journal. Finding a positive way to deal with daily stressors is important. Letting stress build up or responding negatively to stress can increase your risk for heart disease. During this time, stress hormones are released which cause your muscles to tense, heart rate to increase and blood vessels to constrict causing your blood pressure to go up. If you already have clogged arteries, blood doesn’t flow easily to your heart and you may even have chest pains. Everyday, you should eat healthfully, be physically active, get enough sleep (i.e. 8 hours/night), laugh, practice positive self-talk, and give and receive hugs. Other ways to help relieve stress is to make time for social events like going out to dinner with friends, going to a ball game or spending time with your family. It’s also important to have someone you can vent to when you have a bad day. Sometimes just talking it out with someone who will listen and doesn’t criticize can be calming. Making time for yourself is also important. This can be spiritual practice, meditating, journaling or just spending time alone. Hobbies are great stress relievers too. Whether it is reading, gardening, wood working, playing golf, sewing, playing with pets or painting, hobbies can temporarily take your mind to a place where the stress doesn’t matter. Giving yourself rewards like sleeping in late, a candlelight dinner, a day at the spa (massage, manicure) or tickets to a play or special event can also help balance out the stress in your life. The key is finding something that works for you.
Posted by Lisa at February 25, 2005 9:39 AM
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