Get Stress Out

I presume that like most people, you have a lot going on in your life.

And, like most people, you probably experience times where you have just a little bit more going on than you can comfortably handle. Sound familiar?

If so, you may want to think about how you can get a handle on your stress level before it begins creating problems.

Water Wearing Down Stone

Most people seem to negate or ignore the daily effects of stress. This no doubt helps us get through our day when we have a lot to deal with. But the real problem isn’t the stress of a day, but rather stress that goes on for weeks, months or even years at a time.

You might compare the effects of chronic stress to the effect of water running over rocks. Over the short term there is no noticeable change. But let the water run over a long period of time and you get a powerful cumulative effect. If the Grand Canyon doesn’t prove this, nothing does.

The specific effects of stress don’t necessarily show up as a particular disease. Instead, they impair our body’s ability to function effectively. This, in turn, contributes to other problems. These stress caused or stress aggravated problems include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Migraines
  • Ulcers
  • Heartburn
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • PMS
  • Obesity
  • Infertility
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Skin problems

The attentive reader will discover in the above list the leading causes of death in modern times…

Get the Stress Out…

There are two general approaches to reduce stress, do-it-yourself and get help and support from a professional. Both have merit. Here are the quick summaries of ways you can use both:

Do-It-YourselfUsually these should be done every day, with obvious exceptions…

  • Breathe – By this I’m referring to deep, abdominal breathing that triggers what’s been called the “Relaxation Response”
  • Exercise – Even simple activities like walking are great stress-relievers
  • Monitor Your Thoughts – One of the biggest contributors to stress is worry and negative thinking
  • Get Your Mind Off Of Yourself – Do something nice for someone else. You can do this spontaneously or spend time thinking about what would help someone else and then follow-up on it.
  • Practice Yoga, Qigong, Tai Chi, etc. – All of these ancient practices contribute to your wellbeing and peace of mind
  • Meditation – Learning how to calm and center yourself goes a long way towards clearing stress
  • Take a Vacation – Hopefully you will reach a point where you can do this every day if you want, but at least do this on a regular basis

Professional Support

  • Acupuncture – This is a powerful way to relieve tension caused by stress. It works by opening up blocked energy in your body. When energy flows more freely you get everything done with greater ease.
  • Massage and Body Work – There are many types of massage and body-centered therapies that help relieve tension locked in muscles while giving you a nice ‘time-out.’
  • Counseling / Hypnotherapy – If you need help getting a handle on thoughts that create stress, these are two outstanding ways to do so.
  • Herbal Medicine – There are lots of herbs that can help you deal with stress more effectively. Even though you can go buy them at the herb store, you can reduce your learning curve by talking to someone knowledgeable about them first.

As you can see, there are enough ways to relieve stress that you can pick those that seem most appropriate for you.

The bottom line is by addressing stress before it turns into a chronic problem, you reduce the likelihood of creating even bigger health issues in the future.

Contact me if you’d like support using acupuncture or herbal medicine. I’m also happy to refer you to others for body work and counseling.

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