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Two Keys to Reducing Stress

Two Keys to Reducing Stress

What symptoms do you exhibit when stressed? How do they show up for you?

Often stress shows up in a wide variety of ways: physical, mental and emotional.

Physical signs include headaches, muscle tension, upset stomach, restless sleep, shaky/sweaty hands, and fidgeting.
Mental signs include being easily distracted/unable to focus, being more forgetful, having simple issues become exaggerated, and having increased dreaming.
Emotional signs include irritability, short temper, exhaustion, and an inability to make decisions.
How can you relieve or reduce your stress?

TIP #1 – Take Charge.

When you feel in control, you can RESPOND rather than REACT to your environment. You feel more empowered and better able to manage what comes your way. Begin by looking at what you can control and what you cannot.

List the things I control in my life.
List the things that are TRULY out of my control.
What is my attitude towards the things I control? Toward the things, I don’t?
What stresses can I say “no” to, eliminate, reduce or delegate in my life?
What can I add to my life that will counteract stress? (meditation, workouts, etc.)
What positive people do I want in my life to support me?
What negative people do I need to spend less time with?
What is most important to me?
Make a list, prioritize, and commit to removing one stressful thing a day!

TIP #2 – Incorporate Exercise.

Regular exercise is one of the best stress-reduction techniques out there. It has multiple stress-relieving benefits:

IMPROVED HEALTH: “Exercising adds life to your years as well as years to your life” through a lowered heart rate and reduced risk of heart disease; it may also prevent certain types of cancer and will increase stamina.
IMPROVED MOOD: Exercising causes the brain to release opium-like substances that ease pain and produce a natural high, giving a sense of well-being and comfort. It also stimulates the brain to secrete serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which act as antidepressants and improve mood (deficiencies can result in depression, anxiety, impulsivity, aggression, and increased appetite).
REDUCED BODY TENSION: Exercising helps relieve pent-up emotions we hold in our muscles. Having a relaxed body allows you to sleep better, have more energy, enhance concentration and memory, and quicken your alertness and reaction time, resulting in an overall feeling of well-being.

How can taking charge and exercising affect my stress level?
How do I want to feel after I have planned and exercised-both physically and emotionally?
What can I do to incorporate planning and exercise in my life? (What? When? With whom? For how long?)

Find a friend to exercise with for the recommended minimum of 20-30 minutes a day, 3-5 times a week. Working out with a friend helps to provide a plan for regular routine, accountability, and allows for multitasking so you can brainstorm, encourage or share thoughts with a friend while working out.
Get a personal trainer or join a gym. Push yourself to WORK OUT!
Be conscious about exercising. Park farther away and walk. Take a flight of stairs instead of an elevator. Do sit-ups while watching TV. Take the dog for a morning walk before you shower.
All the benefits of planning and exercise impact your ability to be sharper, move faster and feel better. Taking time to do this will actually give you more time for the other things you need to do and REDUCE YOUR STRESS!