Dealing With Stress

I hate to say it, but I’m stressed out! Being that I’m a life coach and teach others how to de-stress you would think I’d have mastered the art of learning to relax.

Apparently I have not and my stress level is pretty high right now. What does stress feel like in your body? For me it’s shallow breathing, stomach pain, racing negative thoughts, and these days, increased hot flashes.

“When we’re stressed, hormones like cortisol flood our systems, producing the “fight
or flight response” in which our heart rate goes up, we breathe more heavily (requiring
more oxygen) and our blood vessels constrict. While in the pre-civilization world,
the increased blood flow to our heart and muscles helped us escape from predators
and dangerous situations, we find ourselves in a very different position now. Our
bodies can’t tell the difference between an approaching grizzly bear and a ticked
off spouse or a particularly epic traffic jam, so our stress response is triggered
when there’s no imminent danger. Instead of helping us to escape, this can contribute
to chronic conditions like hypertension and headaches, as well as mental health
concerns like depression and anxiety disorders. What’s more, stress can make other
conditions — like asthma, irritable bowel syndrome and insomnia — worse,”says
Meredith Meinick of the Huffington Post.

Just in case you’re feeling overwhelmed (like me) with too much to do, or your boss,
or friend, children, or partner is being extra difficult here’s some ideas of how
to de-stress and return to your best self again.

1. Practice deep breathing. When you are stressed you breath becomes rapid and shallow.
Taking five minutes to close your eyes and spend some time focusing on deep breathing
will lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and shift your focus away from whatever
you’re stressing about and immediately calm you down.
2. Take a walk outside in nature. Nature is always balanced, so when you’re not
get outside and walk for a minimum of ten minutes. Looking around at the blue sky
and listening to the chirping birds will distract your mind from thinking about
all your stressors.
3. Do some yoga. Exercise helps reduce stress by the endorphins you get from being
active. Yoga is great because it is a mind-body practice where you are stretching
your muscles, focusing on breathing, exercising, and relaxing at the same time.
If there’s no class to take near you try a Rodney Yee [http://www.yeeyoga.com] yoga
dvd. His dvd’s are excellent.
4. Change your thoughts. When we’re stressed out our minds start racing with negative
thought. So for every negative thought you’re thinking try to replace with a positive
thought. Replace, “I can’t get it all done!” with, “Relax all is well.”
If none of these things work for you then go get a massage which is what I’m doing
today.
In Love and Light,
Hilary

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