According to the American Institute of Stress, 8 in 10 Americans feel stressed on a regular basis. A little stress is normal and actually good. It keeps you focused and energized. Constant stress though can lead to serious health problems. Stress can suppress your immune system, raise your blood pressure and create anxiety. Think about how many colds you’ve had this past winter. If the answer is more than one, your body may be trying to tell you something. Sometimes we’re not in a position to alleviate the stress, but we can learn how to manage it.
There are a number of ways to relieve stress, and what works for one person may not work for another, but most experts agree on the following:
- Exercise is a great stress alleviator. It recharges and energizes you.
- Meditation, yoga, reflexology, and massage are effective ways to slow your body and mind down.
- Be consistent in going to be at the same time each night. A good night’s sleep is essential to managing whatever gets thrown your way.
- Maintain a healthy diet, and reduce caffeine and alcohol. You might want that martini, but it can keep you from getting a full night’s sleep.
- Carve out time for you. Spending even fifteen minutes doing something you enjoy will lower your stress level.
Experiment with different stress relievers and figure out what works best for you. Stress is a part of life – we just don’t need to let it take over.