Do you feel like there is no way to escape the stress of work, family life or the incessant thoughts and worries that fill the mind day and night? Though it may seem that elevated stress levels are inescapable in a world that is as hectic as ours is these days, there is actually a lot you can do to manage it.
Consequences of Stress
Most people have heard about the fight-or-flight response, a natural and necessary reaction to threatening situations. The problem is that when we experience chronic stress, our bodies are in a constant fight-or-flight state, and that has dire consequences for long-term health. On the plus side, you do have the power to manage stress.
Techniques for Stress Reduction
Even when you can’t change the things in your life that are causing you stress, you can change how you respond to them. Several stress-reduction techniques help, including:
- Breathing exercises: Engage in slow, deep breathing for five minutes, one to three times per day — or as needed — to regulate your heart rate and clear your head.
- Meditation: Focus your attention on your breath, a mantra, or an image for five to 10 minutes, once or twice a day, to shift your focus away from worries and calm your mind and body.
- Yoga: Do some simple yoga poses to refocus your mind and strengthen and stretch your body.
- Exercise: Engaging in moderate exercise daily helps you burn off steam and lower your stress levels.
- L-Theanine: Consuming this amino acid in supplement form enhances your focus while also making you feel relaxed and calm.
Pairing these activities with a healthy diet and seven to nine hours of sleep every night is an effective way to manage the daily stressors life throws at you. You will feel much calmer, and your body will thank you for it.
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