[callout1]You stomach clenches, your heart races, and you can’t catch your breath — all tell-tale signs you are getting anxious or overwhelmed. But while a slight from a co-worker or bad news from a family member can raise your blood pressure, you have the power to reset and focus on de-stressing.[/callout1]
Flight or Flight
When you’re stressed, your body instinctively reacts with the “fight or flight response,” which, in the pre-civilization world, helped us escape from predators and dangerous situations.
But, today, our bodies can’t tell the difference between an approaching grizzly bear or a difficult boss. So, our stress response is triggered when there’s no imminent danger. And, instead of helping us to escape, it can contribute to chronic conditions like hypertension and headaches, as well as mental health issues like depression and anxiety disorders.
The good news? Just as you have a stress response, you also have a “relaxation response,” during which you can slow down your breathing, decrease your blood pressure and use less oxygen.
Go For A 10-Minute Walk
While just about any walk will help to clear your head and boost endorphins, consider walking in a park or other green space, which can actually put your body into a state of meditation.
Breathing exercises – or even just taking a few deep breaths – provide an extra boost of oxygen and help reduce tension and relieve stress. Best of all, deep breathes will help you calm down.
A short visualization is an easy way to get back to center.
Simply make yourself comfortable (at your desk, on a park bench – wherever!) and then try to picture a peaceful scene: a future vacation, your favorite beach. You can even visualize yourself accomplishing a goal or maybe picture yourself in an elevator, happily sandwiched between two hot actors of your choice!
Eat A Snack
Stress-eating doesnʼt have to be bad. Pick a snack that will fill you up – half an avocado, a handful of nuts, a hard boiled egg. Then take your snack away from your computer and go sit someplace peaceful. Focus on your food: its texture, the way it tastes, how it makes you feel. Voila! Youʼve turned your snack into a meditation.
Step Away From The Screen
Uninterrupted computer use has been associated with stress, lost sleep and depression. Make sure to take frequent breaks from computer use during your day – and try to shut offline at least an hour before bedtime.
Or, On The Other Hand, Plug In
While screens can stress you out, you can turn to the Internet to get a little stress relief. Do a search for a web-based stress management program, like guided meditation, or watch a viral video that will make you laugh. Laughter is a great de-stressor because it first activates your stress response and then deactivates it, creating a kind of “rollercoaster” that leads to a feeling of relaxation.
Hang Up, Then Turn Off Your Phone
Cell phones stress you out, thereʼs no question about that. Smartphones, in particular, can make you feel pressure to respond to messages at all times and talking can even raise your blood pressure. So, consider shutting off your phone for an hour or so.
Put On Some Music
While classical music slows heart rate and lowers blood pressure, any music that you love will flood your brain with feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine. So, crank it up on the drive home!
De-stress: You have the power to reset
You also might like these resources on reducing stress and anxiety by Dr Trotter
STRESS QUIZ: How Stressed Are You? Do you diminish or categorize your stress as “normal” or “it’s no big deal, everyone has stress?”
Belly Breathing – One of my favorite de-stressor or coping skills that I teach to all my clients young and old that can be done anywhere at any time is “Belly Breathing”. – See more at: http://www.kaytrotter.com/3-deep-breaths/#sthash.D9SldQh5.dpuf
Social Anxiety and Stress – Shyness is the tendency to feel awkward, worried or tense during social encounters, especially with unfamiliar people. There are many degrees of shyness.
Anxiety – Anxiety is the displeasing feeling of fear and concern. Anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness and dread. It is also associated with feelings of restlessness, fatigue, concentration problems and muscle tension.
The Healing Power of Nature – Read how Dr Kay reduces her stress.
Kids and Stress—10 Parenting Tips -The way parents respond to emotional situations significantly affects how well children learn to cope with their emotions.
Dr Trotters Pinterest board Anxiety/Stress Management – Tips to Manage Anxiety and Stress.