Designed to permit the wakeful mind a short vacation from daily stresses. Attention may be focused on breathing slowly, on mental repitition, a repeated prayer or even a soothing music piece. Ideally, you should pick the same word, phrase, prayer or music to repeat at the same time every day.
Any exercise is helpful but aerobic exercise is particularly beneficial. Exercises which increase the pulse rate over a sustained period of time are called 'aerobic'. Some examples include walking, jogging, bicycling, dance and swimming.
These are specific stretching exercises designed to help rebalance the body and to help you relax. Classes are frequently offered at your local 'Y', 'JCC' or as part of community adult education classes.
Effective at reducing physical effects of stress, most massage requires the help of someone else. Foot rollers and other pressure point massage tools have become readily available in the last few years and these can be used by yourself at home.
Promote relaxation as do moist hot packs to tight or sore muscles. Avoid staying in the bath more than 15 minutes as that can cause overheating of the body. Hot baths should not be taken by people with a history of stroke or by pregnant women.
Say something positive or uplifting at least once daily. Say it aloud to yourself or to someone else.
At least once a month, treat yourself to a 'luxury' whether it be a night out without children, a day in which you do nothing but read a book or to a complete spa treatment. Some people even enjoy spending one night at a local hotel just as a 'mini vacation'. Choose something which you normally put off because you 'don't have time'.
Helps rebalance the body and induces a deep sense of relaxation. Helps the body handle stress and reduce the mental and physical effects of stress.
VITAMINS FOR STRESS
Almost every nutrient required by the human body is used to help us deal with physical and mental stress. From carbohydrates for energy and mental activity to B-Vitamins for utilizing those carbohydrates to calcium and magnesium for nerve and muscle conduction, a good healthy diet is necessary for helping us deal with every day life. Antioxidants ward off illnesses and help keep us healthy. Chromium helps keep blood sugar levels even. Bioflavinoids reduce histamine reactions to pollutants and allergens. I recommend taking a multivitamin with extra B vitamins, plus a seperate antioxidant supplement for helping you stay healthy when under periods of high stress. More specific nutrient recommendations can be made after completing a dietary analysis and physical exam.
HERBS WHICH HELP IN COPING WITH STRESS
So-called 'nervine' herbs have helped people relax and cope with stressful situations for centuries. Some favorites include: chamomile, valerian root, passionflower, ginseng, skullcap, St. Johns Wort and hops. Singly or together, a tea made from these herbs can help calm you down and sleep after a long hard day. Or, try putting essential oil of lavendar on your temples to help you relax anytime.
Dr Jennifer Brett