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Take the stress in stride. health beat - India Blogger

Mindfulness techniques, meditation, and yoga can all help you manage stress. (for spectrum health beat)

There is no such thing as a stress free life. And even if there were, it would be quite boring.

It’s good to take on challenges in small spurts, whether it’s organizing a big family party, taking on a new project at work, or speeding up our daily walks.

Without stress, most of us would not develop.

But chronic stress—the relentless pressure of chronic illness, for example, or stress from financial struggles—can be debilitating.

“Without proactively taking small steps to manage that stress, it can lead to serious problems,” said Adele Cadiox, a pediatric psychologist at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

This includes problems such as anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders. These can also contribute to the recurrence of heart disease and diabetes, or certain cancers.

For example, often, some short meditation—less than a minute—will give you a chance to take a deep breath and reset.

“Sometimes people think they have to make major changes in their lives to handle stress or have a time-consuming routine,” Dr. Cadix said.

The idea is not to eliminate the tension. It’s not possible. But it has to be managed—and these small actions can help build your physical and mental resilience.

Since stress takes a toll on people physically, Dr. Cadieux said building physical flexibility is essential.

1. Begin Sleep Rituals

“America is suffering from a lack of sleep,” said Dr. Cadieux. “And when we’re tired, we can’t respond to stress as much as we should.”

Electronics are part of the problem, as people spend their late nights reading TV, scrolling doom on a smartphone, or even sleeping with the Kindle to themselves.

“Schedule a time to turn off all screens, anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes before bed,” she said.

Don’t you think you can sleep without electronics? Explore Calm, the popular meditation app that also offers many bedtime stories.

And try and go to bed and wake up at the same time, seven days a week. This makes it easier for your body to know when to rest, she said.

2. Fix Your Diet

Just don’t eat well. Eat regularly.

“When people are busy, they can go a long time without food,” said Dr. Cadiox. When blood sugar gets low, people often end up consuming sweet snacks or too much caffeine, which adds to the stress.

3. Redefine Exercise

Exercise is a powerful stress reliever. But feeling guilty for not exercising isn’t beneficial to anyone.

Abandon the inflexible idea that fitness can only come from 3-mile runs or an hour at the gym.

“Do some wall pushups,” Dr. Cadiox said. “Climb up and down the stairs several times or try 30 jumping jacks. Even these little bits of exercise can make us feel better right away. ,

Sleep, nutrition, and exercise are the basis of a healthy stress strategy.

But there are other tricks to deal with stress as it bubbles up during the day.

4. Practice Positive Self-Talk

The tension is often self-inflicted, with self-statements that are way off base. “Say you’re stuck in traffic, saying to yourself, ‘This will make me late for work and people will think I’m lazy,'” Dr. Cadix said. This is probably not true. A better line: “This traffic is out of my control. I’ll try not to worry and explain when I get to work. ,

5. Choose Social on Social Media

Time on social media is related to anxiety, stress and depression. Spending time in real social interactions with friends and family – by phone, on Zoom or face-to-face in a coffee shop – can help reduce stress and improve feelings of well-being.

6. Revisit Your Gratitude List

Dr. Cadiox said she likes to do it every day. “I ask myself, ‘What can I take from today that I can enjoy? What was good? What do I need to leave behind?'”

7. Update Relaxation Strategies

He said mindfulness techniques, meditation and yoga are all proven winners. “But it can also be a short walk outside or looking at your bird feeder.”

How you rest, she said, is far less important than knowing that you are resting on purpose.

8. Open to Amazement

The feeling of awe—being amazed by the sunset, or being inspired from inside a cathedral—becomes medicinal. Researchers have found that it fills people with a sense of calm humility, which helps combat stress.

9. Limit Media Exposure

The world is full of stressful events—conflicts, melting glaciers, oceans full of plastic. It’s good to connect with reality. But too much information can demoralize. She suggests setting aside a certain amount of time each day to catch up on the news — and then stopping.

10. Embrace It

Physical contact provides connection and emotional liberation. Hugs, hugs, and intimacy are all important, helping people increase their levels of natural oxytocin, a hormone that promotes calmness and counteracts stress.

11. Power Up With Music

Music is a proven stress reliever, whether you listen to your favorite songs or create them yourself. Channeling Missy Elliot in the car or Tchaikovsky in the kitchen can make the day different.

12. Turn up your game

Sports can help children. Adults need it too. Something as simple as playing a card with a child, a challenge like a daily Wordle, throwing a tennis ball to the dog or playing a video game can offer little bits of joy.

None of this is a permanent solution, Dr. Cadieux said. But they all reduce increased stress, so you can feel more in control and less stressed.

“Often, just saying, ‘I’m going to take the time to do one little thing that will make me feel better today,’ is enough to help you recalculate,” she said.

It boils down to moments of self-care.

“Whether we’re watching a tree bud in the bud or taking a hot shower, it’s acknowledging that we’re doing something tender for our emotional well-being, intentionally countering that physical feeling of stress,” she says. said.

And if stress seems too difficult to manage, consult with a behavioral health provider. “We can help develop personalized plans that make coping easier,” said Dr. Cadioux.

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