Top 10 Strategies for Combating Stress


Top 10 Strategies for Combating StressThere is no doubt that all of us face multiple demands each day, such as shouldering a huge workload, making ends meet, taking care of your family, or just making it through the morning rush hour. Your body treats these so-called minor hassles as threats. As a result you may feel as if you're constantly under assault. But you can fight back. You don't have to let stress control your life. 


The long-term activation of the stress-response system � and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones � can disrupt almost all your body's processes. That's why it's so important to learn healthy ways to cope with the stressors in your life.


Top 10 Strategies for Combating StressExercise: Working out seems diametrically opposed to relaxation, but it is a short-cut to it. Exercise doesn�t only boost your circulation, it also burns up the residue of stress chemicals in the body while generating the production of feel-good hormones, such as endorphins, which induce relaxation. Aerobic activities not only build heart and limb muscle, they also increase your oxygen supply, feeding your skin and making you feel more awake, whatever you did last night. All you need to do is 30 minutes three to five times a week to make a difference. So take regular exercise, preferably in the fresh air, but don�t overdo it otherwise you will be inclined to give it up and put your feet up. You don�t have to don trainers or even leave your house for beneficial exercise. Two good forms of exercise that are often overlooked are laughter and sex.


Laughing and Sex: It quickens your breathing, enhances the absorption of oxygen from the blood, makes your eyes sparkle by stimulating the tear glands, exercises the stomach muscles and works the facial muscles in a way that increases blood flow to the brain � all while using up 10 calories a minute. Ten seconds of a good belly laugh can raise your heart rate to the level achieved by 10 minutes of rowing. In a similar way, sex boosts the circulation and triggers the release of opiates in the brain. Although they exert their effects by radically different means, sex and laughing both kick the parasympathetic nervous system into play, triggering the release of relaxant hormones and inducing tranquility afterwards.


Top 10 Strategies for Combating StressRelaxing Massage: Massage is a delightful experience and can be deeply relaxing for both body and mind. One of the most pleasant forms of massage is aromatherapy massage; the scents are in themselves both beneficial and uplifting, and the oils can help benefit dry, damaged or problem skin.

Top 10 Strategies for Combating StressPositive Attitude: Worry and anxiety are a curse, especially to a person with lowered vitality and a gloomy outlook. From this moment onwards, determine that you are going to kick the worry habit. It only weakens the willpower, saps the nerves, unsteadies the thought patterns and ages the body. When life threatens to overwhelm you, try and see the funny side of things and put the situation into the context of the �bigger picture�. Replace frowns with smiles and, even if this is done with some effort of will, it will affect the release of mood-enhancing brain chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin. If you have a ton of work to do and a deadline that looks impossible, smiling isn�t easy, but even releasing your frown can help.




Relaxation and Meditation:

These thoroughly proven methods of switching off from chronic stress allow our systems to calm down and recuperate. Consider taking up a yoga class at least once a week. Alternatively, take advantage of some of the wonderful relaxation tapes and CDs on the market. Regular use of these techniques will create helpful patterns of behaviour and you will find fewer things irritate you or cause the stressed condition in the first place.


Co-Listening: Shared listening is a well-recognized psychological tool. Having an outlet to express your thoughts, feelings and frustrations, and knowing that you are being heard as a most wonderful tonic.


Top 10 Strategies for Combating StressDetox : Regular or even occasional detoxification of the digestive and alimentary system is another traditionally recognized way of de-stressing an overworked and overloaded body. Therapies such as colonics and enemas can make the world of difference to one�s energy levels and ability to deal with stress, and can prevent debilitating illness.


Healthier Diet: Eat more seasonal, fresh produce, preferably organic. Start your day with a cup of hot, boiled water. Make sure your fluid intake is sufficient and does not consists solely of toxin-laden, caffeine-rich drinks such as tea and coffee.


Top 10 Strategies for Combating StressBreathing Control: Controlling your breathing by slowing it down and focusing on it will help you deal with stress. Regularly take several deep breaths, which fill the lower part of your lungs and expel stale air. Chair-bound office workers are often in danger of decreased oxygen levels due to restricted seated positions and lack of exercise.



Water and Aroma- Therapy: Wash away your worries at the beginning and end of the day. Try skin brushing, hydrotherapy and aromatherapy baths. Inhale and/or absorb essential oils via burners and candles, bathing or massage to improve emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing.




To be sure your time off gives you what you need, set rules for yourself - and don't break them. 

- WF Team

Dated 08 August 2011

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