Learning to deal with stress, in a stressed-out world
By Venus Gentile
However you want to call it, stress is a part of life. We live in an age where we are ruled by time, jobs, careers, technology, health, money, family, and all the things that put us under a great deal of pressure. There is no running away from it. Stress can severely impact our lives if we do not learn how to acknowledge it and find ways to increase our resilience.
Chronic stress can cause high blood pressure, anxiety, heart disease, insomnia, depression, and gastrointestinal issues. As we get older, it may be significantly harder to deal with the transitions of life. There are many effective ways to combat and react to stressful situations when they arise and preventative techniques that can allow us to live more peaceful lives.
You don't have to sit cross-legged on the edge of a cliff while chanting to find your peace. There are so many ways to calm yourself and connect with your inner being. Yoga, tai chi, meditation, guided imagery, or deep breathing exercises can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones. Just taking a few minutes every day to sit quietly and express gratitude is a form of meditation. It is so important to detach ourselves from the noise of everyday life. Find what makes you feel peaceful and practice it consistently!
Having a strong support system and being part of a community of like-minded people is fundamental to your mental health. Engaging in frequent social activities and having good friends and family around you can increase your longevity by years.
Detach from technology
Turn off your phone, tablet, laptop, even the television. Social media, daily news, and politics can distract us from what's essential in our lives. Spend some time for yourself; read a book, listen to music, write or go for a walk in nature. This enables us to focus on our evolution, and once we drown out the noises of life, we can find our true peace.
Be physically active
If you start to feel stressed, work out or take a walk! We all know that exercise provides us with so many benefits, and when we improve our overall health, we combat stress. Moderate physical activity boosts the body's natural feel-good chemicals, using stress hormones, protecting brain cells, and lowering blood pressure.
Don't sweat the small stuff
This may be a cliched saying, but it sure makes sense. There are certain situations in life that we cannot control, so stressing over them is pretty much senseless. Take the time to take a step back when you become upset or frustrated; express gratitude and acknowledge all the good things in your life. Once you get into the habit of doing this every day, you will see your life transform.