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Say goodbye to stress with these three expert tips

by , 11 November 2013

While stress is a normal part of life, you have to manage it before it hijacks your life and causes serious health problems. Here are three tips you can use to manage stress no matter what life throws at you…

The reality is that stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts, feelings and your behavior.

But the important thing is that you take control and manage your stress.

Why?

Because “stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes,” warns the Mayo Clinic.

So how does one manage stress?

Use these three tips to deal with stress

Refinery29 gives you three super-easy ways to relax that are a lot healthier than reaching for a stiff drink.

Tip #1: “Take a deep breath in while saying to yourself in your mind, ‘I am’. Breathe out at the same time while saying to yourself, 'relaxed.' Do this slowly and several times until you can feel the stress roll off your shoulders,” says Judy A. Fulop, a Naturopathic Physician.

Fulop also recommends you eat foods that decrease inflammation and calm the nervous system of your gut.

Inflammation from foods affects the nervous system of your gut, so avoid alcohol, sugar and dairy during stressful times. Try making a stir-fry of multi-colored veggies to ensure you're getting a variety of nutrients.”

In addition, “take a walk around the block in fresh air. Studies show that eating a candy bar in the middle of the afternoon may make you feel relaxed, but only lasts a few minutes. Walking around the block helps you release stress hormones,” says Fulop.

Tip #2: Health Psychologist Maggie Crowley suggests you ‘switch gears’ to manage stress because when you’re stressed, you’re often in a negative state of mind.

She recommends you take a minute or two to actually write a list of what’s going well. What you’re doing right and what you’re grateful for.

“This exercise is to flip that switch and remind yourself of what is going well. It’s not denying a difficult situation exists, but looking at the whole picture – the difficult and the positive,” says Crowley.

You can do this exercise on your most stressful days. That’s probably when you need it the most.

Tip #3: Alex Vasileski of A Mind and Body Total Fitness says: “Stress is built-up energy that manifests itself into feelings of anxiety. Physical exertion, like doing push-ups or jumping jacks, is a great way to put that energy to good use. You’ll also burn a few calories in the process.”

Vasileski recommends you remove stress from your body with this muscle-tension technique: Contract and relax your muscles starting with your extremities and work in toward the center of your body. Start by squeezing you fists, then forearms and calves, biceps and quads, butt, chest, back, finishing with abs.”

While these tips may seem simple, they’ll go a long way in helping you manage your stress. So give them a try.




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