Ever feel like you're giving too much, going too fast, and not taking enough time to relax? You are not alone! All of this stress is likely creating an unhealthy response in your body. Research shows that the stress response impacts nearly every organ system in the body. It can manifest as headaches, abdominal pain, muscle tension, and of course, emotional distress.The good news is, you can heal from the impact of too much stress and start to relax!
Questions to ask yourself as you are working towards healing from stress and burnout are:
- What are the sources of my stress?
- What helps me to de-stress?
- What are the barriers that stand between me and healing?
Make a short list of the stressors in your life. Things like - work, finances, illness, family, lack of sleep, etc.
Remember, life stressors are normal and unavoidable. The problem is that often the buildup of chronic stress overtime, with little or no relief, causes the negative physical and mental consequences. Next, think about what changes you can make to positively influence one of your stressors. (Hint: Change can be both behavioral or a matter of changing your perspective on the stressor.)
Here are my TOP 4 ways to start relaxing now!
1. Get Creative: paint, color, knit, dance, sing, write, or play an instrument. You don't have to be good at any of these things to try them! Having a creative outlet can allow your mind and body to process feelings and relieve negative emotions, which helps to reduce stress.
2. Laugh: By "laugh" I don't mean chuckle. I mean from the belly, uncontrollable laughter, with maybe a few tears of joy in there too.
3. Exercise: This is probably the best natural stress reliever there is. Take a walk on a sunny day, do some push-ups in your living room, run up and down the stairs a few times, go to the gym, etc. Thirty minutes of getting the heart-rate up does wonders for decreasing stress.
4. Sleep: Last, but definitely not least, is sleep. I cannot emphasize to you enough the importance of getting good sleep for mental and physical well-being.
Try a few of those activities this week and really commit to having a less stressful life for yourself. A good rule of thumb is to try to get 30 to 60 minutes a day of relaxation time.
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