First, the bad news: stress-related illness is at an all time high. The ugly: constant stress is dangerous to health. The good: there are helpful and effective ways to reduce and eliminate stress. The key is to start now and practice consistency.
Statistics show that 95% of healthcare visits in America are stress-related. More than 30% of people say they are under constant stress and 80% indicate their stress has grown in the last 5 years. Stress causes useless fatigue, emotional and physical pain and subsequent dis-ease.
Lifestyle Tips for Stress Reduction:
- Regular daily exercise & walks to oxygenate tissue; take a walk break vs. a coffee break
- Avoid smoking, which increases stress. Nicotine constricts blood vessels
- Get away for a short vacation, even if just a weekend or a day; change the pace, take in nature, change the scenery and energy
- Learn relaxing breathing techniques to integrate during your day. Discover how to take instant mini-vacations in the midst of stress with visualization and breathing techniques. Allow this to become a natural part of your day
- Meditate to quiet the mind and develop a daily practice. Learn a 10-minute routine that you can use anytime, anywhere without sitting, with eyes wide open and when stress levels peak: ten minutes in ten days program.
- As significant or more as any approach is to allow yourself to experience the benefits of therapeutic touch bodycare. Massage therapy, cranial sacral therapy, hypnotherapy, aromatherapy and reflexology all have shown effective results to reduce stress, a sense of wellbeing and peace of mind.
STRESS can result in the body and mind being locked in a state of fight/flight/freeze. This means the nervous system is stuck in a feedback loop that believes danger is ever present. The body will not move away from this state of being without some sort of intervention. In another time, man was compelled to stand and fight for survival (whatever the enemy), to run (flee) to safety or to become paralyzed by fear and do nothing, often resulting in demise. Modern man has a different set of perceived enemies and the same system is intact for survival, but was never intended to function non-stop in the capacity seen today.
Statistics reveal that man still struggles with handling stress and diffusing the fight or flight nervous system reaction. Although we cannot separate the mental from the physical, the stress that occurs in physical tissue must also be addressed in specific ways. Seeking help for mental stress is only part of the solution; getting therapeutic relief for the physical body is the rest of the story. Explore your options, choose a favorite body therapy that you resonate with and provides results you need. Then stick with it and create a relationship with a professional practitioner who can understand your body's needs. Free the body tissue from old stressors, trauma and chronic pain of prior injuries that have become 'locked' into the nervous system.
The GOOD NEWS: adding in 10 mindful minutes a day and allowing yourself a weekly time to regenerate, let go of tension and stress with a therapeutic massage or reflexology could change or save your life.