Does knowing that lowering your stress level would improve your health make you stress out about not being healthier? If so, you are a prime target for not only a little ironic laughter but some helpful hints to try to attempt to stay healthy in the face of stress.
Scientific studies have proven the benefits of stress reduction. The pulse and blood pressure lowers; headaches, stomach aches, and other aches and pains lessen or disappear and pre-existing medical conditions improve. All in all, the reduction of stress and the maintenance of your health can only lead to a better quality of life, so why not at least try?
Here are some common steps for staying healthy:
1. Recognize and listen to the warning signs your body gives you – If you feel overworked, over-tired and overwrought, most likely you are. Don’t push beyond your limits. If you are finding it hard to keep your eyes open at 9 p.m. one night while watching a movie, pay attention to that message and get some rest. Don’t ignore the physical changes that indicate the need for stress reduction. If your blood pressure is becoming more consistently high, accept it and try to change the factors that may be influencing this, stress or otherwise. Paying attention to the one true wealth you have, your body, is the most important thing you have to do today.
2. Make time for yourself – In the midst of taking care of work, home, children, a social life or whatever takes up your time, make the adjustment to fit you into your schedule. Plan a part of your day that is just for you (if not daily, at least weekly). You know best what relaxes you. Don’t be afraid to do it. If putting on the ugliest old t-shirt you have and dancing around to ‘It’s Raining Men’ and singing into a hairbrush does it, then by all means get to it. If you take the more traditional route of massage therapy, shopping, eating out or meditating, that’s also fine. Just be sure it gets done.
3. Visit your physician regularly – Not only is this a wise idea for anyone, whether you are facing enormous stress or not, those that are stressed can be relieved and comforted to find that their physician understands the effects that this tension is having on their bodies. Full physical check-ups and any tests your doctor orders should be undertaken. If nothing is wrong physically, you can work on the mental. If nothing is wrong mentally but an overabundance of stress, then it’s time to work on the physical, whether it be through exercise or treatment such as medication.