Reducing Chronic Stress - 7 Steps

In today's world, stress carries a negative connotation. Rather than being an ally, it has become a slave master. The demands of life forces many people to rush endlessly about without a sense of direction, putting out fires but never achieving anything worthwhile. Stress becomes chronic, leading to high blood pressure and the diseases common to today's lifestyle.
The media makes things worse as it projects a world full of trouble. Negative news suppress the desire to reach for the stars. Friends, schooled in the art of self-denial, try to squelch incentive. With all this it's hard to find ways to turn stress to an advantage.

No one can control what happens in the world but they can control the impact stress will have on their health and longevity. Stress does not have to be public enemy number one. It's knowing how to handle it and use it effectively that leads to accomplishment. Stress is a great motivator. But it has become chronic and like all good things it is abused. There are seven steps that can help control chronic stress and turn it into an ally.

Burn off Some Stress

Rather than worry constantly about the state of affairs, getting active is one of the best methods to reduce stress. Exercise stimulates the endorphins that produce relaxation and a feeling of well-being. A brisk walk can ease muscle tension, increase circulation and bring both the body and brain the oxygen they need to function efficiently. It's impossible to feel stressed out walking among flowers and soaking in the warmth of a beautiful summer day.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is an essential requirement for health. Obesity often results from the inability to sleep. The body needs seven to nine hours of rest to rejuvenate and repair the damage caused by the previous day. Preparing for sleep is a key to insure a good night of rest. Loud music, alcohol, eating a major meal before bedtime will insure that sleeplessness rules the night. Turning off violent programs on TV and the computer an hour before bedtime helps reduce stress levels. Dimming the lights helps produce the melatonin that induces sleep. A warm shower or bath relaxes tight muscles.

Watch The Diet

A diet of high fat, sugar and empty calories puts pressure on the body's ability to cope with food foreign to it. The body's natural response is by creating inflammation. Pain does not enhance good sleep and elevates stress levels.

Drink Green Tea

It contains a good deal of L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation. Green tea increases natural levels of Gamma-aminobutycic acid (GABA), an amino acid that helps the communication between nerve cells. GABA boosts dopamine and serotonin levels both of which stimulate emental relaxation.

Smile and Laugh More

Next to exercise, smiling and laughter help create endorphins in the hypothalamus. Smiling makes everyone feel better. Even if there's no reason to smile, the very act helps ease stress levels. A smile uses fewer facial muscles than does a frown. Think of a happy event to help crack a smile. Read the Sunday funnies or watch a few funny movies.

Budget Money and Time

Money is a great stress producer. Worries about money is one of the major reasons why many marriages fall apart. It's not knowing where money goes that creates excessive worry and anxiety.

Time is one commodity no one seem to have enough of. But the reason why so many are pressed for time is because they haven't learned to organize it. Feeling rushed produces more stress. The best way is to learn how to schedule every day's activities, particularly those at work where deadlines must be met.

Create a Positive Outlook on Life

Life is meant to be enjoyed. Many people know how to make a living, but don't know how to live. Living for the moment instead of basing happiness on a future that might never arrive is one key to dispel loneliness and relieve stress. It means looking at the bright side of life. It means being thankful for the freedoms enjoyed. Socializing is a great stress reliever.

These seven steps can greatly reduce a good deal of stress and help maintain health and longevity. And in today's environment with all its negative news, it's the one individual who can handle stress effectively who will be the envy of those who let stress dictate their level of health.

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