Stress isn’t always a bad thing—in fact, a healthy level of stress often can be the thing that motivates us to achieve our full potential or excel at a task. But when stress becomes worry or anxiety and the pressure starts to mount, it can be a detriment to the body, mind and emotions. Here are some simple ways to help you relieve the negative stress in your life:
• Breathe deeply and slowly, and become aware of the movement of air into and out of your lungs. Deep, slow breathing increases oxygen concentration in the blood, helping to calm the body and clear the mind.
• Exercise, even for just a few minutes. You don’t need to engage in strenuous activity—light stretching or a short walk can help lessen stress levels.
• Get plenty of rest, and eat a healthy diet. Don’t add to the other stresses of life by failing to take care of yourself properly.
• Laugh and smile throughout your day—even these simple acts can help relieve stress.
• Pray, meditate or practice mindfulness. Assuming a prayerful or meditative state even for just a few minutes each day can provide significant calming benefits.
If you need help managing your stress, talk to your doctor or a professional counselor.