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Stress Management

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life. A small amount of stress can be good, motivating you to perform well. But multiple challenges daily, such as running late, meeting deadlines and being in an unhappy environment, can push you beyond your ability to cope.

Our brains come with an alarm system for our protection. When your brain becomes aware of a possible troublesome situation, it signals your body to release a burst of adrenalin that increases your heart rate and raises your blood pressure. This “fight-or-flight” response fuels you to deal with the situation. Once the threat is gone, your body is meant to return to a normal, relaxed state. Unfortunately, the nonstop challenges of modern life make it so that some people’s alarm systems don’t shut off.

Stress management gives you a range of tools to reset your brain’s alarm system. It can help your mind and body to readjust. Without it, your body might always be on high alert, which could lead to serious health problems over time. Don’t wait until stress damages your health, relationships or quality of life. Start practicing stress management techniques today. The fast pace and multiple challenges of modern life make stress management necessary for everyone.

To monitor your stress, you first need to identify what causes it. What makes you feel angry, tense, worried, impatient or irritable? Do you often get headaches, tight muscles or an upset stomach with no medical cause? Some stressors, such as job or family pressures, holidays, and financial concerns, are easy to identify. But daily frustrations and demands, such as repetitious behavior, running out of time or being late to an appointment, also contribute to your stress level.Even essentially positive events, such as moving, getting married or buying a house, can be stressful. Any change to your life can cause stress.

Once you’ve identified your stress causes, think about strategies for dealing with them. Identifying what you can control is a good starting point. For example, if stress keeps you up at night, the solution may be as easy as turning off the TV and computer and letting your mind slow and wind down before bed. Other times, such as when stress is based on high demands at work or a loved one’s illness, you might be able to change only your reaction.

Don’t feel like you have to figure it out on your own. Seek help and support from family and friends, whether you need someone to listen to you, help with child care or a ride to work when your car is in the shop. Many people benefit from practices such as deep breathing, tai chi, yoga, meditation or exploring nature. It’s important to set aside time for yourself. Get a massage, soak in a bubble bath, read, and listen to music, watch a movie— whatever helps you relax. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will also help you manage your stress. Make a conscious effort to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. Try spending less time with television, computer and phone and more “ME” time.

Stress won’t disappear from your life and stress management activities need to be ongoing. But by paying attention to what causes your stress and practicing ways to relax, you can reduce some of the bad effects of stress and improve your ability to cope with challenges. Relaxation techniques are an important part of stress management. Because of your busy life, relaxation might be low on your ‘To Do’ list. Everyone needs to relax and recharge to repair the damage stress makes to your mind and body.

Almost everyone can benefit from relaxation techniques, which can help slow your breathing and focus your attention. Common relaxation techniques include meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, tai chi and yoga. More-active ways of achieving relaxation include walking outdoors or participating in sports. It doesn’t matter which relaxation approach you choose. Sometimes one will work one day but a different one will work the next. Try several and select one that works for you in the moment, and practice them regularly.

This article is written by Cynthia Joy Maurice. Cynthia is a Life Design & Holistic Wellness Specialist. For your convenience she provides consultations and services at 4 locations in the Myrtle Beach, SC area; as well as in the comfort of your home or online. To contact Cynthia, please call 843-465-7138 or email her at findyourjoys@thejoys.us

Meditation – Exercise for the MIND

MEDITATION – EXERCISE FOR THE MIND When most people think about health, wellness, and improved fitness, the main thoughts that come to their mind include traditional forms of exercise such as running, strength training, swimming, or playing team sports, along with dieting and nutrition. While all are great and are going to work towards improving your physical fitness level and nutritional standing, one key element of ‘health and wellness’ that is far too often overlooked is the mental component. If you’re not taking care of mind and body, you’re leaving half of the equation missing. Yet, people do this each and every day. They put all their attention to their diet and workouts, without thinking about what’s going on in their mind. This is where meditation comes in. Think of meditation as exercise for the mind, the same way that running or a session of weight lifting helps to strengthen your body, or the same way that a grilled salmon and steamed vegetable meal provides you with nutrients. When you can align all three elements – exercise, good nutrition, and meditation, this is when you will achieve a state of optimal health and function. Practicing daily meditation has been shown to help you physically, mentally, and spiritually. 

Physical benefits of meditation:  

Reduced heart rate

  1. Reduced blood pressure
  2. Improved energy levels
  3. Decreased muscular tension
  4. Lower risk of heart disease
  5. Balancing of blood sugar levels
  6. Improved recovery from exercise

Mental/Psychological benefits of meditation:

  1.  Reduction in anger & aggression
  2. Increased happiness & joy
  3. Improved concentration & focus
  4. Increased self-confidence & self esteem 
  5. Improved general state of well being
  6. Improved total relaxation

Spiritual benefits of meditation

  1. Connecting the body & soul
  2. Prayer becomes more effective
  3. Fostering a closer relationship with your higher power
  4. Improving your karma

Meditation helps you to reach a higher level of focus & concentration – to have a clear mental state. Because the benefits are extremely varied, many can benefit by including meditation in their daily lives.  Meditation impacts you on so many levels that it is highly applicable to such a wide group of people. 

STRESS:  Stress is one of the worst silent killers in today’s world, impacting almost your entire overall wellbeing. 

Stress will sap your energy, riddle you with health concerns, decrease your enjoyment of daily living, and even deplete your mental resources to perform other tasks. Unless you are taking measures to control your stress, stress WILL control YOU.

Meditation is one of the greatest stress controlling techniques, so it can easily help to reduce your stress to help you start feeling healthier and better every day.

This Meditation Article is provided by http://www.thejoys.us

Contact Cynthia Maurice, CHLC at Cynthia@thejoys.us or call 843-465-7138 to schedule an appointment in the Myrtle Beach, SC area