“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James
To find out what stress can do to you and your body, read our blog about the role stress plays in chronic illnesses.
So, you may wonder how you can de-stress yourself or help someone else de-stress.
The number one way to alleviate stress is…laughter!!!
Make someone laugh, or if you’re the one needing stress relief, watch a stupid sitcom, or read a silly book.
For example, Monday, 1/4/21, was my first day back to work after a week’s vacation. I wasn’t really stressed when I got home, just tired. I just wasn’t in the mood for anything; I sat down to watch TV with my husband, Big Bang Theory, which I think is pretty stupid.
Sometimes, there’s nothing quite as good as a great belly laugh. If you have access to a computer, search for videos of babies laughing. That is the most wonderful sound in the world and you can’t help but not smile and/or laugh at that sound.
My favorite way to de-stress is to get a massage, but they cost money and never last long enough. Just about the time you’re relaxing, time is up and your massage is over. I know some of you don’t care for massages, so here are some other ways to de-stress your mind and body.
Don’t eat too much sugar, it can slow you down and make you feel sluggish. I know that our blog about the best foods to eat mentions dark chocolate, but you can’t overdo it, one piece is enough. Not only can too much sugar cause sluggishness, but it can also lead to diabetes and other serious illnesses if not eaten in moderation.
Moderation is the key to everything!!
Listen to music! Music can be so calming and relaxing. If you’re able to, dance along with the music, dancing releases the bad energy built up in your body and helps ease your mind and soul.
Speaking of dancing, that leads us into our next way to de-stress, exercise.
Any type of exercise you are able to do is beneficial.
Did you know that exercise can help generate new brain cells?
Think about how smart we’d all be if we exercised regularly!!
If you’re unable to stand, try some chair exercises, lift your feet (one at a time) off the floor and hold for as long as you can. Roll your shoulders and your neck, hold your arms out and make circles with them, anything to get your blood flowing in a better direction.
Breathing exercises are great as well. Meditation and yoga have been known to calm down the entire body. However, if you’re anything like me, you can’t meditate, so just close your eyes and take some deep breaths.
Make sure you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathing this way helps to slow your heart rate and decrease any stress you may feel. Go to a happy place while breathing and feel the stress exiting your body when you release the breath.
Try to become active in your community; this will give you something to occupy your mind. If your neighborhood has a watch, become a member, if not; check out your local community center or council on aging to volunteer.
Being around others (safely) can help you de-stress and ease your mind.
So, how do you de-stress and calm the mind?
Laugh, get a massage, don’t eat too much sugar, listen to music, sing and dance, exercise in general, meditation, yoga, just breathe, or volunteer in your community.
No matter how you choose to de-stress, please choose a way, stress is no good for your body or your mind, it can create havoc on you physically and mentally.