3 practical exercises to alleviate your stress now and get you back to enjoying your life again

Does it feel like  balancing life and work is getting more challenging. You find yourself up at night worrying about tomorrow. Does it feel as though you are tense and irritable? A lot of people feel stressed due to the long hours at work and commuting. Do you find yourself getting home to just sit in front of the TV with no energy to get the rest of the things you need to get done. Are you feeling defeated and not sure how to start feeling better. A lot of people are feeling high levels of stress due to the high demands of our jobs and family obligations.  We all experience stress at one time or another but when not managed it can become chronic and can affect your health. When stress becomes chronic it can cause symptoms such as headaches, poor sleep, heart palpitations, high blood pressure and skin rashes.  Physical exercise has proven to decrease stress and can help health problems that include high blood pressure, poor sleep, anxiety, depression and improve your mood.  It is recommended to do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise three to five times a week but as little as 10 minutes may help decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. To feel the long-term benefits of exercise consistency is key.  How to get started
  • Start small and build up to the 30 minutes three to four times a week. If you feel 10 minutes is what you can do, do it and continue to add each day to build up to 30 minutes. 
  • Find something that you enjoy. Make a list of physical activities that you enjoy and schedule one each day to get you moving.
  • Barriers. Don’t allow yourself to make it a chore otherwise you will self-sabotage and not do it at all. Don’t beat yourself up if you have something come up that prevents you from exercising and just get back on track. Be consistent. 
  • Get support. If you are more likely to meet your goal with the support of someone else ask a friend to work out with you. 
Yoga Yoga help to focus on the body-mind connection to help you to relax while increasing physical strength and flexibility. Some studies show a reduction in high blood pressure, stress reduction, and lower heart rate. Studies have shown that yoga decreases the secretion of the primary stress hormone, cortisol. Another important component of yoga is the focus on being present which has shown to improve mood, coordination and attention span. If you are interested in trying it out  Walking Moderate walking is a great cardiovascular exercise that has proven to lower stress. Walking helps to boost your endorphins which can improve your mood. Try a mindful walk and be curious about your environment to soak in the natural beauty that surrounds you. Use all your senses by asking yourself what colors you see, what are you smelling, what are you hearing. Take some time to use your sense of touch and allow yourself to touch what you see. Allowing yourself to soak in the beauty that surrounds you can help increase you feeling calmer throughout your day.  Dancing Dancing is a fun way to relieve your stress. Dancing is also a great way to lose weight, build muscle, and improve your cardiovascular health. Whether you want to rock out to heavy metal or dance the samba you can express yourself and build confidence while releasing tension in your body.  It is important to note that exercise is not easy for those who symptoms of depression and anxiety may increase when thinking about starting an exercise program or going to a gym. The list that I have provided allows you to skip the gym and start where you are comfortable starting. For many, the thought of going to a gym or starting a new program feelings overwhelming but it doesn’t have to. Take the time you need to motivate yourself and remind yourself that it is ok to only do what feels good today and build on it. Exercise will not help if it increases your stress so it is important to set the stage and build a healthy relationship with exercise as you begin. Allow yourself to have fun and be creative with it.  Before starting any exercise program check with your doctor to make sure it is safe to do so.  If you continue to struggle with stress, anxiety or depression and are ready to seek therapy call me for a free 15 minute consultation at 888-856-9138.