Five Tension Tamers To Help Ease StressApr 28, 2023 ● By Meena Malhotra, M.D.
Photo by Siam for Adobe Stock
Stress is ubiquitous. The release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol help us cope with immediate challenges. But when the level of stress becomes chronic or goes beyond what our bodies can handle, it can compromise physical, emotional and mental well-being, which makes it harder to handle future stress.
These quick and simple tips make it
easy for us to change our response to stressors and live a more positive, fulfilling
life. Using these techniques can help train our bodies how to react to friendly
and not-so-friendly stressors. Tension tamers can assist in turning off the
alarm response and turning on the relaxation response, which helps us return to
normal functioning following a stressful event.
Breathe from the BellySit in a comfortable position and take a few deep
breaths by expanding the belly, rather than lifting the shoulders. Releasing
physical tension and increasing oxygen intake calms us quickly, even if
stressful events continue.
Spring into Action
Change the scenery and change our perspective, indoors
or outdoors. Walking gets our blood circulating and helps us blow off steam so
we can return to a new frame of mind. Even a short burst of exercise like
running up several flights of stairs or doing several sets of push-ups or
abdominal crunches can reduce stress. Exercise helps deliver more oxygen to the
brain and distracts us from stress to provide a fresh perspective on the
situation. Even simple stretching can help bring a little relief.
Take a Break
Whether we listen to music, dance or enjoy a hearty
laugh, it is calming for our nerves. Softer music, alone or combined with yoga,
guided imagery or soaking in the tub can help relax tense muscles. Upbeat music
can help lift our mood or keep us energized. Dancing to a favorite tune or
singing along can transport us to a stress-free zone. We can move our gaze away
from a workstation to visualize ourself in a favorite space, doing our favorite
things or being with our favorite people. Maintaining a sense of humor reminds
us that our stressors may not be as menacing as they seem. Purchase or download
a laugh track, cartoons, jokes or a favorite comedy TV show or movie to enjoy
when we’re feeling overwhelmed. It renews the spirit and breaks the stress
Write in a Journal
For those that like to write, journaling clarifies our
thoughts and feelings for increased self-knowledge. Putting the experience on
paper gets if off our mind and helps to refocus—and teaches us how to cope the
next time it happens.
Midday sleep gives us more patience, better reaction
time, increased learning, more efficiency and better health. If we only have
five minutes to spare, we can just close our eyes. Even brief rest reduces
stress and helps us relax.
For more help with dealing with stress it’s important to understand how the brain is communicating with the body at a deeper level. This can be done by testing neurotransmitters in urine. Neurotransmitter balance can be restored by working with a healthcare provider in a structured systematic fashion which addresses gut health, detoxification and optimization of hormones.To contact Dr. Meena Malhotra, M.D., medical director at Heal n Cure, located at 2420 Ravine Way, Ste. 400, in Glenview, call 847-686-4444 or visit HealnCure.com.