If you haven’t noticed the world is a bit stressful right now. Every day I see fabulous, hardworking people struggling to keep it all together emotionally and physically. The harder they work the more stressed they become. They feel hopeless, they have more pain and they don’t know how to make it change. When I started practice 21 years ago I had my patients rate their stress on a scale from 0 = no stress 10 = severe stress. The average was a 4. Today it is an overwhelming 8. In my book anything over a 5 on a sustained basis is not acceptable.
So what are we to do? We can’t blink and make it all better. The next best thing is moments of relief. Even small moments can make the tough times easier to handle. The tough part is making good moments of relief. Smoking, drinking and eating junk food give temporary moments of relief but end up causing more stress in the long run. Our goal is to not add to our stress but take some away.
Here are my ways of reducing my stress:
1. Hula Hooping . Try it. I bet you can’t keep a straight face when you do it. It brings you back to being a care-free kid.
2. Sing at the top of my lungs to my favorite song when driving to and from work. I don’t care who sees me. It makes me feel good and most likely whoever sees me smiles too.
3. Swinging a heavy kettlebell. Hard and fast exercise will take the stress right out of you. Jumping rope, running sprints, fast dancing will get the blood and feel good hormones pumping. You don’t have to do it for very long even 5 minutes will help.
4. Go on You Tube and watch funny animal videos. Here is one we saw recently that made my husband and I laugh.
5. Sleep. When I am short on sleep everything in life is tough. When I am ready to have a meltdown I make sure I get enough sleep.
Some other suggestions are to play tag with your kids, dance crazy in your living room, watch a funny movie, or watch these babies laughing. I dare you not to laugh when all of these babies get going.
The more fun, craziness, bliss, heart pumping, laughing moments you have the better life becomes. Just try one thing (even 1 minute) each day to help change your stress.
Here is to moments of joy for you.