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Managing Well Being to Naturally Manage Stress

Aug 18, 2007
Managing stress is becoming more important as our environment becomes more tension-inducing every year. From traffic jams to work-related stress, there are more stimuli that can make the heart race and the adrenaline flow than at any time in the past.

What is the best way to improve physical and psychological well-being?

Exercise is a proven stress-reliever. It releases endorphins that counteract stress hormones, and improve mood. It's always difficult to start an exercise program, so it makes sense to start gradually and work your way up. Stretching and flexing the muscles in the neck, back, shoulders, arms and abdomen help to take away tension and make it easier for the muscles to relax. Exercises that improve cardiovascular function benefit the heart and lungs and affect the blood. This causes chemical changes in the body and the release of and balance of hormones that improve overall mood. Starting and sticking with a regular exercise plan also encourages a healthy concept of self, giving one a better outlook on things and a line of defense against stressors.

There are also relaxation techniques, or exercises that are extremely helpful in managing and reducing stress. One such technique is trying to touch the shoulder to the ears. Hold your shoulder for a few seconds and then let the shoulders drop. Rotate one shoulder toward the rear and then the other, do each shoulder up to ten times and then do both shoulders together.

Another exercise that is good for relaxing and good for the body is to lie down with knees bent, press the back down so that all parts of the back touch the surface, while doing so pull in hard on the stomach muscles. Then just relax them. This helps to let go of tension as well as firm abdominal muscles and strengthens the back. Many people find specific exercise programs such as Pilates, tai chi and yoga to be very relaxing.

Getting adequate sleep can do wonders for the body and mind. Just going to bed a half an hour earlier at night, or taking a short nap during the day, can reenergize the body and recharge the mind, If you've had enough sleep, you can make clear, thoughtful decisions.

If a nap is not possible make sure you take time to relax or take a break. Even a fifteen minute respite from work, school, or regular daily activities is advisable for quiet, privacy and introspection.

Taking a brisk walk or even just going outside or to another room, the change in scenery can eliminate existing stress or to counter it before it gets to be too much.

It is also necessary to eat properly. Eat an adequate and nutritious breakfast each day. Hunger cannot only leave you less able to cope with stress but can also be considered a stressor in itself. It is also important to make sure to eat a well balanced diet for optimal health.

Avoiding or reducing the consumption of caffeine containing substances is a simple and effective way to reduce tension and stress. Caffeine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system in a similar fashion as stress as do other substances like alcohol and tobacco that people often use as a means of reducing stress.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Stress Management.
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