OT - Tone-Up Tuesday
In deference to those who are still suffering from Seasons Eatings (Tubby Tuesday!), we’ll skip the PHYSICAL Tone-Up Tuesday and work on toning our mental health.
There’s good stress… and there’s bad stress. Do you know the difference? It’s important to identify your biggest stressors (and triggers) and manage the way you react to them.
Some stress is healthy. It energizes and motivates you. In an emergency, it can actually protect you by giving you a sense of focus.
Then there is harmful stress. It can cause physical, mental, and emotional aches and pains. It can cause your body and mind to overreact to situations, resulting in heart disease, weight loss/gain, depression, digestive problems, and countless other issues.
IDENTIFY YOUR STRESS TRIGGERS
It might be impossible to remove life’s stresses, but recognizing the triggers and understanding the things that stress you out are helpful in solving the underlying problem. If you cannot completely remove those stressful things from your life, try to minimize your contact.
WAYS TO DESTRESS
Stand And Stretch
Stand up every half hour or 15 minutes for a short time period. The stretching will keep your circulation moving and standing breaks up the monotony of your day. If you have time for a short walk, then take a short walk through your office. Get a glass of water or take a trip to the restroom before returning to your desk. The movement reduces the tension that develops when you stay in one position for an extended period.
This practice of inward-focused thought and deep breathing has been shown to reduce heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure. Meditation's close relatives, yoga and prayer, can also relax the mind and body.
Aniki. Who has a mind like a rabid hamster on crack running the wheel. Meditate. Bahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!
Slow, deep breathing, even if it’s for only for a couple of minutes can dramatically decrease tension.
- Power 10 - Take 10 breaths. Focus on feelings of anxiety and stress while inhaling and releasing and letting go while exhaling for 6 seconds.
- Heart boost - Think about two of the best moments of your life and then positive feelings you experienced during these specific moments as you inhale. Release any negative feelings as you exhale. When you pair a positive emotion with an inhalation, your heart will shift rhythms in order to improve your mental state.
- Heart shifting - Here you’ll take three sets of five breaths with a 4-second inhale and a 6-second exhale. During the first five breaths, focus on negative emotions and then let them go with each exhale. For the second set of breaths, clear your mind of any other thoughts and just focus on the feeling of inhaling and exhaling. Finally, focus on embracing “the love in your heart during the inhale, whether that be for a family member or friend. Let go of the negative emotion while exhaling.”
A 2008 study from Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia discovered that chewing gum can reduce the stress hormone cortisol in saliva by 16 percent during mild stress and about 12 percent during moderate stress. What a way to work out your stress!
Being hugged by a trusted person may act as an effective means of conveying support and that increasing the frequency of hugs might be an effective means of reducing the deleterious effects of stress
It's impossible to escape stress when it follows you everywhere. Cut the cord. Avoid emails and TV news. Take time each day — even if it's for just 10 or 15 minutes — to escape from the world.
Naam Yoga Hand Trick
Simply applying pressure to the space between your second and third knuckle (the joints at the base of your pointer and middle fingers) can create a sense of instant calm. It activates a nerve that loosens the area around the heart, so any of that fluttery feeling you feel when you're nervous will end up going away.
Listen To Music
Music is a powerful way to instantly improve your mood and mindset. Put on a favorite upbeat song or listen to relaxing classical music when you start to feel a bit overwhelmed or stressed. You can put music onto a phone for access at any time and listen to a few songs during your break.
Ideally, you want to focus on classical and soft music that gives you a relaxed feeling. If you do not enjoy the music, then try for upbeat and positive songs that have a clear structure and melody that is familiar. Avoid new songs or music without clear structure, since it may interfere with your focus. The best music to improve your mood and help with your mental health is a slow song with a familiar melody that makes you feel relaxed
Stress is a result of us not letting it out. One of the easiest ways to release this stress is just by letting out a good old-fashioned primal scream. Don’t do this in the workplace…
A short visualization can be the quickest path to getting centered. Just get comfortable somewhere quiet and imagine the person, place or thing that makes you happy. If accomplishing a goal charges you up, imagine someone thanking you for what you've completed.
Or is sitting on the beach where you need to go in your imagination? Lean back - yes in your chair - and think about one of those foo-foo drinks with an umbrella. Can you picture your favorite cold beverage in your hand?
Create Calendar Cushions
One of the biggest stress factors is having an overbooked calendar. In the future, start creating cushions in your schedule so that you aren’t rapidly bouncing from Point A to Point B.
Take The Edge Off
Simple things, like a warm bath, listening to music, or spending time on a favorite hobby, can give you a much-needed break from the stressors in your life.
Laughter has been found to lower levels of stress hormones, reduce inflammation in the arteries, and increase "good" HDL cholesterol.
What do YOU do to destress?