With everything going on in life things can get a bit taxing, but there’s actually an easy way to keep stress at bay: Take time to connect with the mind, body and the needs of each. Pausing for a little bit each day and reconnecting with the inner self and physical requirements works wonders on the mind, spirit and body; it’s also an excellent way to ward off too much stress. Chicago Healers Practitioner Dr. Helen Lee provides five easy ways to stay calm, relaxed and connected to the self throughout even the busiest days.
- Breathe. It may feel silly to remind oneself to breathe, but it is so important. There are two types of breathing: shallow and deep. Taking shallow chest breaths causes the body to operate in fight-or-flight mode, which is highly stressful. Less oxygen goes to the brain and the body continues to operate on high alert. It is important to take deep abdominal breaths, which stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. This optimizes digestion, relaxation and detoxification while keeping hormones balanced.
- Gratitude. Remembering things to be grateful for throughout the day really does wonders for personal state of mind and for the body. Positive thinking releases chemicals that help with digestion, euphoria, relaxation and overall well-being.
- Laughter. Laughter is the best medicine as the saying goes, and this is often the case. Laughing for 10 minutes a day will do amazing things. It changes the physiology of the entire body—increases circulation, releases different “happy” chemicals in the body, reduces stress, keeps everyone in a lighter frame of mind, helps the heart and can even burn calories. It’s contagious, too!
- Sit in silence. Taking 10 to 30 minutes to quiet the mind and clear thoughts can be so beneficial. If meditating is not preferable, spend the time visualizing goals for the day. This will put focus on personal needs, which will be relaxing later when the day starts to get stressful.
- Take a 15 to 20-minute walk outside. Sometimes all that’s needed is fresh air and sunlight. Taking a step away from the computer, the phone, the office, etc. can really help clear thoughts and be very calming.
Stress is almost unavoidable these days but there are many ways to keep it at bay. Practicing these five methods is a great start.
Chicago Healers is the nation’s pioneer prescreened integrative health care network, offering a comprehensive understanding of each practitioner’s services, approach and philosophy. Our holistic health experts teach and advocate natural and empowered health and life choices through their practices, the media, educational event, and website. With close to 200 practitioners and more than 300 treatment services, Chicago Healers has provided nearly 400 free educational events for Chicagoans and has been featured in more than 300 TV news programs and print publications. For more information, visit http://www.chicagohealers.com.