Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC, Plantation FL Psychotherapist offers advice for stress management.
Simple Things You Can Do to Keep Stress at Bay
Author and physician Deepak Chopra would say that fun creates “happy molecules,” and happy molecules help you avoid illness. Having fun actually changes your body’s chemistry, resulting in a reduction of stress and an improvement in health. Sp, make it a point to do something fun every day! Even something as small as tickling your lover and laughing together will create “happy molecules.”
Nice ones! Having pleasant, kind, and supportive people around you is a good way to reduce stress. Mental health experts always cite social support as a critical factor to being psychologically healthy. So find some cool people, and spend time with them!
Visit your chiropractor or massage therapist.
Stress can also cause vertebral subluxations that interfere with the body’s ability to heal itself. Chiropractic care can help rebalance the nervous system, so the body can begin to repair the damage caused by stress. Also, massage therapy has been shown to be an effective way to reduce stress, and touch in general has all sorts of beneficial effects on health.
Keep a gratitude journal.
Every night before you go to sleep, take one minute (no matter how busy you
are, surely you can find one little minute), and write down three things you are grateful for about that day. It can be anything! The taste of your Starbucks mocha or the cute receptionist at the office or the funny way your dog likes to sleep. That should take you about 20 seconds. Then, use the rest of your minute to think about, and mentally enjoy those three things again. This simple one minute daily practice can completely transform your life!
Minimize or abstain from alcohol.
While a chilled Chardonnay at the end of a long week can be quite pleasant, daily alcohol intake robs you of opportunities to practice healthier stress management techniques. In the long run, it reduces your ability to properly deal with stress. Moreover, alcohol consumption can have a whole host of negative health effects, including weakening the immune system, inducing sleep problems, causing dehydration, and interacting with prescription medications.
Get a “mental tune up.”
One of my patients calls this a “check up from the neck up.” Essentially,just as you periodically get a tune-up on your car to keep it running smoothly, your mind can also benefit from this kind of “routine maintenance.” So once in a while, particularly when you notice your stress level is high, have a few sessions with a qualified therapist or life coach to help get things back on track.
What is causing you stress lately?
Start implementing some of these simple and easy suggestions and watch your stress get smaller and your happiness get bigger!
How too much stress can really hurt us: