Simple Tips For a Less Stressed Life
Everyone gets overwhelmed sometimes. But too much stress can be hard on your health—so it’s important to find ways to offset those negative effects. “People don’t realize how stress can essentially make you sick. Stress causes your body to respond as if you’re in danger, making hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, or give you a burst of energy,” says Steven DeVita, MD, family medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clarita Medical Offices. “Occasionally, this ‘fight-or-flight’ response is okay, but when it happens regularly, stress can cause regular headaches, upset stomach, or a weakened immune system—making it hard to fight off the common cold or viruses.”
These healthy habits can help you stay cool under pressure, even when you’re pressed for time.
Sweat more, stress less
Symptoms of stress can create a vicious cycle between your mind and body. Exercise helps to break this cycle by relieving tension and releasing feel-good brain chemicals that fight the effects of stress.
Take a break to breathe
When stress strikes, try a few minutes of deep breathing. Breathe in for a count of 5, hold for 5, and exhale for 5. Repeat 10 times or until you start feeling more calm, grounded, and focused.
Unplug to recharge
Your phone needs time to recharge, and so does your brain. Disconnecting from digital noise for a little while each day can help you stress less, sleep better, and spend more time doing more rewarding activities.
Looking for more stress-fighting activities? Visit www.kp.org/stressmanagement.
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