My Top Five Stress Relievers


First, allow me to say that I am by no means a health connoisseur; watching every nutritional thing I eat or drink. Nor am I someone who goes to a gym and works out, or has any kind of daily exercise routine. I’m not a vegetarian, vegan, or only eat foods that are strictly organic.

But if all or some of those things above works for others, I sincerely think it’s great because different things work for different people.

What seems to work for me though, and has for the past 59 years, is just listening to my body and allowing it to tell me what it needs and doesn’t need. I try to live a healthy life by not denying myself things that are pleasurably indulgent, but just not to excess. For me, worrying or stressing over every single thing I eat, drink or do has just as much of a negative impact as going to the other extreme of not being consciously aware of any of it.

For me it's more about balance and not tipping the scales to extremes.

However, whenever I get sick or feel out-of-sorts, I will always take the natural route by using alternative methods, such as herbs, aromatherapy, Reiki, reflexology and meditation because my body seems to respond well to these things.

Today, I would like to share some tips that help me counter stress.

Stress

We all at one time or another have experienced stress and will continue to experience it because let’s face it, life can be stressful.

Listed below are five things I do that assist me whenever I’m feeling stressed out, anxious or overwhelmed.


One of the first things that happens to me whenever I'm stressed is that my breathing becomes shallow and tight. I remember back when I was still acting and how my breathing would get right before I had to go onstage because I was so tense with stage fright that it literally felt as though I had stopped breathing. So, I got into the habit of taking five minutes before I walked onstage and stood in a quiet corner by myself and took slow, long, deep breaths, which greatly relaxed and centered me.

I have found that there is a strong correlation between being more consciously aware of breathing and feeling well. Conscious breath seems to quiet the mind, relax the body and reduce stress.


I'm a big believer in the power of aromatherapy and using essential oils. Two oils that I always have in my home are lavender and eucalyptus, both of which help to calm my emotions and give mental clarity by inhaling a few drops from the palms of my hands. They are also two essential oils that are great for assisting in the discomfort of colds, flu's, and many other ailments.


One of the most beneficial things I can do for myself whenever I'm stressed out is to take a long walk. Walking not only helps to reduce physical tension, but it also helps to clear my mind. I especially like to take walks through the many parks here in Philadelphia because I find that spending time within nature is so healing - mind, body and spirit.

I use music when I'm feeling stressed. In fact, I have certain CD's that I listen to which greatly help in calming my nerves and restoring a sense of peace. Music is a very influential tool in altering my state of mind. Sometimes I'll even listen to music while taking a walk because the two together work wonders.

I saved this one for last because it's probably my favorite. Many times what happens to me when I'm stressed is that I get so wrapped up in the stress that I forget to take time to PLAY. And taking time to play not only helps mentally and emotionally, but I find that it also helps to alter my perspective on whatever is stressing me out. I will play by doing things like: color in a coloring book with crayons, take an afternoon to have an adventure by visiting a part of the city that I've never been, I will also sometimes put on some great dance music and dance around my apartment like a crazy person.

I love watching children or dogs play because of the way they abandon themselves so freely by living in the moment and enjoying it. They know exactly how to PLAY.

Hope these five tips help in some way.

Wishing you a playful weekend everyone!
X


36 comments

  1. Great advice, Ron! Moderation is very important and something a lot of people don't do. I think I do all of your suggestions in some form, except maybe number one. Did you notice that your suggestions basically cover the five senses? I love that.

    I may have to go buy a coloring book now!

    ReplyDelete
  2. 'For me it's more about balance and not tipping the scales to extremes'



    I agree with that, Ron. Over-indulgence can be a dangerous thing. I resort to breathing exercises when I feel the need to calm down but that's all. I like the idea of colouring pictures, I think I could lose myself in such a recreational act. In fact, I might buy a colouring book next time I go out.


    The weekend is upon us, have a good one x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ron, what great tips for reducing stress! I love this post because you touched on something that I think is so important, knowing what works for you and listening to your body by not going to extremes. I know people who work out and watch everything they eat, but then stress over missing a day or eating something that's not healthy and then feel guilty about it. Like you said, I think it's all about balance.


    Thank you for sharing the link about aromatherapy and using essential oils because it's something I want to know more about. I love the scent of lavender!


    Great post, Ron! Have a wonderful weekend x

    ReplyDelete
  4. "I love watching children or dogs play because of the way they abandon themselves so freely by living in the moment and enjoying it. They know exactly how to PLAY." Ron, you are right about that, we should all take time to play! My husband and I will sometimes have our grandchildren for the weekend if my son and his wife take a getaway trip and we so enjoy it. Kids are great reminders to lighten up, have fun and not take everything so seriously.


    I like your advice about being more conscious of breathing because I do notice that when I'm stressing over something, my breathing does become more shallow and tight.


    Very informative post, Ron. Thank you for sharing it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Rob LenihanMarch 27, 2015

    Ron, what a terrific post! As one seriously-stressed out guy, I really appreciate these suggestions.


    The scary thing about stress is that it's addictive, so after a while you start looking around for things to stress about because that's how you're accustomed to living. It is a deadly treadmill and it is important to get off as quickly as possible.


    Meditation has made a big difference in my life as I slowly start to enjoy a peaceful mind rather a raucous one. I'm interested in Reiki and aromatherapy, so thanks for the reminder,


    I like to do qigong exercises, healthy visualizations, and emotional freedom tapping, or EFT. If you don't know about EFT, you may want to check out YouTube or some websites. It's fascinating stuff.


    Thanks so much for this post, buddy! It's been a great help! Have a tremendous, stress-free weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey there Bijoux!

    Yes, for me it's always been about moderation and not going to either extremes of excess. And that has always seemed to work for me in staying healthy.

    " Did you notice that your suggestions basically cover the five senses? I love that."

    HA! No, I didn't notice that but you're right! Great observation!

    "I may have to go buy a coloring book now!"



    I have TWO coloring books and a BIG box of Crayola crayons. What fun! And do know what I also love to do? SNIFF the crayons because I love the smell of them - HA!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have an AWESOME weekend!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gooood morning Valerie!

    "Over-indulgence can be a dangerous thing."

    Yes, and either way. I find that when I stay in the middle, I feel better all around.

    "I resort to breathing exercises when I feel the need to calm down but that's all."

    Good for you! Breath is such a powerful tool when I feel stressed and need to calm down. I started becoming more aware of it when I was acting because I would get so TENSE before a performance.

    " I like the idea of colouring pictures, I think I could lose myself in such a recreational act. In fact, I might buy a colouring book next time I go out."



    I have TWO coloring books and a BIG box of Crayola crayons. What fun!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady. Have a lovely weekend!
    X to you and Joe

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey there Elaine!

    "My husband and I will sometimes have our grandchildren for the weekend if my son and his wife take a getaway trip and we so enjoy it. Kids are great reminders to lighten up, have fun and not take everything so seriously."

    I agree! Many years ago I taught a creative dramatics course at a summer camp for kids and had the time of my life. And I think THEY taught me more than I taught them because of their openness to freely express themselves in the acting exercises. I LOVE being around kids!

    " I do notice that when I'm stressing over something, my breathing does become more shallow and tight."



    Me too!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super weekend!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  9. "The scary thing about stress is that it's addictive, so after a while you start looking around for things to stress about because that's how you're accustomed to living. It is a deadly treadmill and it is important to get off as quickly as possible."

    Yes, Rob, you are SOOOOOOOOOO right about that. Stress IS addictive because we start looking for it by anticipating it.

    "Meditation has made a big difference in my life as I slowly start to enjoy a peaceful mind rather a raucous one. I'm interested in Reiki and aromatherapy, so thanks for the reminder."

    When I meditate, I do a combination of all three (meditation, Reiki and aromatherapy) because they work really well together. Last week I got a really bad chest cold so I was using them a lot. And amazingly enough, I got well very fast.

    "I like to do qigong exercises, healthy visualizations, and emotional freedom tapping, or EFT. If you don't know about EFT, you may want to check out YouTube or some websites. It's fascinating stuff."



    Thanks so much for sharing that because I've heard of EFT but don't know much about it. I will definitely check it out You Tube this weekend!


    Have a faaaaaabulous weekend, buddy. And thanks for stopping by!


    X

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hellooooooooo there Debbie!

    "and I'm somehow soothed knowing I use all five of them, too!"

    You GO, girl!!! That's GREAT!

    "Of course, I'll add beading jewelry or writing to your list because being creative helps me cope with stress. Making something useful like a pair of earrings, or writing something like a poem, makes me feel all accomplished, which beats back the negativity of stress!"

    Good point you made! And I sooooooo agree....doing something creative DOES help cope with stress. I like to get outside and take pictures because it's makes me feel creative and positive, thus reducing stress!

    "And another way I cope is whacking a tennis or golf ball, ha! Sometimes I need something more strenuous than a walk!"



    You're right. And my brother Tom is the same way, he loves to play tennis AND golf. And that's his way of letting go of stress.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a glorious weekend!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ron, what a great post! And it's ironic you posted about this topic today because I've been feeling very stressed out lately with my job. I love your suggestion to take time to PLAY because it's something I don't do but need to.

    "I have found that there is a strong correlation between being more consciously aware of breathing and feeling well. Conscious breath seems to quiet the mind, relax the body and reduce stress." I have never thought of breathing in that way but it makes total sense.


    Thanks for sharing this post, dude! I enjoy your diversity in writing about things that you've learned in life.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hiya Matt!

    Trust me, I too get stressed out so this post is a reminder to myself whenever I do.

    "I have never thought of breathing in that way but it makes total sense."



    I first became consciously aware of breathing when I was acting onstage because I began to see how it helped with my paralyzing stage fright. It truly made me feel more relaxed and less nervous. I also use breath when I mediate as well.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a most excellent weekend!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yours are the same as mine. If I start my day out with intention I am more likely to stay balanced...when this doesn't happen, the first thing I do is concentrate on my breath.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have called on all the time I've spent in meditation retreats and teaching patients abdominal breathing many times when I am stressed, particularly in medical situations. I distinctly remember several years ago when my son had to have a spinal tap. Thankfully, they put him out for it, but I had to hold his hand while he had the IV put in and afterwards, I sat outside on a bench weeping and steadying my breath until I could walk again. I believe in the power of breath!


    I actually use all the others, too, in various forms - long warm scented baths, dancing, music. I would add talking with a friend as a stress reliever. And as for walking, absolutely. In fact, I just finished with TurboTax and I'm headed out for a walk right not!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hiya Suzi!

    " If I start my day out with intention I am more likely to stay balanced...when this doesn't happen, the first thing I do is concentrate on my breath."

    Thank you for mentioning "intention" because that's one of mine as well. I state my intention before I head into work each day and it's ironic, because when I forget to do so, I'm more likely to allow the slightest thing to stress me out.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fantastic weekend!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  16. "For me it's more about balance and not tipping the scales to extremes." Same here, Ron. I won't deny myself divine decadence at times, but try to be aware of how much. And it's the same with exercising, if I miss a day here and there I don't beat myself up. Like you, I listen to my body and follow accordingly.

    Great tips! I just recently started reading some books on aromatherapy because I'm very interested in how it works. I get a massage every couple of months and the woman I go to uses essential oils in her massage oil. And what I really like about her is that she'll customize them for each of her clients. I love the scent of lavender!

    " I will also sometimes put on some great dance music and dance around my apartment like a crazy person." LOL Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  17. "I have called on all the time I've spent in meditation retreats and teaching patients abdominal breathing many times when I am stressed, particularly in medical situations."

    That's awesome! And I bet it helped them tremendously. I think all hospitals should do this with there patients because I know it would greatly assist them with their stress and anxiety.

    " and afterwards, I sat outside on a bench weeping and steadying my breath until I could walk again. I believe in the power of breath!"

    Meee too! It's pretty amazing, isn't it?

    "long warm scented baths..."

    That's one of mine as well. I have a very deep bath tub in my apartment (it's an old one from back in the 1930's), and it's perfect for taking long warm baths. I especially enjoy taking baths during the colder winter months.

    "And as for walking, absolutely. In fact, I just finished with TurboTax and I'm headed out for a walk right not!"

    HA! I know what you mean because I filed my taxes with TurboTax last month, and oy vey...what a headache.

    Have a fantastic weekend, my friend. Thanks for stopping by!

    X

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey ho Robert!

    " And it's the same with exercising, if I miss a day here and there I don't beat myself up."

    Good for you!

    "I get a massage every couple of months and the woman I go to uses essential oils in her massage oil. And what I really like about her is that she'll customize them for each of her clients. I love the scent of lavender!"



    That's AWESOME! God, it's been ages since I've had a massage. I used to go to a woman here in Philly who would swap with me - she would give me a hot stone massage and I would give her a hot stone reflexology treatment. Faaaabulous!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a grrrrrrrreat weekend!

    X

    ReplyDelete
  19. Mark PetruskaMarch 28, 2015

    Taking a walk is my go-to stress reliever. Music also helps. Come to think of it, so does breathing...


    However, I am one of those people who is obsessive over what I eat/drink - but this is a relatively new development. And 50 lbs. later, it's working great for me!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wonderful Advice my Friend! Just be yourself. First get to know yourself then invite yourself to the party that you have every day. Listen to what the body tells you. It is amazing how intelligent you get by just knowing the answers are inside you. Find the aromas and music that matches the mood you are in and let them become your partners for the day. Walking is the best mode of transportation. It gets us where we need to go and gives more time to be with ourselves. And when you can laugh and feel the joy in things then that is what you have for yourself and what you have to give to others.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Ron, I've never tried hot stone massage, but since you said it was faaaaaabulous I may have to because the woman I go to offers it in her studio. I've never tried reflexology either. Is that done on the feet?

    ReplyDelete
  22. "I've never tried reflexology either. Is that done on the feet?"


    Yes, it is. It can also be done on the hands but I'm only certified in foot reflexology. I also took a course in hot stone, so I'm certified to use them in a session. And let me tell you, the hot stones feel faaaabulous on the feet!

    ReplyDelete
  23. "However, I am one of those people who is obsessive over what I eat/drink - but this is a relatively new development. And 50 lbs. later, it's working great for me!"


    That's AWESOME, Mark! As I shared, I think different things work for different people. And because of your relatively new development, I think it's so important that you watch what you eat. And obviously it's working because of how much better you feel! You GO, boy!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Hope you're having a great time on your trip this weekend!


    X to you and Tara

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hellooooooooo here Dave!

    "Just be yourself. First get to know yourself then invite yourself to the party that you have every day. Listen to what the body tells you. It is amazing how intelligent you get by just knowing the answers are inside you. Find the aromas and music that matches the mood you are in and let them become your partners for the day."

    LOVED how you said that! And you're right, the answers are inside you if you listen.

    "And when you can laugh and feel the joy in things then that is what you have for yourself and what you have to give to others."



    Amen, my friend. AMEN!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Hope you're having a super weekend!


    X

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ah yes, there are those whose wanna live it and create it for themselves if there's no 'real' stressors, and there's them who aren't fans of it at all. Granted into everyone's life stress gets to happen.
    I'm a fan of breathing which brings ALL sorts of interesting things to your body, chemically. I'm constantly reminding myself to breathe (ya mighta noticed) cuz the very first thing that happens for me when I get overloaded on any emotion--I stop breathing. Sometimes it comes simultaneously with muscles tensing, most time it's the first thing. Take notice of it the next time you're scared, angry, surprised, stressed--gotta breathe so oxygen goes to the brain and you make your best choice. So I'm with ya on the breathing. And definitely agree on meditation.
    And I'm a huge fan of PLAY! Omg, just Friday night we went out for a quick meal and himself brought me colours and a picture to colour. He ended up helping. LOL. He did the pink horse with purple polka dots and a purple mane. I was quite impressed.
    But you forgot playing with trolls or Barbies, didn't ya? (I must say, you need a few more toys -- maybe some kinetic sand or a spirograph! (I got a new one for a prezzie!)

    And I'm surprised photography didn't make the list. I get overloaded and out comes the camera. Things get huge and my stuff gets small--looking at creation through a lens does that for me.
    Guess I best get the camera out!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hello there Ron!! I read this post last night, but I do believe I was so stressed out that I forgot to comment! bwahahahaha! I could have sworn I commented!! Seriously, though, I use all of the things that you mention here. The one I find the most helpful to me...well two actually...listening to music and coloring! I color like a freakin' madwoman!! My husband says I own more markers and pens than Michael's and JoAnn's combined! :) Have you ever checked out Zentangle?? Just google it...or You Tube. It is SO amazing....absolutely awesome for stress relief and I use it a lot. I am not very good at it...but like anything else...practice makes perfect! Aromatherapy is really good too...from my working days at Bath & Body Works, I have closets full of aromatherapy product! One of my most favorite scents is ironically called "Stress Relief" and they just came out with the hand sanitizer in that scent! I also love their Orange Ginger...so soothing! I take millions of pics every day...seriously! I'm like a nut when it comes to photos! What a great post Ron! Thank you ever so much for sharing that mind of yours with us!! You ROCK! xo Jeanne and the girlz

    ReplyDelete
  27. "I'm constantly reminding myself to breathe (ya mighta noticed) cuz the very first thing that happens for me when I get overloaded on any emotion--I stop breathing. Sometimes it comes simultaneously with muscles tensing, most time it's the first thing. Take notice of it the next time you're scared, angry, surprised, stressed--gotta breathe so oxygen goes to the brain and you make your best choice."

    Yes, Mel, you're absolutely right! Me too...it's the first thing that happens when I get overloaded with emotion.

    "And I'm a huge fan of PLAY! Omg, just Friday night we went out for a quick meal and himself brought me colours and a picture to colour. He ended up helping. LOL. He did the pink horse with purple polka dots and a purple mane. I was quite impressed"

    HAHAHAHAHA! I was so thinking of YOU when I mentioned PLAY because I know you're the same way!!!

    "But you forgot playing with trolls or Barbies, didn't ya? (I must say, you need a few more toys -- maybe some kinetic sand or a spirograph! (I got a new one for a prezzie!)"

    I TOTALLY forgot to mention my trolls and Barbie!

    "And I'm surprised photography didn't make the list. I get overloaded and out comes the camera. Things get huge and my stuff gets small--looking at creation through a lens does that for me."

    Yes! Photography is also one of those things that helps because as you said, "looking at creation through a lens" does it for me too!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady. Have a PLAYFUL Sunday!

    X

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello there Jeanne!

    "I read this post last night, but I do believe I was so stressed out that I forgot to comment! bwahahahaha! I could have sworn I commented!!"

    Aw, I'm so sorry about that because you probably did comment, but sometimes Disqus eats comments and I have no idea where they go!? I checked my spam box but didn't find it there. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to comment again.

    " The one I find the most helpful to me...well two actually...listening to music and coloring! I color like a freakin' madwoman!! My husband says I own more markers and pens than Michael's and JoAnn's combined! :)"

    HA! You too? Isn't coloring a great way to reduce stress?

    "Have you ever checked out Zentangle?? Just google it...or You Tube. It is SO amazing....absolutely awesome for stress relief and I use it a lot."

    No I haven't, but I will be sure to check it out today because it sounds VERY interesting!

    " I have closets full of aromatherapy product! One of my most favorite scents is ironically called "Stress Relief" and they just came out with the hand sanitizer in that scent! I also love their Orange Ginger...so soothing!"



    Yes, Bath and Body Works (and also The Body Shop) has some GREAT aromatherapy products.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific Sunday!


    X to you and the girlz

    ReplyDelete
  29. Great advice Ron, anything we can do to reduce stress is key to living a happy life, just think how much better everything would be if we all could look at the world and play like we did as children.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Sometimes I punch pillows or scream like a banshee when I'm driving the interstate but your suggestions seem much more reasonable. Especially the aromatherapy.

    Thanks, bro!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hey there Jimmy!!!! Great to see ya, buddy!!!!!!

    "...just think how much better everything would be if we all could look at the world and play like we did as children."

    You said it! Children are the BEST teachers!

    Thanks SO MUCH for stopping by. Hope you're feeling great and enjoying Spring! You are so missed in blogland!

    X to you and Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  32. "Sometimes I punch pillows or scream like a banshee when I'm driving the interstate."


    HAHAHAHAHA! Trust me, when I had a car and drove the interstate, I did the same thing!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, sis! Have a super week!


    X ya!

    ReplyDelete
  33. AMEN TO THOSE. I notice the first one, Breathe, is at the ocean. That is EXACTLY what I do. I have actually had "Breathe" ("2 a.m") in my head as I looked out to the ocean and stopped to breathe.

    And play? OH YES!!!!! I play all the time! I have actually played hide and seek in the dark with the kids outside and laughed so hard I almost peed in my pants. Play is SO IMPORTANT. I wish you and I could go off on an adventure together... I would love to see you take photos and I know we would have so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  34. " I notice the first one, Breathe, is at the ocean. That is EXACTLY what I do. I have actually had "Breathe" ("2 a.m") in my head as I looked out to the ocean and stopped to breathe."

    Yes, is there no place on earth like the beach to BREATH?

    " I wish you and I could go off on an adventure together... I would love to see you take photos and I know we would have so much fun!"



    OMG, wouldn't that be SO MUCH FUN? We could play and take photos! One of these days, you and I have GOT to meet in person!


    Have a grrrrreat week, my friend!!!!!!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  35. BenzekneesApril 08, 2015

    Congrats on the new camera! I really don't think you need one though because you already take great pics!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Aw, thanks, Benze! I am sooooooo loving this new camera! And I can't wait to learn more by using the manual mode!

    X

    ReplyDelete

I moderate all comments before publishing. Thank you for stopping by.