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.
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!