Ways to Ease Stress

Published: June 27, 2021

It might surprise you to learn that biological stress is a fairly recent discovery. It wasn’t until the late 1950s that endocrinologist Hans Selye first identified and documented stress.

Symptoms of stress existed long before Selye, but his discoveries led to new research that has helped millions cope with stress. Whether dealing with a funeral, losing a loved one or the death of a family pet, you will most certainly be put under more stress that you will have to deal with.

At Boyd Funeral Home here in Marion, we are here to not only serve you and your family in funeral, memorialization and funeral pre-planning services, we also want you to help you take care of yourself before and after you need our services.

We recently read an article from the Cleveland Clinic that we thought had some excellent advice on how to reduce stress. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/8133-stress-10-ways-to-ease-stress

The article states that “Stress is the body’s response to a challenge or demand. Everyone experiences stress, which can be triggered by a range of events, from small daily hassles to major changes like a divorce or job loss. The stress response includes physical components such an elevated heart rate and blood pressure, thoughts and personal beliefs about the stressful event, and emotions, including fear and anger.”

Here are the 9 ways to reduce stress the article listed:

1. Eat and drink to optimize your health. Some people try to reduce stress by drinking alcohol or eating too much. These actions may seem to help in the moment, but actually may add to stress in the long run. Caffeine also can compound the effects of stress. Consuming a healthy, balanced diet can help to combat stress.

2. Exercise regularly. In addition to having physical health benefits, exercise has been shown to be a powerful stress reliever. Consider non-competitive aerobic exercise, strengthening with weights, or movement activities like yoga or Tai Chi, and set reasonable goals for yourself. Aerobic exercise (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/7050-aerobic-exercise) has been shown to release endorphins—natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude.

3. Stop using tobacco and nicotine products. People who use nicotine often refer to it as a stress reliever. However, nicotine actually places more stress on the body by increasing physical arousal and reducing blood flow and breathing.

4. Study and practice relaxation techniques. Taking the time to relax every day helps to manage stress and to protect the body from the effects of stress. You can choose from a variety of techniques, such as deep breathing, imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation. There are many online and smart phone apps that provide guidance on these techniques; although some entail purchase costs, many are available free of charge.

5. Reduce triggers of stress. If you are like most people, your life may be filled with too many demands and too little time. For the most part, these demands are ones we have chosen. You can free up time by practicing time-management skills like asking for help when it’s appropriate, setting priorities, pacing yourself, and reserving time to take care of yourself.

6. Examine your values and live by them. The more your actions reflect your beliefs, the better you will feel, no matter how busy your life is. Use your values when choosing your activities.

7. Assert yourself. It’s okay to say “No” to demands on your time and energy that will place too much stress on you. You don’t have always have to meet the expectations of others.

8. Set realistic goals and expectations. It's okay—and healthy—to realize you cannot be 100% successful at everything all at once. Be mindful of the things you can control and work on accepting the things that you can’t control.

9. Sell yourself to yourself. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, remind yourself of what you do well. Have a healthy sense of self-esteem.

 
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