WOW Word-Of-the-Week #294: Stress

March 12, 2010 by  

Stress – what happens when you don’t take time to relax.

So, how did you do relaxing last week? Were you able to reduce your stress by deep breathing? Did you take the time to plan your next vacation? Did you connect with your friends?

This week I will share the other four ways on how to relax and reduce your stress that was featured in the Time Magazine article titled, “Six Ways to Handle Stress.”

4. Exercise Regularly. It protects the heart, which is often the first to feel the effects of stress. Studies show exercise also helps maintain the brain’s ability to change focus quickly from one situation to another.

One of the things I love to do is walk. I don’t listen to head phones; I use it as my creative quiet time. Also, Pilates has been a life saver. I breathe completely differently as a result.

5. Eat Plenty of Fruits & Vegetables. The antioxidants and other ingredients they contain counter-balance the inflammatory proteins the body produces under stress.

This has been very easy the past two weeks. Asian’s are known for eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Even at home we don’t eat meat during the week. It’s very hard to gain weight, and easy to lose weight if you eat only whole foods.

6. Don’t Stay Up Late. Irregular sleep increases the effects of stress on your body, setting you up for metabolic imbalances that increase your risk of heart disease.

OK, we’ve had to cheat a little on this one in order to get on our current time zone.

7. Do What You Love. Having a sense of mission about your job makes it easier to deal with inevitable setbacks. (You will still need to take those regular breaks from work.) And if you can’t find meaning in your job, look for it in a hobby or through participation in religious or community organizations.

Fortunately, we both loved our jobs and they never felt like “work.” It has been a bit of a challenge for Chris to retire and stop working, since he did it for so long and enjoyed it so much.

This week focus on reducing your stress. Do you exercise at least three days a week? If not, could you start by just walking? Are your eating a healthy diet of vegetables and fruits? Are you on a regular sleep pattern? Do you love your work? Do you have a hobby or an organization that supports your life mission?

Reader Responses

We did work on vacation planning this weekend, so we did not relax as much as we wanted. I did not take the time to breathe this weekend. So, once we get settled on vacation, I will do more of that. I know that when I have a lot of things to do I try to do them one at a time. Then I don’t think about it, and I feel a sense of accomplishment when I am done. My wife gets much more easily stressed than I do, so I try to help her with as many things as possible so she can concentrate. When I know that I am going away for a week, my stress level does diminish. Just looking forward to vacations really helps. Thanks for the reminder, Susan. I do plan on breathing more slowly the next week. I will talk to you when I get back. I am loving the MADNESS, though! Take care. “Warrior” Joe