Balancing life can be difficult to do! We have to balance work, raising kids, cleaning our homes, and trying to have some sort of meaningful relationships with other adults. Of course we are stressed!
Unfortunately, the research on stress is quite conclusive: Stress is BAD for our physical and emotional health! If we are to live happy and healthy lives it is important for us to figure out how to manage our stress. To help do this I have included some ideas, most of which can be done quickly and easily. Try adding one of these ideas to your day to help you become less stressed!
Go on a Walk
Fall is a great time to take a morning or evening stroll. Take time to look around and appreciate nature or a nice building that you are walking by. Take a deep breath as you walk and notice the air going into your lungs and then slowly breathe it out. Think of something to be thankful for each time you take your walk.
Take 5 Minutes a Day to do Deep Breathing
Research has shown that taking 5 minutes a day for deep breathing reduces your cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone, and when elevated impacts our both our physical and mental health. When you breathe, breathe in through your nose counting to four; hold your breath for a count of four; and then count to four again as you breathe out. When you do this your belly not your chest should expand, which is why some people call it “belly breathing”.
Take a Warm Bath
If you live with other people let them know that you need a few minutes to yourself (this step can be especially important if you have children). Spend some time in the bath “just doing nothing”. Often times we are so busy that we don’t have any time in our day where we “just do nothing”. When in the bath notice how “doing nothing” feels.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath (a belly breath), and visualize your favorite place to be. The key is to remember your five senses. Where are you at? What do you see around you? Do you smell anything? Do you hear anything? Is there food? What do you taste in your mouth, or is it empty? How warm or cool is the air around you? Do you feel the sun on your skin or are you inside?
Paint the whole picture in your mind and feel how nice it is to be in this place. Create a stress free space for yourself. If you can make your entire home as stress free as possible. If you can’t create a stress free home, at least create a stress free space in your home. Make it a space that you feel good in with walls painted the color you like. Put up one of your favorite inspirational sayings. Go to this space when you need a retreat!
Identify What is Stressing You Out
Is it your job? Kids? Your parents? Your friends? Money? Did you experience a loss? Figure it out. Try talking with a friend or counselor about it. Maybe there is a way to help work through your stress so you can live a happier and healthier life. You can all us at 720-583-9332 to schedule an appointment if you would like help creating calm in your life.
Written By Dr. Steffanie Stecker
Dr. Steffanie Stecker a licensed psychologist and the owner and clinical director of Mountain Vista Psychology, PLLC.
In addition, she is a board certified neurotherapist (BCN E5669) and board certified in QEEG (QEEG-D). Less than 100 people world wide are board certified in QEEG, which indicates competency in reading QEEGs and choosing neurofeedback protocols. Dr. Stecker is passionate about brain based effective therapy and creating a safe relationship for her clients to create change. She loves what she gets to do each day!