By: Karen Yontz Center Staff
One of the best things you can do to keep your heart healthy is to keep your stress in check. And while it's something we all know we should do, so many times it's one of the hardest things for us to accomplish. It can get to the point where managing our stress seems like just one more thing we need to put on our to-do list. There has to be a better way, right? There is! Here are five very basic ways to give yourself some peace and settle your mind.
- Exercise: It's been proven time and again that people who exercise regularly have lower levels of stress and anxiety than those who don't. Why? Because putting one's body through some physical stress helps get rid of a lot of mental stress. It lowers your body's stress hormones (like cortisol) and increases your endorphin levels. Exercise also helps you sleep better at night which makes you more able to face your day.
- Journaling: When in doubt, write it down. Journaling doesn't need to be long or structured. Just writing down the positive events of your day or the things you are grateful for can shift your point of view. Allowing yourself to write down whatever worries are running through your mind can help calm you down. You can make your journal whatever you want it to be.
- Get your giggle on: Laughter can relax your muscles and lower your stress response. What better reason to cue up silly animal videos on YouTube, listen to a funny podcast, or just hang out with your funniest group of friends?
- Aromatherapy: Scent is the sense most closely associated with memory. Think of smells that remind you of happy times—your mom's apple pie or a day at the beach. Find a candle or room spray that makes you remember those happy feelings, light it, take some deep breaths and relax.
- Get in some snuggle time: When you cuddle, kiss, or engage in other positive physical contact (even sex!) with others, you lower your cortisol levels and release oxytocin which both help bring your blood pressure and heart rate down. So grab your significant other, your grandkids, or even your pet and shower them with smooches.
For other ideas on how to keep stress out of your life, visit The Karen Yontz Center Monday thru Friday between 8:00AM and 4:30 PM.