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CONTACT

Lee Hoedl
6155 16th St. South, Fargo, ND 58104
Cell: 701.306.1266
Email: leehoedl@yahoo.com
 

TOP 10 TIPS TO RELIEVE STRESS

Your body is hard-wired to respond to stress. Thanks to the “fight-or-flight” response system, when faced with a threat, you’ll be prepared to deal with it. Unlike our earliest ancestors, however modern man encounters a constant barrage of stressors, keeping most of us in a state of non-stop stress. All that excess stress can trigger atrial fibrillation (A-fib).

Use these top ten tips to start relieving your stress today.

IDENTIFY TRIGGERS

The hard reality: stress will always exist. The good news? You can pinpoint your triggers to help eliminate the unhealthy side effects of stress. Examine the big picture first: work, finances, relationships, your daily commute. Do any of these areas need some change? If they do, start developing strategies to de-stress these areas of your life. Before you can leap ahead to the stress-reduction, it’s important to identify the sources of your stress. Jobs, family, and finances will continue to play integral roles in your life. What can change, however, is the way you cope with each.

SWEAT IT OUT

If you need more reasons to schedule exercise into your routine, evidence supports the benefits of physical activity for managing stress. In addition to helping your heart, regular physical activity can boost your mood, manage your weight, and ensure a healthy night’s sleep. The recommended guideline for adults is 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) of vigorous activity every week along with muscle-toning work at least twice a week. Sound like a lot? Spreading your exercise into smaller bits will still keep you heart healthy.

CRY

Studies yield mixed results about crying as cathartic, but some show that you may feel better following a good cry—the release of pent-up stress is like washing the emotional palette clean. Endorphins (feel-good hormones) rush out, and tension is lifted. A study from the University of South Florida found that crying in front of one friend upped the chances for feeling more supported and generally better. Also, knowing that a problem can be solved played a major part in how good people felt after producing tears. So, go on. Have a cry.

LEARN TO BE IMPERFECT

Career pressure, school stress, the desire to be super mom! While it’s healthy to have achievable goals, creating too much pressure for perfection can have a negative effect on your health. First off, accept that there is no such thing as perfection. Letting go of the need to be perfect will put less pressure on you—and less stress on your heart. Embrace your flaws, and learn from your mistakes.

SCHEDULE "ME" TIME

Bills to pay. Laundry towering in the hamper. Groceries to buy. Sure, these things need to get done, but you won’t have the energy or enthusiasm to check any of these chores off your to-do list without penciling in some private time. Whether it’s five minutes of meditation to close your day, a half-hour bath, or a walk, make time for you. And only you.

DO ONE HEALTHY THING EACH DAY

Take the stairs at the subway station. Swap the candy bar for a piece of fruit. Avoid the caffeine for a cup of (antioxidant-rich) green tea, drive in the slow lane to work. Whatever you do, make each choice with the knowledge that you’re choosing healthy options—for you. Amid the cluttered calendar days, find the time to insert a healthy step towards reducing stress. You might just find that the empowerment that follows each choice keeps you motivated to make more heart-healthy decisions.

BE PREPARED

Things happen. But you can reduce or eliminate stress by being prepared for inevitable or unpleasant events. Make copies of your house/apartment/car keys. Keeping extras on hand will leave you less stressed if you do happen to lose a set. And for those times when the unavoidable strikes, try a few strategies to de-stress: count to ten before speaking, take three deep breaths, or go for a walk to clear your mind.

WRITE IT DOWN

Can picking up a pad and pen help your heart? More and more evidence suggests the benefits of journaling to sort through the gamut of emotions (sadness, loss,anger). Studies led by James W. Pennebaker, Ph.D. of the University of Texas at Austin point to the positive results of writing about our emotions. His findings show that when people write about meaningful or traumatic events, their health and other biological markers of stress improve.

DRINK UP

Water, that is. Hydration is important for staying healthy and combating fatigue. After all, how much can you accomplish if you’re feeling lethargic and cranky? Stress management relies, in part, on staying hydrated. When you don’t drink enough water, your eye may start to wander to the sweets to satisfy the sugar craving. To keep your body healthy, your mind sharp, and stress at bay, drink water throughout the day and with meals—don’t wait until your mouth is parched. A general rule to remember: 8x8—eight 8 oz glasses of water a day—can help you stay hydrated.

SAY NO

It might feel natural, and downright nice, to say yes to every project, proposal, and task that comes your way. But recognizing—and sticking to—your limits will keep you in control of your time, and your health. Piling too much on your plate can lead to a major meltdown. Instead, accept what you are willing to handle and politely say no the rest. Use some of that downtime to recharge your batteries.