Few would argue that the hustle bustle of daily life in a modern society is pressure filled. Marriage, family, children, full-time jobs, financial pressures, and the grind of getting it all done can put an enormous amount of stress and strain on our daily lives. So much so, in fact, that it can be difficult at the end of a long day to relax and unwind.
Though the occasional cocktail or two might help relieve stress, long-term use of alcohol or chemical substances of any kind can not only take a toll on our physical health, but can increase the risks of alcohol or drug dependency.
But the good news is, there are many things that we can do that are easy, simple, and in some cases, medically proven to be effective stress busters, promote an overall sense of well being and improve the quality of our life.
Take Time to Smell the Roses
It is sometimes said that life is what happens when you are busy planning for it. And it is true. We can become
so caught up in carrying out the business of our life that we fail to simply enjoy it.
But slowing down and giving ourselves the permission to notice and experience the little things that are usually the backdrop for our lives, but can be incredibly calming as well.
Simply studying the lines of a tree, listening to the wind or the cheerful song of a bird, breathing deep to inhale the sweet fragrance of a flower has the power to permeate our senses with the serenity that is inherent in nature.
Even the act of simple gardening or working in the yard can provide a respite from mental demands. While just pulling weeds out of a garden plot, can be the best source of therapy.
Thoughts can flow freely and some of the best problem solving can take place behind the handle of a lawnmower. Not to mention, the physical health benefits inherent in the manual labor of yard work.
A Merry Heart Does Good Like a Medicine
Have you ever laughed so hard that you cried? Giggled so much that your stomach hurt and you gasped for air? And when you did, did you notice how good you felt? There is a reason for that. There is documented medical evidence that something as simple as laughter can heal your body and greatly reduce stress.
Medical studies have shown that laughter releases endorphins, the natural tranquilizers of the body, increases blood circulation, boosts the immune system, aids in digestion and respiration, lowers our blood pressure and relaxes our muscles. All of which reduces stress and promotes a general sense of well being. Other studies have shown that laughter is also an effective coping mechanism for those who are suffering from terminal illnesses such as cancer.
So, go ahead and laugh. Laugh out loud, laugh hard and laugh often. It’s good for you and it also makes good business sense – because it’s free.
Dog Day Afternoon
Like laughter, there has been medical research done on the calming influence and health benefits of owning pets.
Pets can ease the loneliness of life for elderly people, for example, who have lost a spouse or loved ones, by providing companionship and unconditional acceptance.
Caring for the daily needs of an animal gives a sense of purpose and reason to get up every day, while walking them also provides opportunity for much needed exercise and mobility.
Soldiers suffering from the effects of wartime and post traumatic stress syndrome have benefited hugely from pet therapy. So much so, that the military has invested millions of dollars in programs to provide the opportunity for traumatized and wounded soldiers to spend time with the therapy dogs.
Studies have also show that pets can help autistic children connect on a sensory level with their environment and lead the way for better human interaction.
But, if you have pet allergies and can’t own a pet, or simply do not like animals, fish tanks can also be a soothing antidote for a stressed nervous system. Simply watching the quiet movement of the fish and listening to the bubbling sound of the water can ease the stresses of a hard and hectic day.
Who Am I? Why Am I Here?
Those of us in modern Western society, for the most part, spend less time thinking about spiritual matters than those, say, in Asian cultures and the Far East corners of the world.
But, taking a few moments at the end of the day or even before our day begins, to reflect, meditate upon and consider some of the larger questions of life, can go a long way in easing the mind, giving us a healthier perspective and aid in turning off the exhausting manic mental chatter that so often accompanies busy lives.
Jumping off the Treadmill
While we cannot completely rid our lives of stress, strain or demands, we can decide how we are going to respond to them. Making a deliberate choice to notice the simple things in life, have a lighter heart, laugh when we can, enjoy the companionship of a pet or simply meditate on the idea of God or spiritual matters, can aid in reducing the negative impact they may have on our lives and in the process greatly improve the quality of our day to day life.
Alternative Medicine Zone
News in Health