How To Defeat Stress

June 12, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ LIfestyle

Research shows that excess stress leads to numerous symptoms, including insulin resistance, increased abdominal fat, elevated blood pressure, and reduced “heart rate variability;” this impairs your heart’s ability to react properly, increasing the risk of sudden death or fatal rhythm disturbances.

Your goal is to make small changes in your lifestyle to reduce excess stress so your life keeps humming along happily.


Stress reduction is big business—we buy self-help books, massages, and cruises—all in the name of relaxation.

But in reality, you don’t have to spend a penny to soothe stress, nor do you need a lot of time. First, eat well and exercise to bolster your immunity and burn off built-up stress: a healthy weight and general overall fitness make you much better equipped to deal with daily stress. Then practice a few of these mental tricks to stay cool, calm and collected in the face of eventhe most hectic day.

Focus and finish Canadians are obsessed with multi-tasking. When you split your attention nothing has your full focus,
leaving you frazzled and
dissatisfied. Instead of trying to do 10 things at once, try doing one at a time. Focus on and finish one job before moving to the next. With your full attention, each task will take less time, and you’ll feel a sense of control and accomplishment.

Enjoy some quiet time Some forward-thinking companies have “quiet rooms” where employees can escape computers, telephones, and meetings, if only for a few minutes.

Make sure there is somewhere quiet at home, too. A place that you can go to gather your thoughts when everything gets too much. It’s surprising how effectively just sitting there for 30 seconds can help to ease stress.

Get a pet Pet ownership helps people to stay healthy. Research in Australia and Germany shows that pet owners make fewer visits to their doctor each year, suffer fewer sleeping difficulties and are less likely to be taking heart medicine.Many other studies have found that people who have pets have lower blood pressure. And some of those studies have been done on people in the extreme stress category. For example, researchers at the State University of New York tested 48 stockbrokers (already taking medication for high blood pressure) in stressful situations, such as trying to calm a client who had lost lots of money because of bad advice. Those who had pets saw their systolic blood pressure rise from 120 to 126; those without a fluffy friend saw their systolic reading skyrocket from 120 to 148.

And, chances are your dog will get you up and moving. That exercise — and the unconditional love—are both good for your heart.

Take time off Vacation is a time to get away from the routine, from the job and from the stress of life. Yet surprisingly, four in 10 employed Canadians don’t actually use all of their vacation days. Even more shocking is that 76 per cent of those Canadians who don’t use all of their vacation time have up to 14 days of vacation left at the end of the year. This is definitely not a good way to avoid its harmful effects

See yourself succeed Before you embark on any stressful project, mentally rehearse it. As athletes are told “when you visualize a task, you’re mentally programming
yourself to act it through; then when you start, it’s second nature.”

Breathe deeply In a stressful situation, stop and take four or five deep breaths, inhaling so that your stomach rises. A team of European researchers has shown that deep breathing counteracts the physical effects of stress. It is almost impossible not to calm down when you breathe slowly and deeply.

Listen to music In one Hong Kong study, patients who listened to their choice of music during minor surgery under local anesthetic
were found to have lower anxiety levels, lower heart rates and lower blood pressure than those who did not listen to music. German researchers also found that levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which would normally rise during a procedure known as cerebral
angiography, remained stable and blood pressure remained lower when the patients listened to music.

Massage it away Stress makes your muscles tense, which reduces circulation and thus the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the heart. Massage counteracts this by loosening them.

Don’t get upset Stress is your reaction to external events, not the events
themselves. You may not be able to control what is
happening, but you can control your reaction. The next time something makes you angry or tense, pause and ask yourself, “Is this worth getting upset about?

Shed a few tears Have you ever noticed how much better you feel after a good cry? That’s because tears flush out harmful chemicals produced during stress and release pent-up negative energy. If all else fails, let the tears flow. You’ll
probably feel better afterward.

Be social Having a supportive social circle is something that helps you to live longer. However,
if you are not blessed with a big social circle, reach out to others. One great place to start is through charity work. Helping a worthy cause deepens your connection to humanity and promotes a feeling ofgreater purpose.