7 Healthy Habits for Stress Reduction

stress reduction
Dr. Geoffrey Harris, MD

Stress is both a powerful motivator that helps you get things done and dangerous strain that can harm your health. Even people who work out and eat right experience the positive and negative sides of stress, so here are seven healthy habits for stress reduction.

  1. Eat a balanced diet of SuperFoods.
  2. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
  3. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day.
  4. Exercise regularly.
  5. Take a daily supplement plus fish oil.
  6. Maintain a healthy weight.
  7. Spend at least 15 minutes each day involved in a stress-reducing activity.

Stress-reducing activities are important ways we can relax and help us cope with daily pressure. By including relaxation time into a day, you can begin to see benefits to your mood and health. Stress reduction can slow the heart rate, lower blood pressure, control breathing rate, increase blood flow, and relax tense muscles. Furthermore, relaxation techniques can help improve tension headaches, chronic back pain, abdominal pain, mood, anger, energy, concentration, and problem-solving.

Stress-Reducing Activities

Tai Chi
Mindful Breathing
Listening to Music
Playing Music
Hypnosis/ Self-hypnosis
Hobby Activities
Prayer or other Spiritual Activities

Please note: I do not recommend watching television as a stress-reducing activity. News and entertainment programs can cause stress, and they also encourage a lack of activity — and sometimes forgetful eating. The above are mindful activities, keeping you focused without anxiety or an excuse to snack.

Getting started should be easy. Many gyms and community organizations offer yoga and/or tai chi and make it comfortable and easy for new people to start up. Many of my patients have hobbies that they have neglected and often a simple reminder can get them back to enjoying their free-time. Make a list of things you enjoy or have wanted to try, then pick one and do it. You deserve to take at least 15 minutes a day for your own well being. It will make life better for you, and better for the people you care for as well.

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