Thursday, November 28, 2013

Low Cost Stress Relievers

We live in a world of constant motion and high demands. Parents feel obligated to commit their children to Karate lessons, music lessons, and sports activities. Our airwaves are bombarded with news about an ailing economy, stock market slumps, and terrorist threats. In addition, we have all those technological gadgets and social media commitments. The mental health community has come out with data about depression in teens due to competition on Facebook. Several have committed suicide over personal cyber attacks. The world was so much simpler years ago. We are simply not biologically capable of processing all that information. The high demands of computer usage, iPads, and other devices can put all our senses on overload.

So what can we do? How can we combat this constant barrage on our psyches? I have a few thoughts on creating a New and Positive You using simple low cost stress relievers.

1. Exercise: Many of us have sedentary jobs involving sitting at computers or working in offices performing jobs requiring little physical activity. Unless we are working outdoors lifting boulders all day long, most of us need to supplement jobs and other responsibilities with three to five thirty minute exercise sessions per week. Exercise raises levels of endorphins, enabling us to handle stress more competently. Researchers have found there are mental health benefits from exercise, including reduced stress and increased confidence. It helps prevent heart disease and may help reduce the chance of developing dementia.

2. Meditation: According to Dr. Shu, acupuncturist, meditating on positive images raises levels of neurotransmitters and can thus be a powerful antidote for depression. It also lowers blood pressure and stabilizes mood.

3. Stress relieving products:

A. chamomile tea
B. candles
C. Hiimalayan tea
D. Meditation CDS
E. Bubble baths

4. Reframing: One powerful way to recast negative events is to shine the light of positive energy on them. Thinking of a beautiful picture, or a soothing piece of music can ease the pain of trauma. In Cry Depression, Celebrate Recovery, I talk about soothing the pain of my father's alcoholism with memories of joyful family moments.

5. Music: All indigenous cultures include music in their ceremonial events. When groups get together in song and dance, they create a collective neurological brain symbiosis. As they dance, sing, and chant their energies begin to fall into sync and they create as a group. Song and movement enable individuals to integrate the five senses and ultimately help groups to form a solid spiritual sense of power. How does this translate into everyday use? Research has shown that just twenty minutes of listening to Mozart enhances spatial relationship abilities. The result is transient, lasting about ten minutes. If such a short exposure produces immediate results then one has to wonder if daily musical experience may result in long term brain health. Think of what our lives would be like with no music!

Quotes: Wellbeing involves more than eating right and exercising. "To reduce stress and be truly well, you need to take care of all six dimensions of wellness: physical, mental, emotional, social, vocational and spiritual. It can be a lot more fun than you think!" Kathleen Vessanbisi

Proverbs 17:22 puts it like this, "A happy heart is like a good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing." Notice, when we're good-natured and full of joy, taking time to laugh, taking time to play, it's like taking a good medicine. That's what helps us to stay healthy. In fact, medical science tells us that people that laugh, it boosts their immune system. Laughter reduces blood pressure. People that laugh regularly are 40% less likely to have a heart attack than people that don't laugh regularly. Laughter triggers the right side of the brain, which helps release creativity, helps us to make better decisions. Laughter activates the body's natural tranquilizers that not only help us to calm down but it helps us to sleep better. Joel Osteen

Stress can often come from unresolved issues surrounding trauma. James W. MacCartney in his new book, Crisis to Creation gives insight on how to transform post traumatic stress into post traumatic growth. I highly recommend this book as a powerful transformational tool. It is available on his He and his wife Elke also go about the country speaking on this very important issue.

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