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May 08

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7 Ways to Reduce Stress

7 Ways to Reduce Stress

7 Ways to Reduce Stress

Lets talk Stress!  My year has been a stressful year and it’s not even 1/2 over yet. I have been having medical problems that seems to have no cause for almost 2 years. I get sudden severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea (n/v/d) when I haven’t been ill. And no I don’t induce it!! It just comes on for no reason.  I’ll be reading or watching TV and BAM it hits. A couple weeks ago it occurred out of the blue when I was home alone writing up some posts. It continued for almost an hour, it was so severe. I was so debilitated that I thought I was going to pass out. I had to call an ambulance! It did get under control but it took a couple days with the assistance of prescription RX.

I think I told you all that last summer I had surgery for a HUGE cyst on my liver. Pathology reports after surgery found it was negative for cancer, thank goodness! I was having these n/v/d attacks before the liver surgery, and had hoped that after surgery was done last June, the n/v/d would go away. After the liver surgery I began to feel better with increased energy and stamina, but unfortunately continued to have sudden onset bouts of n/v/d.

Then I had a follow up CT scan to make sure the liver cyst wasn’t growing again and they found NEW masses in my stomach! Could that be why I have had so much problems with n/v/d? I don’t know??!! At this point I am stressed to the max.

I flew up to Anchorage last Friday and an endoscopic, ultrasound assisted, biopsy. I was so scared. I had general anesthesia which was good but my nerves were shot from all the worry. To accomplish this biopsy they used an endotracheal tube down my throat for the anesthesia AND 2, yes TWO scopes in addition were put down my throat all at the same time. My throat was so sore for a few days. Today is the first day my throat doesn’t hurt!

They took almost a dozen aspiration/biopsies I am told from the stomach masses and one in my throat. And now I wait for pathology reports to make sure I don’t have cancer or who knows what. So stress is a real, REAL part of my life. This medical episode with my stomach mass biopsies and my liver surgery since last summer is just a snippet of my life with stress and anxiety, OCD and Panic Attacks.

Stress is something that has also become commonplace in our world of multi-tasking and overstimulation from electronic devices. Sometimes we just need to decompress and let things calm down a bit. Reducing stress is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Here are seven great ways to experience less stress in your life.

1.  Take Time for Yourself

This has been the most helpful thing for me. I find a space for myself and BREATHE!  I just sit and breathe in/out long slow breaths for 5 minutes then I begin to listen to music that is calming to me. Often I will run a bath and put essential oils (I like Eucalyptus, White Fir, Cypress, Douglas Fir or Balance Essential oils for bathing) in the water and soak for minimum of 15 minutes. This routine helps ramp down my stress and anxiety.

2. Learn to Meditate

Enjoying just a few minutes of meditation everyday can help ease worry. Studies suggest that just 7 minutes of daily meditation can alter your brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress.
Meditation is simple. Sit up straight in a comfortable chair with both feet on the floor. Close your eyes. Focus your attention on reciting – out loud or silently – a positive mantra such as “I feel at peace” or “I feel calm” or “I feel relaxed”.  Then rest your hands on your lap as you repeat. Let any distracting thoughts float right out of your mind.

3. Create an environment that reduces stress

A relaxing home environment can have a calming effect at the end of a long day. Choose soft colors for your walls along with comfortable furniture that you enjoy spending time in. Soft blues and greens are positive colors that can create a sense of well-being. And choosing friends who help to calm you and support you in stressful situations is so important.

4. Laugh Out Loud

A good belly laugh doesn’t just make you happy; it lowers cortisol, your body’s stress hormone. It also boosts endorphins, which help improve your mood. Lighten up by watching a funny video on YouTube, reading a funny book, or talking with someone who makes you smile.   Anything to take your mind off of your stressor!

5. Don’t say yes to everything

Recognize your strengths and focus on a project that builds on them. Taking on to many projects at once can result in feeling of being out of control and creates stress.

6. Be organized

Being disorganized creates stress. Take some time to get things in order before you leave the house so it feels relaxing when you return. Organize files and papers in your office so you can easily find what you need when you need it.

7. Be Grateful

Keeping a gratitude journal will help you keep all the things that are good in your life front of mind. This is a great way to relieve stress. Being grateful for your blessings will stop negative thoughts and worries in their tracks.

I hope your year is going good!  If now, I hope these 7 ways to reduce stress can help your stress levels come down.

 

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