A box of fried rice

Living Now - - Contents - by Hong Cur­ley

It’s al­most un­be­liev­able, but this is a true story taken from Hong’s book, Free­dom to Love. A great demon­stra­tion of the power of love and how one sim­ple act can have un­told reper­cus­sions.

Stress isn’t good for any­one, but ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Psy­cho­log­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion, at least 75% of Amer­i­cans feel stressed out ev­ery day. Con­stant stress af­fects our daily lives, and can have a neg­a­tive im­pact on our health. It can give you headaches, can make your heart beat faster, can lead to high blood pres­sure, and can make you less re­sis­tant to sick­ness. Ex­tended pe­ri­ods of stress can even lead to heart at­tack and di­a­betes over time, and can af­fect how well you think and feel, too. So be­fore it starts to af­fect your qual­ity of life, it’s im­por­tant to take con­trol of it.

How can you take con­trol of your stress?

Luck­ily, there is a num­ber of ways you can man­age your stress. Coun­selling can help you iden­tify stres­sors in your life and fig­ure out ways to ei­ther avoid them or how to lessen their neg­a­tive ef­fects. It can also help you learn how to deal with stress in a pos­i­tive way.

Re­lax­ation through med­i­ta­tion is another way to con­trol it. Re­lax­ation tech­niques can help you calm down and loosen up any men­tal or phys­i­cal ten­sion you might be feel­ing. You can get sim­i­lar re­sults through other ac­tiv­i­ties like tai chi or yoga, but amongst the best ways to deal with stress be­fore it gets to you are ex­er­cise and a healthy diet.

Why ex­er­cise and diet are best for stress

The first rea­son why ex­er­cise and diet are great for stress is be­cause they strengthen the body: the right diet will help you shed weight, while ex­er­cise will get your mus­cles work­ing and your heart pump­ing. By main­tain­ing a healthy weight and hav­ing a phys­i­cally fit body, you’re able to han­dle the phys­i­cal ef­fects of stress bet­ter. You’ll feel less tired, you’ll be in a bet­ter mood and you’ll be less likely to get sick.

Another rea­son is that ex­er­cise makes your body pro­duce en­dor­phins, a bod­ily chem­i­cal that acts as a nat­u­ral painkiller and mood booster. Ex­er­cise helps your body learn how to reach a bio­chem­i­cal bal­ance, mak­ing your brain more ready and able to deal with stress­ful sit­u­a­tions. Fi­nally, ex­er­cise is a tir­ing and ten­sion-re­leas­ing ac­tiv­ity. Be­cause stress can build up in your body and af­fect you phys­i­cally, be­ing ac­tive can help you re­lease it in a pro­duc­tive way. Not only will you be able to re­lease this ten­sion, but also the phys­i­cal feel­ing of be­ing tired can help you at­tain a deeper and more rest­ful sleep, al­low­ing your body to re­ju­ve­nate and be at its best the next day.

So if you’re feel­ing stressed out, try go­ing out for a run or try hit­ting the gym. Don’t let your stress con­trol you, when you can con­trol it through ex­er­cise.

Sheila Frye is a teacher based in Bris­bane.

Be­cause stress can build up in your body and af­fect you phys­i­cally, be­ing ac­tive can help you re­lease it in a pro­duc­tive way.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.