Unless you are really old and frail, hard work won’t hurt you. But it doesn’t matter what age, sex, physical condition, or ethnicity you are, stress can KILL YOU. Stress provides equal opportunities for stroke, heart attack, ulcers, and a whole host of other physical problems.
Here are a few stress-reducing techniques that can serve you well. I’m listing exercise and rest as numbers 1 and 2 but either of them could be number 1. They are actually equally important in stress reduction.
- Exercise: The LACK of physical exercise causes stress — in the mind as well as in the body. The human body is not designed to be sedentary. The body systems don’t work correctly when we don’t exercise. Don’t start a vigorous exercise program if you have been inactive without the blessings of your doctor. But get your doctor’s blessing to do whatever exercise that you are able to do. You’ll be surprised at how much it will make you feel physically, as well as emotionally.
Tips to help exercise better:
- Set a time: Will you exercise in the morning or evening? You have to set a definite time in other to hold yourself accountable
- Start small: This is one of the most useful instruction. When your start, usually there’s lots of energy, you want to run 10km, LOL…but doing too much at the early stage may need to quitting altogether. It eventually becomes counterproductive
- Add pleasure. If you associate a habit with pain, you won’t be successful in creating that habit. So, in the starting stage, focus on a bit of pleasure. Enjoy the scenery, the fresh air, the beautiful morning sky. This way, your habit becomes pleasurable to your brain.
- Don’t skip a day: Don’t say, I have been doing it for ten days, I think I should rest, you need consistent momentum. Try not to skip a day, but if you do, don’t be discouraged, just continue.
- Rest: Keeping regular hours (going to bed and getting up at the same time each and every 24-hour period) will not only reduce your stress level, but it will make your waking hours far more productive. Many Nigerians are sleep deprived, especially those in the urban areas and that’s a fact. Sleep deprivation causes STRESS, and stress will kill you!
Tips to be help you rest better:
- Get a goodnight sleep. Never joke with sleep at night. Switch off your lights, if that’s comfortable for you. Put your phone away of put it off. Endeavor to get at least 6 hours of good sleep per day.
- Relaxation: While there are no specific rules for how much relaxation a person should incorporate into their lifestyle, you have to make time to unwind and enjoy life in other to maintain good health. Deep relaxation, like meditation, when practiced regularly not only relieves stress and anxiety, but also is shown to improve mood. Deep relaxation has many other potential benefits as well—it can decrease blood pressure, relieve pain, and improve your immune and cardiovascular system
- Eat a healthy diet: Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Choose whole grains as often as possible. Choose chicken and fish more often than you choose red meat. Decrease your intake of sugar. You’ll find that when your digestive system feels better, you’ll feel better inside and out.
- Take time for yourself: We live in a hurry-hurry-hurry world. We never seem to take the pressure off of ourselves. Give yourself a break and relax! Listen to soothing music (not rock). Read a book. Work on your tan. RELAX occasionally — on purpose.