“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway” – Steve Maraboli
A recent Gallup poll revealed that America is the most stressed nation on earth! In fact, the research noted that this year Americans reported the highest level of stress, anger, and worry in over a decade!
How is this possible despite numerous prevention efforts to educate people about dealing with stress? Everywhere you look people are talking about how busy and stressed they are. Is that the “in” thing now? Do we all have to be “busy” or “stressed” to feel like everyone else? Do we as Americans really enjoy feeling like this?
Anyhow, it appears the real reason we stay stuck swimming in stress and negativity is that we don’t finish the stress process! What exactly does that mean? It means we do a great job of allowing our bodies to experience stress, but we don’t initiate the recovery phase. The simple experience of stress is not the problem; it is not recovering that is!
The recovery phase of stress is needed to allow our brains and bodies to heal and recover from the stress and negativity experienced during the day. Not engaging in recovery leads to the harmful effects on our brains and bodies as we continue to build up and carry more stress!
Not finishing the process is what appears to be happening. Could you imagine going to the bathroom and not finishing the process by ignoring to wash your hands or even forgetting to wipe? Yuck! Well, imagine the buildup in your brain and body without finishing the stress process.
The following is a list of things you can do to help initiate the process of recovery:
1. Breath control – yes, I know we breathe. What I am talking about here is a particular way to breath that will activate the other nervous system to release the recovery hormones and chemicals in your body. To do so, make sure your exhale is longer than your inhale. A basic sigh of relief fits here. Just keep doing it.
2. Physical activity – Exercise is what I am talking about here and probably doesn’t need any illustration. Doesn’t have to be intense. Just going for a walk outside can do the trick.
3. Laughing – Laughter is truly the best medicine! Forcing yourself to engage in laughter can result in a huge recovery boost. Or, combine being social with friends and laughing! That way you combine two recovery methods together!
4. Yoga/Meditation – Talk about combining recovery methods. Here you can combine the physical with breath control for the optimal stress recovery method!
5. Sleeping – Taking a nap can have considerable recovery benefits. Sleeping well at night is also optimal. Sleeping is actually the body’s biological way of recovering your brain and body!
These are just a few suggestions. I invite you to give them a try. Time now for you to start finishing the process by recovering from your day.
What are you going to do to recover? Or, are you going to keep building up the sludge in the brain and continuing to tax your body?
Chris Swenson is a licensed Couple and Family Therapist currently helping people recover from stress at his private practice counseling office in Sterling, CO (Rhino Wellness Center). To contact Chris, you can call 970-522-0796 or schedule an appointment online at www.rhinowellnesscenter.com