The connection between mind and body has long been established. That’s why it’s important to manage your mental well-being to help keep your physical well-being in check. As any cardiologist can tell you, being under constant pressure and stress can cause high blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, and other negative effects that take serious tolls on your body.
If you’re feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, it’s time to unwind and decompress. With today’s world, though, it can be difficult to find the time. Here are some of Cardiac Solutions’ favorite quick activities to help you de-stress and take a breather during your busy day.
Organized spaces often lead to cleaner, less stressed minds. Start small, with one drawer of your desk or one cupboard of your home, five minutes a day. If you do even a little bit of organizing several days a week, it can make a noticeable difference in the cleanliness and productiveness of your space. The act of taking control of your area and focusing on a small, accomplishable goal can be a big help in unwinding and chipping away at the worry and chaos that builds up throughout the day.
While you should try to allot at least 30 minutes a day for exercise, doing a quick five-minute burst can help reset your brain and body and release endorphins. Put all of your built-up stress, frustration, and aggression into a healthy outlet by doing high-intensity workouts (or what you’re able to manage) for five minutes. The endorphins will make you feel more relaxed and you’ll be more positive because you’ve done something your cardiologist would applaud. Plus, the break from thinking about other things could let you come back to a problem with a fresh perspective. Both your body and your mind will thank you.
Laughter releases key chemicals that help control stress and produce positive emotions. Having a good laugh is a quick, fun de-stressing activity that anyone can do. The phrase, “laughter is the best medicine” actually has some backing in science! It’s easy these days to take a quick, five-minute break to look up funny pictures, jokes, or videos online to get a few good chuckles. You’ll feel better and have a more positive outlook on your day after your break from stress.
PMR is an acronym for progressive muscle relaxation. When you’re under stress, you develop a lot of built-up tension in your body, particularly in your muscles, which can lead to widespread discomfort and pain. Holding tension in your muscles can cause issues like chronic muscle soreness, headaches, and random aches and pains that can just compound the stress you’re already under.
To do progressive muscle relaxation, find a quiet space if possible and focus on tightening and then relaxing every muscle in your body. It’s common to start at your toes and work upwards to your neck and head or vice versa. Start with five minutes a day. This is a great activity during a break at work and right before bed. Doing this regularly will help you notice when you’re keeping excess tension in your muscles. After a while, your body will reflexively relax.
Sometimes, focusing on physical pleasures or sensations can help ground and calm you under times of great stress. Focusing on one sense like taste, touch, or smells can help stress fade away for a few moments and remind you of better things. Each person is different, so when you first start, explore different senses to see what helps you decompress the most. Music is a common choice, but aromatherapy, massage, and small samples of your favorite sweets can also help provide comfort and stress relief. Take at least five minutes to treat yourself. You deserve it!
Less Stress, More Happy
Overall, these are just some strategic suggestions for quick activities that tend to have the most impact on a large number of people. If you find yourself stressed out, overwhelmed, and maxed out on how much more you can take, it’s important to find a productive outlet that helps you calm down and stop stressing for your health. Listening to music, writing silly stories, or playing with your pet can also be great sources of stress relief. Find something that you enjoy and put effort into it and make sure you take care of yourself. Your cardiologist—and your own body and mind—will thank you.
We at Cardiac Solutions in Peoria, AZ, have compiled our list of the most effective stress relievers, but as long as you find something healthy that works for you, you can find unique ways to de-stress at home or in the office.
Heart concerns adding stress? Contact us for an appointment.